The Early Simple Stories

الغلاف الأمامي
University of Missouri Press, 2002 - 382 من الصفحات
Annotation Jesse B. Semple first sprang to life in Langston Hughes's weekly Chicago Defender column in 1943. Almost immediately, the "Simple stories," as they were routinely called, had a large and ever-increasing audience. Simple soon became Harlem's Everymanan ordinary black workingman, representative of the masses of black folks in the 1940s.

Simple had migrated to Harlem, like many other blacks, seeking to escape the racism of the South, and he celebrated his new freedoms despite the economic struggles he still confronted. Simple's bar buddy and foil in the stories is the better-educated, more articulate Boyd, who has never lived in the South. Their conversations permit Simple to speak the wisdom of the working class.

By the time the first book of Simple stories was published, Hughes had honed and polished these two characters, enhancing the distinctions between the vernacular language of Simple and the more educated diction of his friend. Remaining within the Afrocentric world that was his chosen sphere, Hughes makes clear the message that Simple and Boyd are very much alike; both are black men in a racially unbalanced society. Both exist in a world within a world, in Harlem, the separate black community of New York City.

"You imply that there is no fun to be had around white folks."
"I never had none," said Simple.
"You have a color complex."
"A colored complexion," said Simple.
"I said complex, not complexion."
"I added the shun myself," said Simple. "I'm colored, and being around white folks makes me feel more coloredsince most of them shun Negroes."

Countless exchanges between Simple and his companion offer wit and wisdom that remind contemporary readers why Langston Hughes is so special.

 

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المحتوى

Feet Live Their Own Life
21
Landladies
24
Simple Prays a Prayer
27
Conversation on the Corner
31
Family Tree
36
A Toast to Harlem
39
Simple and His Sins
42
Temptation
44
Lingerie
107
Spring Time
109
Hard Times
111
Last Whipping
113
Nickel for the Phone
116
Equality and Dogs
118
Seeing Double
120
Right Simple
122

Wooing the Muse
47
Summer Aint Simple
52
A Word from Town Country
56
Matter for a Book
59
Surprise
62
Vacation
65
Winter Time
67
Letting Off Steam
69
Jealousy
71
Banquet in Honor
74
After Hours
79
A Veteran Falls
83
High Bed
86
Final Fear
91
There Ought to Be a Law
95
Income Tax
98
No Alternative
102
Question Period
105
Ways and Means
124
The Law
129
Confused
131
Something to Lean On
133
Any Time
135
In the Dark
137
For the Sake of Argument
139
Simple Pins On Medals
144
A Ball of String
147
Blue Evening
150
When a Man Sees Red
156
Race Relations
159
Possum Race and Face
161
A Letter from Baltimore
167
Simple Takes a Wife 1953
171
Notes
381
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نبذة عن المؤلف (2002)

Langston Hughes, February 1, 1902 - May 22, 1967 Langston Hughes, one of the foremost black writers to emerge from the Harlem Renaissance, was born on February 1, 1902, in Joplin, Mo. Hughes briefly attended Columbia University before working numerous jobs including busboy, cook, and steward. While working as a busboy, he showed his poems to American poet Vachel Lindsay, who helped launch his career. He soon obtained a scholarship to Lincoln University and had several works published. Hughes is noted for his depictions of the black experience. In addition to the black dialect, he incorporated the rhythms of jazz and the blues into his poetry. While many recognized his talent, many blacks disapproved of his unflattering portrayal of black life. His numerous published volumes include, "The Weary Blues," "Fine Clothes to the Jew," and "Montage of a Dream Deferred." Hughes earned several awards during his lifetime including: a Guggenheim fellowship, an American Academy of Arts and Letters Grant, and a Spingarn Medal from the NAACP. Langston Hughes died of heart failure on May 22, 1967.

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