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Jean ToomerRace, Repression, and Revolution$
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Barbara Foley

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780252038440

Published to Illinois Scholarship Online: April 2017

DOI: 10.5406/illinois/9780252038440.001.0001

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Black Super-Vaudeville: History and Form in Cane

(p.253) Coda
Jean Toomer

Barbara Foley

University of Illinois Press

This concluding chapter offers a brief consideration of the relationship between history and form in Cane. Given the wide range of interpretations of the text's parts, it comes as no surprise that critics have presented dramatically differing interpretations of the whole. Some have discerned a progression toward resolution and synthesis; others a suspended state of fragmentation and division; while others a triumphant achievement of polyphony and hybridity. With a few noteworthy exceptions, however, commentaries on Cane have largely overlooked the text's engagement with history. They may address Cane's representation of the present as an outgrowth of the past, and its connection with contemporaneous racial discourses and practices, but they do not generally treat the text's form as itself an enactment of the historical contradictions shaping the time and place of its creation.

Keywords:   Cane, polyphony, hybridity, history, racial discourses, racial practices, historical contradictions, Jean Toomer

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