vol. 4 No. 2 Dec. 2020

The Group Composition of Literary Works by Esoteric Writers in the Modernist Period: A Critical Interruption of Afro-Modernism and Antimodernism
Author:Jon Woodson    Time:2021-02-20    Click:

Abstract: Like the other “new modernisms” Afro-Modernism does not exist beyond its role as a critical catchword. The readings given to African-American texts of the modernist period have been subjected to reductive treatments that have overlooked many factors. In this paper I will examine an unacknowledged feature of modernist works that radically changes the understanding of many important texts. One assumption of the critics of literary modernism is that individualism is a touchstone of the movement. One sign of the inapplicability of individuality to American modernism is the occurrence of esoteric group composition. The esoteric does not come into consideration by the literary critics who have established Afro-Modernism, so it is not within the scope of those investigations that challenges to individuality have been considered.

Keywords: Afro-Modernism, Western Esotericism, African American literature, Jubilee, New Modernisms

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