In the Break by Fred Moten
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In the Break
By Fred Moten

In the Break

The Aesthetics of the Black Radical Tradition

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Format: Hardback

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In the Break by Fred Moten

Book Description

In his controversial essay on white jazz musician Burton Greene, Amiri Baraka asserted that jazz was exclusively an African American art form and explicitly fused the idea of a black aesthetic with radical political traditions of the African diaspora. In the Break is an extended riff on "The Burton Greene Affair, " exploring the tangled relationship between black avant-grade in music and literature in the 1950s and 1960s, the emergence of a distinct form of black cultural nationalism, and the complex engagement with and disavowal of homoeroticism that bridges the two. Fred Moten focuses in particular on the brilliant improvisatory jazz of John Coltrane, Ornette Coleman, Albert Ayler, Eric Dolphy, Charles Mingus, and others, arguing that all black performance--culture, politics, sexuality, identity, and blackness itself--is improvisation. For Moten, improvisation provides a unique epistemological standpoint from which to investigate the provocative connections between black aesthetics and Western philosophy. He engages in a strenuous critical analysis of Western philosophy (Heidegger, Kant, Husserl, Wittgenstein, and Derrida) through the prism of radical black thought and culture. As the critical, lyrical, and disruptive performance of the human, Moten's concept of blackness also brings such figures as Frederick Douglass and Karl Marx, Cecil Taylor and Samuel R. Delany, Billie Holiday and William Shakespeare into conversation with each other. Stylistically brilliant and challenging, much like the music he writes about, Moten's wide-ranging discussion embraces a variety of disciplines--semiotics, deconstruction, genre theory, social history, and psychoanalysis--to understand thepoliticized sexuality, particularly homoeroticism, underpinning black radicalism. In the Break is the inaugural volume in Moten's ambitious intellectual project--to establish an aesthetic genealogy of the black radical tradition.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9780816640997
ISBN-10: 0816640998
Format: Hardback
(229mm x 148mm x 23mm)
Pages: 296
Imprint: University of Minnesota Press
Publisher: University of Minnesota Press
Publish Date: 16-Apr-2003
Country of Publication: United States

Other Editions...

Books By Author Fred Moten

Jimmie Durham by Fred Moten Jimmie Durham, Hardback (January 2017)

Published in conjunction with the first North American survey of the work of Jimmie Durham, this beautifully illustrated catalogue explores Durham s vital contributions to contemporary art since the 1970s, both in the US and internationally."

Little Edges by Fred Moten Little Edges, Paperback (October 2016)

Poems that play in the sonic texture of discourses

B Jenkins by Fred Moten B Jenkins, Paperback (January 2010)

This fourth collection of poetry from the literary and cultural critic Fred Moten is an elegy to his mother and an inquiry into language, music, performance, improvisation, and the black radical tradition.

» View all books by Fred Moten


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