Entries from October 2017

Thursday, October 26th, 2017

What is Cane?

To me, Cane is a compilation of works, all different, yet all sharing a common theme.  If I could categorize Cane into one genre, I would call it an “anthology of human experience” specifically, human experience of African Americans.  The styles of writing, prose and poetry, call to mind several various aspects of the human […]

Thursday, October 26th, 2017

A Mesh of Experimental Poetry with an Overarching Thematic Story

Of what genre is Cane?  Is it novel, poetry, or both?  There is not an apparent continuity between stories/poems but the themes of each inform the reading of others.  “Reapers,” “Face,” “Georgia Dusk,” and “Conversion” among others are most certainly poems, but then “Fern,” “Esther,” and “Box Seat” are short stories.  I would classify its […]

Thursday, October 26th, 2017

Creating Story instead of Plot in Cane

Jean Toomer’s Cane is a combination of prose and poetry that illustrate snapshots of time through different character’s point of view. While difficult to categorize, Cane’s structure reminded me of Sandra Cisneros’s The House on Mango Street. The House on Mango Street is a coming of age novel that is comprised of short memoir pieces […]

Thursday, October 26th, 2017

Genre of Cane

Jean Toomer’s Cane can be differentiated from many other texts that I have read in the past in that there is not a central narrative. Even though there is not a central narrative in Cane there are thematic similarities. They all share the commonality of the adverse, shared black experience in the deep south. In […]

Thursday, October 26th, 2017

Cane as a Lyric Essay

It is hard to peg Cane, by Jean Toomer, as one single genre because so often we divide literature into two separate categories: poetry and prose.  Toomer diversifies the structure of Cane by writing every third chapter (for the most part), as prose while the chapters in between are poetry.  Because the form and structure bounces […]

Thursday, October 26th, 2017

The Thematic Novel: Jean Toomer’s Cane

Jean Toomer’s Cane experiments with various forms of prose, poetry, and song in its unique composition. Yet the publication history of Cane and Toomer’s own commentary of his work illustrates that he wanted his text to be cohesive and intact rather than divided into sections, published separately. Though his poetry, for example, could stand alone in another publication, […]

Thursday, October 26th, 2017

Genre of Cane

Deciding what the genre of Cane by Jean Toomer is somewhat difficult because the work has so many different elements and types of writing within it. Cane is a novel composed of both poetry and prose. There are longer narrative stories mixed with shorter poems, and both of the writing styles discuss a range of different themes and […]

Thursday, October 26th, 2017

Semi-Autobiographical Fiction: Confliction in Cane

Cane explores African-American crises of identity in the 1920s – in terms of genre, it is probably semi-autobiographical fiction. The novel features multiple themes: the conflation of sexual desire with racial violence, the projecting of male desire onto the desired female, and the confliction characters feel at modernity and the prospect of leaving the racially […]

Thursday, October 26th, 2017

The Gentle Apocalypse

“Cane was a swan-song. it was a song of an end.” – Jean Toomer I would describe the genre of Jean Toomer’s 1923 book Cane as a gentle apocalypse; it is the slow death of an entire way of life in the South. In it’s own right, apocalypse is defined as a change from one kind of […]

Thursday, October 26th, 2017

Cane and Genre

I find this blog post particularly challenging. I tried to approach this prompt by thinking of other texts that took similar approaches to understand and vocalize different topics. I threw some ideas around in my mind but when I think of Cane I recall another book that I read in a different class: The Trial by Franz Kafka. The […]