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American Literary History and the Turn toward Modernity$
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Melanie V. Dawson and Meredith L. Goldsmith

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780813056043

Published to Florida Scholarship Online: May 2019

DOI: 10.5744/florida/9780813056043.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM FLORIDA SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.florida.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University Press of Florida, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in FLASO for personal use.date: 24 May 2022

Jessie Fauset’s Not-So-New Negro Womanhood

Jessie Fauset’s Not-So-New Negro Womanhood

The Harlem Renaissance, the Long Nineteenth Century, and the Legacy of Feminine Representation

(p.222) 8 Jessie Fauset’s Not-So-New Negro Womanhood
American Literary History and the Turn toward Modernity

Meredith L. Goldsmith

University Press of Florida

Chapter 8 responds to two prevailing arguments about the fiction of Jessie Fauset—the one labeling her work retrograde, the other regarding it as subtly subversive—by viewing the writer’s work as part of a history of long nineteenth-century representation. Countering the dominant perception of the Harlem Renaissance as a break from the past—a view that has shunted Fauset’s work to the sidelines—the essay argues that Fauset’s work explores the legacy of late-nineteenth-century US culture in the emergent modernity of the early twentieth century. Excavating the literary, cultural, and scientific tropes of feminine representation that burst from the pages of Fauset’s fiction, the essay identifies a recent literary past that informs Fauset’s constructions of her modern urban heroines.

Keywords:   Jessie Fauset, Harlem Renaissance, Long nineteenth century, Tropes, Heroine

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