The Journals of Charles W. Chesnutt
Born on the eve of the Civil War, Charles W. Chesnutt grew up in Fayetteville, North Carolina, a county seat of four or five thousand people, a once-bustling commercial center slipping into postwar decline. Poor, black, and determined to outstrip his modest beginnings and forlorn surroundings, Chesnutt kept a detailed record of his thoughts, observations, and activities from his sixteenth through his twenty-fourth year (1874-1882). These journals, printed here for the first time, are remarkable for their intimate account of a gifted young black man's dawning sense of himself as a writer in the nineteenth century.
Though he achieved literary success in his time, Chesnutt has only recently been rediscovered and his contribution to American literature given its due. The only known private diary from a nineteenth-century African American author, these pages offer a fascinating glimpse into Chesnutt's everyday experience as he struggled to win the goods of education in the world of the post-Civil War South. An extraordinary portrait of the self-made man beset by the urgencies and difficulties of self-improvement in a racially discriminatory society, Chesnutt's journals unfold a richly detailed local history of postwar North Carolina. They also show with great force how the world of the postwar South obstructed--and, unexpectedly, assisted--a black man of driving intellectual ambitions.
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theses in the middle of the sentence ( 4 ) Bring it to a full and perfect close — The importance of an ideas is measured by men in proportion to the capacity of their own minds.21 An insignificant thought fills the mind of an ignorant ...
One is the pursuit of pleasure ; the other is mental activity , constant employment of the mind and purpose toward some good end , -culture , mental , or spiritual . Neither my tastes nor habits incline me to seek mere animal enjoyment ...
that distrust of religion ; that disbelief in virtue ; that disposition to look on the dark side of the world and of humanity ; and then those seductive forms in which vice presents itself to the mind as real pleasure ; —these forms of ...
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Chesnutt's journals (1871-82) give the reader a vivid view of what an educated black man endured in a racially discriminatory society. The journals reveal an iron will intent on self-improvement ... Прочитајте целу рецензију