Big Sea an Autobiography (Classic reprint series)

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9780938410331: Big Sea an Autobiography (Classic reprint series)

Book by Langston Hughes

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Review:

Like so many other writers, Langston Hughes served a partial apprenticeship to the worldly, nonliterary life on board a merchant ship. Indeed, the first volume of this autobiography (reissued with studied style by the admirable Thunder's Mouth Press) begins with an appropriately maverick moment-as Hughes jettisons overboard the books he had acquired during a tortured year of learning at Columbia; the last to disappear, fittingly, is Mencken. Hughes was bound for Africa, but not the Africa of his dreams, for, curious to him, he will not be recognized there as a "black," on account of his brown skin. This is not the first and certainly not the last time we find him in a strange relation to the color lines which traversed his country and others in strikingly different ways. Hughes recounts the events of his life in a polite, shrewd, and even disingenuous way, as if to suggest that his autobiographical persona were indeed "adrift" in a world where his literary success merely "happened" to him. Down and out in Europe, he managed to find work in Parisian nightclubs where society, for a brief and breathless period in the twenties, fed itself upon American black jazz culture. He finally graduated from the school of hard knocks when Vachel Lindsay discovered him as a "Negro bus boy poet" in Washington in 1925, thereby pitching him into the circles of the black literati which had been all too clearly closed to him as a migrant worker. Most amusing, however, are Hughes's trenchant vignettes of the Harlem Renaissance, "when the Negro was in vogue," and when the whole of the black culture and entertainment, both in the famous clubs and out on the street, seemed to be a show endlessly staged for downtown whites. In a time when some were thinking that "the race problem had at last solved itself through Art plus Gladys Bentley," Hughes knew better, and his subsequent trips through the Jim Crow South with Zora Neale Hurston helped to sharpen his appetite for political commentary. The first volume of his autobiography ends discordantly as he is spurned, betrayed and "shipwrecked" by the wealthy and powerful (and tantalizingly unnamed) white patroness who had nurtured him as true "primitive" sensibility, only to discover that he was not going to write beautiful verse for her after all; instead, and as the Depression sets in, he has begun his true vocation as a radical intellectual spokeman, for his race and for his generation. -- From Independent Publisher

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Langston Hughes
Editorial: Thunder's Mouth Press (1986)
ISBN 10: 0938410334 ISBN 13: 9780938410331
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Descripción Thunder's Mouth Press, 1986. Paperback. Estado de conservación: New. book. Nº de ref. de la librería M0938410334

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Langston Hughes
Editorial: Thunder's Mouth Press (1999)
ISBN 10: 0938410334 ISBN 13: 9780938410331
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Descripción Thunder's Mouth Press, 1999. Paperback. Estado de conservación: New. Never used!. Nº de ref. de la librería P110938410334

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Hughes, Langston
Editorial: Thunder's Mouth Press
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Descripción Thunder's Mouth Press. PAPERBACK. Estado de conservación: New. 0938410334 New Condition. Nº de ref. de la librería NEW7.0521496

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Langston Hughes
Editorial: Thunder's Mouth Press (1999)
ISBN 10: 0938410334 ISBN 13: 9780938410331
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Descripción Thunder's Mouth Press, 1999. Paperback. Estado de conservación: New. Nº de ref. de la librería DADAX0938410334

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