Catalogue


Mercy, mercy me [electronic resource] : African-American culture and the American sixties /
James C. Hall
imprint
Oxford [England] ; New York : Oxford University Press, 2001.
description
x, 293 p. : ill.
ISBN
0195096096 (Cloth)
format(s)
Book
Holdings
More Details
imprint
Oxford [England] ; New York : Oxford University Press, 2001.
isbn
0195096096 (Cloth)
restrictions
Licensed for access by U. of T. users.
general note
Title from e-book title screen (viewed October 15, 2007).
catalogue key
7372124
 
Includes bibliographical references and index.
A Look Inside
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Choice on 2002-07-01:
Its title and central theme taken from the refrain of a song by Marvin Gaye ("Mercy, mercy me, / Things ain't what they used to be"), this first book by Hall (Univ. of Illinois, Chicago) explores the critical views of a "diverse group of African American artists and intellectuals" about what they regarded as the shortcomings of American life in the 1960s. The author labels their movement "antimodernism," defining it as "protest against or rejection of modernity," particularly "consumer capitalism, technology, and ritualized violence," including racism. Analyzing the strengths, weaknesses, and contradictions of their "cultural critiques," Hall focuses on the contents, along with the personal and cultural contexts, of works by six "exemplars": poet Robert Hayden's Words in the Mourning Time, novelist Paule Marshall's The Chosen Place, the Timeless People (1968) and novelist William Demby's The Catacombs, musician John Coltrane's album A Love Supreme, painter Romare Bearden's major collages of the 1960s, and historian/intellectual W.E.B. Du Bois's posthumously published Autobiography. Throughout, in discussions at once complex, knowledgeable, and sophisticated, Hall observes a number of mutual concerns: the search for identity, "collective and individual cultural memory," the relationship of past and present (including African heritage), the role of religion, and the impact of internationalism and postcolonialism. Recommended for graduate students and above. J. E. Steiner emerita, Drew University
Reviews
Review Quotes
Hall deftly restores a fuller voice to sixties artists too often straightjacketed within an obligatory hermeneutics of racial protest.
"Hall's Mercy, Mercy Me is an important historical revision of the 'monolithic construction' of the sixties, particularly the Black Arts movement, solely in terms of a racial and cultural nationalism. ...Hall deftly restores a fuller voice to sixties artists too often straightjacketed withinan obligatory hermeneutics of racial protest."--American Literature
"Hall's Mercy, Mercy Me is an important historical revision of the'monolithic construction' of the sixties, particularly the Black Arts movement,solely in terms of a racial and cultural nationalism. ...Hall deftly restores afuller voice to sixties artists too often straightjacketed within an obligatoryhermeneutics of racial protest."--American Literature
James C. Hall invites us to revise our thinking about the 1960s in this thoughtful and generative study of the extraordinary efflorescence of poetry, fiction, autobiography, music, and painting that emerged out of that decade's African American freedom movement ... thoughtful, subtle, and persuasive.
The Harlem Renaissance and the Black Arts movement are celebrated as critical moments of racial nationalism and cultural awakening. Questioning the critical consensus about this narrative, however, James Hall reframe[s] these two literary periods in light of transnational and anti-modernist paradigms ... provocative [study] disturbing to our common sense about these seminal eras.
This item was reviewed in:
Choice, July 2002
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Summaries
Long Description
Using an interdisciplinary approach, this book argues that American artistry in the 1960s can be understood as one of the most vital and compelling interrogations of modernity. James C. Hall finds that the legacy of slavery and the resistance to it have by necessity made African Americans among the most incisive critics and celebrants of the Enlightenment inheritance. Focusing on the work of six individuals--Robert Hayden, William Demby, Paule Marshall, John Coltrane, Romare Bearden, and W.E.B. DuBois--Mercy, Mercy Me seeks to recover an American tradition of evaluating the "dialectic of the Enlightenment."
Long Description
Using an interdisciplinary approach, this book argues that American artistry in the Sixties can be understood as one of the most vital and compelling interrogations of modernity. James C. Hall finds that the legacy of slavery and the resistance to it have by necessity made African Americans among the most incisive critics and celebrants of the Enlightenment inheritance. Focusing on the work of six individuals--Robert Hayden, William Demby, Paule Marshall, John Coltrane, Romare Bearden, and W.E.B. DuBois--Mercy, Mercy Me seeks to recover an American tradition of evaluating the "dialectic of the Enlightenment."
Main Description
Using an interdisciplinary approach, this book argues that American artistry in the 1960s can be understood as one of the most vital and compelling interrogations of modernity. James C. Hall finds that the legacy of slavery and the resistance to it have by necessity made African Americansamong the most incisive critics and celebrants of the Enlightenment inheritance. Focusing on the work of six individuals--Robert Hayden, William Demby, Paule Marshall, John Coltrane, Romare Bearden, and W.E.B. DuBois--Mercy, Mercy Me seeks to recover an American tradition of evaluating the"dialectic of the Enlightenment."
Main Description
Using an interdisciplinary approach, this book argues that American artistry in the 1960s can be understood as one of the most vital and compelling interrogations of modernity. James C. Hall finds that the legacy of slavery and the resistance to it have by necessity made African Americans among the most incisive critics and celebrants of the Enlightenment inheritance. Focusing on the work of six individuals--Robert Hayden, William Demby, Paule Marshall, John Coltrane, Romare Bearden, and W.E.B. DuBois-- Mercy, Mercy Me seeks to recover an American tradition of evaluating the "dialectic of the Enlightenment."
Table of Contents
African-American Antimodernism and the American Sixtiesp. 3
Mourning Song: Robert Hayden and the Politics of Memoryp. 39
Modern Doubt to Antimodern Commitment: Paul Marshall and William Dembyp. 78
Meditations: John Coltrane and Freedomp. 113
The Prevalence of Ritual in an Age of Change: Romare Beardenp. 115
W.E.B. Du Bois and Dedication to the Deadp. 187
Epilogue: What's Going On(?): "The Most Truly Modern of All People"p. 225
Notesp. 231
Indexp. 275
Table of Contents provided by Blackwell. All Rights Reserved.

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