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Brutal Imagination

by Eady, Cornelius A

  • ISBN: 9780399147180
  • ISBN10: 0399147187

Brutal Imagination

by Eady, Cornelius A

  • List Price: $24.00
  • Binding: Hardcover
  • Publisher: Putnam Adult
  • Publish date: 01/01/2001
  • ISBN: 9780399147180
  • ISBN10: 0399147187
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Description: The two sections that make up this work (each could be called a song cycle) confront the same subject: the black man in America. But this is no simplistic political screed. Early's art is too sophisticated for that, combining as it does the subtle with the charged, street idiom with elegant inversions, harsh images with witty asides. As The Kenyon Review wrote of an earlier volume: It's no easy thing for an African-American poet to find language that breaks through sociological and political configurations to sting us directly and a fresh with his experience". Eady does so with each new work.

The first cycle, which carries the book's title, deals with the vision of the black man in white imagination. Largely narrated by black kidnapper, a figment of Susan Smith's imagination invented to cover up her killing of her sons (a bridging section of poems is wittily told in the voices of such white creations as Uncle Ben and Aunt Jemima), the cycle displays all of Eady's range: his inventiveness, his deft and often subversive wit, and his skillfully targeted anger. One laughs and winces at the same time. Though these poems are spoken by a black man who is in fact invention, Eady contrives to make him as well as a black commenting on his white-invented self. The result is a stunning appraisal of race in America. The second cycle, "Running Man", presents the poems Eady drew on for his libretto for the music-drama of the same name. here, the focus in the black family and the barriers of class, and caste that tear it apart. The title character represents every dreaming black boy who ever crashed into the harsh realties of the whole as he reached manhood. As the Village voice wrote",Running Man isa hymn to all sons this country has stolen from her African-American families".

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