Swinging the Vernacular
Jazz and African American Modernist Literature
Routledge – 2006 – 256 pages
This book looks at the influence of jazz on the development of African American modernist literature over the 20th century, with a particular attention to the social and aesthetic significance of stylistic changes in the music.
Introduction: The Language of Jazz as American Culture Becomes Modern 1. Langston Hughes and the First Book of Jazz 2. Thriving on a Riff: Bebop and Langston Hughes's Montage of a Dream Deferred 3. Riffing on the Lower Frequencies: Dialogism, Intertextuality, and Bebop in Ralph Ellison's Invisible Man 4. "Here Where Coltrane Is": Jazz, Cultural Memory, and Political Aesthetics in the Poetry of Michael S. Harper 5. Albert Murray Brings It On Home: Revisioning Black Modernism in Train Whistle Guitar. Coda.
Michael Borshuk is Assistant Professor of African American literature in the department of English at Texas Tech University. He has published book chapters and critical articles on Josephine Baker, Langston Hughes, Ralph Ellison, William Carlos Williams and Mina Loy. He also writes on jazz regularly for Coda Magazine.