This groundbreaking study explores the Harlem Renaissance as a literary phenomenon fundamentally shaped by same-sex-interested men. Christa Schwarz focuses on Countze Cullen, Langston Hughes, Claude McKay, and Richard Bruce Nugent and explores these writers' sexually dissident or gay literary voices. The portrayals of men-loving-men in these writers' works vary significantly. Schwarz locates in the poetry of Cullen, Hughes, and McKay the employment of contemporary gay code words, deriving from the Greek discourse of homosexuality and from Walt Whitman. By contrast, Nugent the only "out" gay Harlem Renaissance artist portrayed men-loving-men without reference to racial concepts or Whitmanesque codes. Schwarz argues for contemporary readings attuned to the complex relation between race, gender, and sexual orientation in Harlem Renaissance writing.
Table of Contents
LIST OF ABBREVIATIONS ix
Introduction 1 (5)
ONE. Gay Harlem and the Harlem Renaissance 6 (19)
TWO. Writing in the Harlem Renaissance: The 25 (23)
Burden of Representation and Sexual Dissidence
THREE.Count馥 Cullen: "His virtues are many; 48 (20)
his vices unheard of"
FOUR. Langston Hughes: A "true 'people's poet" 68 (20)
FIVE. Claude McKay: "enfant terrible of the 88 (32)
SIX. Richard Bruce Nugent: The Quest for Beauty 120(22)