By Jon Woodson
Jean Toomer's adamant stance opposed to racism and his demand a raceless society have been way more complicated than the common reader of works from the Harlem Renaissance may well think. In To Make a brand new Race Jon Woodson explores the serious impression of Greek-born mystic G. I. Gurdjieff at the taking into consideration Toomer and his coterie--Zora Neale Hurston, Nella Larson, George Schuyler, Wallace Thurman--and, via them, the mystic's impact on the various notables in African American literature. Gurdjieff, born of negative Greco-Armenian mom and dad at the Russo-Turkish frontier, espoused the idea that guy is asleep and in legal except he traces opposed to the main burdens of lifestyles, specifically these of identity, like race. Toomer, whose novel Cane grew to become an concept to many later Harlem Renaissance writers, traveled to France and worked at Gurdjieff's Institute for the Harmonious improvement of guy. Later, the author grew to become one of many basic fans authorized to educate Gurdjieff's philosophy within the usa. Woodson's is the 1st research of Gurdjieff, Toomer, and the Harlem Renaissance to seem past modern portrayals of the mystic to be able to pass judgement on his effect. Scouring correspondence, manuscripts, and released texts, Woodson unearths the direct hyperlinks within which Gurdjieff via Toomer performed a big position within the improvement of "objective literature." He discovers either coded and specific ways that Gurdjieff's philosophy formed the area perspectives of writers good into the Nineteen Sixties. furthermore Woodson reinforces the wide contribution Toomer and different African-American writers with all their overseas affects made to the yank cultural scene.
Jon Woodson, an affiliate professor of English at Howard collage in Washington, D.C., is a contributor to the gathering, Black American Poets among Worlds, 1940-1960. He has released articles in African American Review and different journals.
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Additional info for To Make a New Race: Gurdjieff, Toomer, and the Harlem Renaissance
To Make a New Race: Gurdjieff, Toomer, and the Harlem Renaissance by Jon Woodson