FOLK HERITAGE AS THE SOURCE OF CREATIVITY AND WRITING IN CLAUDE MCKAY’S A L ON G W A Y F R OM H OM E

ALIHODZIC, Demir (2014) FOLK HERITAGE AS THE SOURCE OF CREATIVITY AND WRITING IN CLAUDE MCKAY’S A L ON G W A Y F R OM H OM E. In: Foreign Language Teaching and Applied Linguistics, May, Sarajevo.

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Official URL: http://fltal.ibu.edu.ba/

Abstract

This paper examines the connections between folk heritage and literary creation, between folk religion and writing. How have writers named or recognized folk tradition in relation to their own writing? At what point does the writer act as a conjurer who calls up and creates literature, who transforms reality through the magical power of words? I argue that Claude McKay not only writes about his folk heritage in legitimizing ways, he writes from it. McKay’s autobiography A Long Way From Home points towards a concept of creativity that grounds itself in a complex imagination that moves between syncretic sources. In his writings, he truly recognizes the potential of folk heritage as a source of writing and innovation. Negritude poets turned to folk religion as evidence of an essential African culture, and the Harlem Renaissance writers conceived of folk culture as an indicator of authentic, albeit unsophisticated, Negro creativity. McKay, however, stands out as a rare writer who portrays folk heritage as a sign of writing itself--a writer who uses folk heritage to undercut a concept of authentic, unitary origins. McKay’s representations of folk religion act as barometers of his reaction to the class biases and political hegemony of the leading writers of the Harlem Renaissance. McKay locates within folk heritage an originary site of black literature. While he does not inscribe folk religion in his autobiography to the same degree as do other Afro-American writers, he does use a secular language of folk religion to depict the creative process of writing. Keywords: Claude McKay, folk heritage, creativity, writing, Afro-American literature.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Subjects: P Language and Literature > PE English
Divisions: J-FLTAL
Depositing User: Mrs. Emina Mekic
Date Deposited: 22 Nov 2016 15:15
Last Modified: 22 Nov 2016 15:15
URI: http://eprints.ibu.edu.ba/id/eprint/3396

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