By Jon Woodson
Jean Toomer's adamant stance opposed to racism and his demand a raceless society have been way more advanced than the typical reader of works from the Harlem Renaissance may possibly think. In To Make a brand new Race Jon Woodson explores the serious impact of Greek-born mystic G. I. Gurdjieff at the deliberating 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 terrible Greco-Armenian mom and dad at the Russo-Turkish frontier, espoused the idea that guy is asleep and in legal until he lines opposed to the key burdens of lifestyles, specially these of identity, like race. Toomer, whose novel Cane turned an thought to many later Harlem Renaissance writers, traveled to France and worked at Gurdjieff's Institute for the Harmonious improvement of guy. Later, the author turned one of many basic fans authorized to coach 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 in an effort to pass judgement on his impact. Scouring correspondence, manuscripts, and released texts, Woodson reveals the direct hyperlinks during which Gurdjieff via Toomer performed an important function within the improvement of "objective literature." He discovers either coded and particular ways that Gurdjieff's philosophy formed the realm perspectives of writers good into the Sixties. additionally Woodson reinforces the large 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 college 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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