Emancipating Pragmatism: Emerson, Jazz, and Experimental by Michael Magee

By Michael Magee

Emancipating Pragmatism is a thorough rereading of Emerson that posits African- American tradition, literature, and jazz because the very continuation and embodiment of pragmatic notion and democratic culture. It strains Emerson's philosophical legacy during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries to find how Emersonian suggestion keeps to notify problems with race, aesthetics, and poetic discourse.

Emerson's pragmatism derives from his abolitionism, Michael Magee argues, and any pragmatic notion that aspires towards democracy can't forget about and needs to reckon with its racial roots. Magee seems to be on the ties among pragmatism and African-American tradition as they appear themselves in key texts and activities, resembling William Carlos Williams's poetry; Ralph Ellison's discourse in Invisible guy and Juneteenth and his essays on jazz; the poetic works of Robert Creeley, Amiri Baraka, and Frank O'Hara; in addition to the "new jazz" being cast at golf equipment just like the 5 Spot in ny.

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Additional resources for Emancipating Pragmatism: Emerson, Jazz, and Experimental Writing

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Vaguely, I suspect. Regardless, the mood here is subjunctive: Williams wishes that he might, but the implication is that he certainly won’t. And even his actual forays into this area of African American vernacular are imbued with a sense of the inevitably missed opportunity. ” The implication here is that chance has dashed any future attempt to use the father’s speech in some way, any possibility that it might have mediated Williams’s poetic expression. The full picture though is much more complex.

Moreover, he would ¤nd in Emerson’s style—his “paragraphs incomprehensible”— similar motivations: a will toward unpredictability in the name of experimentation and invention. What this has to do speci¤cally with sustaining democratic symbolic action 19 egalitarian politics and democratic institutions, I will make more explicit in chapter 2. Emerson theorized that the strivings of people to achieve democracy in “America” was predicated on the ability to revise the de¤nition of America and the de¤nitions at work in its founding documents.

Variety” never quite reveals itself to be “diversity” in the way we’ve come to understand this latter term. And even if we take “the constituents” to be “the voters,” the 22 democratic symbolic action complicated relation of this second term to American racism never really materializes. The shoe doesn’t drop. I would speculate that one explanation for the “resistance” of Dewey’s vocabulary is that Dewey himself—as a philosopher who equates the operations of language and the operations of culture—offers no speci¤c description of the role ethnicity plays in the formation of the American vernacular.

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