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ERIC Number: EJ866635
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009-Nov
Pages: 3
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 0
ISSN: ISSN-0004-3931
Character & Cane
Sartorius, Tara Cady
Arts & Activities, v146 n3 p22-24 Nov 2009
They say first impressions can be deceiving. The difficulty of getting to know someone increases when that person is mostly fictional. Whatever the author writes is all readers can know. Whatever they read about the character is all they have to go on. Now take it another step back, and imagine a portrait drawing, painting or print of that fictional person based on the author's description. No historical photo could possibly be made. The most "real" one could get might be to watch an actor or actress interpreting a personality as described by the author. But step back even further and suppose the portrait is entirely abstract, nonobjective and does not, in any way, physically resemble a person's face. This article discusses "Fern," a work which was created in 2000 by Martin Puryear (b. 1941). Who is Fern? She is a woman described by Jean Toomer (1894-1967) in his 1923 poetic novel, "Cane." Knowing something about "Cane" can help people know something about Fern, which might help them know something about Puryear's print, "Fern." Toomer's "Fern" is the 10th of 29 components (not exactly chapters) of his breakthrough portrait of the African-American experience. Written at the time of the Harlem Renaissance, the book is a mix of poetry and poetic prose. The author traces African-American history from slavery through emancipation, in rural and urban settings. "Cane" reflects historic situations in a non-historical manner through Toomer's personalities and their interactions. It is not a story, but an impression, described poetically in a nearly stream-of-consciousness flow.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A