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By Michael North

The Dialect of Modernism uncovers the the most important function of racial masquerade and linguistic imitation within the emergence of literary modernism. Rebelling opposed to the traditional language, and literature written in it, modernists, resembling Joseph Conrad, Gertrude Stein, T.S. Eliot, Ezra Pound, and William Carlos Williams reimagined themselves as racial extraterrestrial beings and mimicked the suggestions of dialect audio system of their paintings. In doing so, they made attainable the main radical representational options of contemporary literature, which emerged from their assault at the privilege of normal language. even as, even if, one other circulate, pointed out with Harlem, used to be suffering to unfastened itself from the very dialect the modernists appropriated, at the very least because it have been rendered by way of generations of white dialect writers. For writers reminiscent of Claude McKay, Jean Toomer, and Zora Neale Hurston, this dialect turned a barrier as inflexible because the common language itself. therefore, the 2 smooth activities, which arrived at the same time in 1922, have been associated and divided through their diversified stakes within the related language. within the Dialect of Modernism, Michael North indicates, via biographical and old research, and during cautious readings of significant literary works, that although diverse they have been, the 2 hobbies are inextricably attached, and therefore, can't be thought of in isolation. each one was once marked, for strong and undesirable, via the opposite.

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B. Du Bois not because they did not write in dialect but because they were not of "unmixed negro blood," and he ignores Charles W. 120 Here Smith simply reflects the fact that the dialect movement was almost exclusively a matter of white mimicry and role-playing. Harris may have been the most successful such writer because he had the greatest psychological investment in the role. Painfully shy and a stutterer, Harris preferred to appear before his public, and sometimes even before personal friends, as Uncle Remus.

Franz Boas, attempting to deal with the basic ethnographic problem of linguistic transcription, realized that it was impossible to treat a European language, no matter how "scientific," as a neutral container for other languages. Trapped inside his own linguistic system, the European observer could only approximate what he heard. 158 This dual development, this link between ethnographic interests and linguistic relativism, was recapitulated within the international modernism that grew up at the same time.

On the other hand, the notion of linguistic and cultural relativism brought about by the dislocations of the late nineteenth and twentieth centuries does make possible a reversal of terms, of points of view, very useful to writers who have never before been able to feel "at home" in English. Something like this is suggested, at any rate, in Salman Rushdie Satanic Verses by the character of Saladin Chamcha, the Man of a Thousand Voices and a Voice. "185 Chamcha’s placelessness is thus played for laughs, but the humor is mostly at the expense of his listeners, who have no idea they are docilely listening to a man they might refuse to sit next to in the subway.

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