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Ishmael Reed

Autor(a) de Mumbo Jumbo

65+ Works 3,445 Membros 39 Reviews 14 Favorited

About the Author

Poet and novelist Ismael Reed was born in Chattanooga, Tennessee, on February 22, 1938 and grew up in Buffalo, New York. After attending the State University of New York at Buffalo, he moved to New York City, where he became a co-founder of the East Village Other, a journal of experimental writing. mostrar mais From New York, he moved to Berkeley, California, and started the Yardbird Publishing Company. Reed's fiction draws upon myth, magic, and ritual to produce a literature that attempts to be larger than life. He has been called an ironist, whose explorations of United States history in general and African American history in particular reveal deep scars in the culture that no amount of technology can heal. Reed tries to incorporate multimedia and nonlinear techniques into his writing style. He has defended his eclectic techniques with spirit, however: "Many people call my fiction muddled, crazy, incoherent because I've attempted in fiction the techniques and forms painters, dancers, film makers, musicians in the West have taken for granted for at least 50 years, and the artists of many other cultures, for thousands of years." His other published books include: six collections of poetry, including: New and Collected Poems, 1964-2007; eight collections of essays, most recently Barack Obama and the Jim Crow Media: The Return of the Nigger Breakers (2010); Gethsemane Park; The Reed Reader (2000); Blues City: A Walk in Oakland (2003); and six plays, collected by Dalkey Archive Press as Ishmael Reed, The Plays (2009). (Bowker Author Biography) mostrar menos
Image credit: photo:michaelsimon

Obras de Ishmael Reed

Mumbo Jumbo (1972) 1,038 cópias, 13 resenhas
Flight to Canada (1976) 341 cópias, 4 resenhas
Yellow Back Radio Broke-Down (1969) 254 cópias, 2 resenhas
The Freelance Pallbearers (1968) 177 cópias, 1 resenha
The Last Days of Louisiana Red (1974) 139 cópias, 1 resenha
Japanese by Spring (1993) 133 cópias, 2 resenhas
The Terrible Twos (1982) 127 cópias, 3 resenhas
Reckless Eyeballing (1986) 106 cópias, 2 resenhas
Airing Dirty Laundry (1993) 72 cópias
The Terrible Threes (1989) 62 cópias, 3 resenhas
The Reed Reader (2000) 57 cópias
Malcolm and Me (2020) — Autor — 45 cópias, 2 resenhas
Juice! (2011) 33 cópias, 2 resenhas
New and Collected Poems, 1964-2006 (2006) 24 cópias, 1 resenha
Conjure: Selected Poems, 1963-1970 (1972) 23 cópias, 1 resenha
Chattanooga; poems (1973) 21 cópias
The Complete Muhammad Ali (2015) 18 cópias
New and Collected Poems (1988) 18 cópias
Ishmael Reed: The Plays (2009) 11 cópias
19 Necromancers From Now: An Anthology of Original American Writings for the 1970s (1970) — Editor, introduction; Autor — 11 cópias
Conjugating Hindi (2018) 10 cópias
A Secretary to the Spirits (1978) 9 cópias
Contemplación temeraria (1991) 4 cópias, 1 resenha
Quilt 1 (1981) 3 cópias
Black Hollywood Unchained (2015) 2 cópias
Yardbird Reader Volume Five (1976) 2 cópias
Y'bird (1978) 2 cópias
Ishmael Reed (1993) 2 cópias
Life Among the Aryans (2022) 2 cópias
Quilt 3 (1982) 2 cópias
Yardbird Reader, Vol. 3 1 exemplar(es)
The Slave Who Loved Caviar (2023) 1 exemplar(es)
Mambo dżambo 1 exemplar(es)
Yardbird Reader 1 exemplar(es)
Y'Bird Magazine 1 exemplar(es)

Associated Works

Up from Slavery (1901) — Introdução, algumas edições4,340 cópias, 38 resenhas
Soul on Ice (1968) — Prefácio, algumas edições1,717 cópias, 16 resenhas
Four Hundred Souls: A Community History of African America, 1619-2019 (2021) — Contribuinte — 868 cópias, 22 resenhas
Tell My Horse: Voodoo and Life in Haiti and Jamaica (1938) — Introdução, algumas edições756 cópias, 13 resenhas
The Outlaw Bible of American Poetry (1999) — Contribuinte — 601 cópias, 3 resenhas
Dark Matter: A Century of Speculative Fiction From the African Diaspora (2000) — Contribuinte — 538 cópias, 7 resenhas
The Black Poets (1983) — Contribuinte — 362 cópias, 2 resenhas
The Portable Sixties Reader (2002) — Contribuinte — 331 cópias, 2 resenhas
Breaking Ice: An Anthology of Contemporary African-American Fiction (1990) — Contribuinte — 276 cópias, 1 resenha
Fourteen Days: A Collaborative Novel (2022) — Contribuinte — 217 cópias, 9 resenhas
African American Poetry: 250 Years of Struggle and Song (2020) — Contribuinte — 179 cópias, 4 resenhas
This Is My Best: Great Writers Share Their Favorite Work (2004) — Contribuinte — 163 cópias, 3 resenhas
The Vintage Book of African American Poetry (2000) — Contribuinte — 149 cópias
Brotherman: The Odyssey of Black Men in America (1995) — Contribuinte — 91 cópias
The State of the Language [1980] (1980) — Contribuinte — 84 cópias, 3 resenhas
The Cool School: Writing from America's Hip Underground (2013) — Contribuinte — 81 cópias, 2 resenhas
The Heath Anthology of American Literature, Concise Edition (2003) — Contribuinte — 69 cópias, 1 resenha
Hokum: An Anthology of African-American Humor (2006) — Contribuinte — 66 cópias
Of Poetry and Protest: From Emmett Till to Trayvon Martin (2016) — Contribuinte — 58 cópias
Trouble the Water: 250 Years of African American Poetry (1997) — Contribuinte — 57 cópias
The Best American Poetry 2019 (2019) — Contribuinte — 57 cópias, 2 resenhas
Soulscript: Afro-American Poetry (1970) — Contribuinte — 41 cópias, 1 resenha
Black and Conservative (1966) — Introdução, algumas edições25 cópias
For Neruda, For Chile: An International Anthology (1975) — Contribuinte — 23 cópias
A Portrait of Southern Writers: Photographs (2000) — Contribuinte — 14 cópias
Cutting Edges: Young American Fiction for the 70's (1973) — Contribuinte — 9 cópias
West Coast Fiction: Modern Writing from California, Oregon, and Washington (1979) — Contribuinte — 7 cópias, 1 resenha
Race Traitor 10 (1999) — Contribuinte — 4 cópias
Resisting Arrest: Poems to Stretch the Sky (2016) — Contribuinte — 3 cópias
The Antioch Review: Volume 59, Number 2 (Spring 2001) — Contribuinte — 1 exemplar(es)
New World Journal, Vol. 1, No. 2/3 — Contribuinte — 1 exemplar(es)


Conhecimento Comum



There are reports that a strange contagion is sweeping the country, playing hide and seek with the authorities, jumping from one neighborhood to another. Some people think it’s a hoax; others are convinced it is a conspiracy to destroy Western civilization. In Mumbo Jumbo, Ishmael Reed reimagined the past (all the way back) and predicted the future.

Reed drops some clues early as to what he’s getting at. The outbreak (after a fleeting episode in the 1890s) erupts in Congo Square in 1920—not coincidentally the year Charlie Parker was born. Infections spread from New Orleans to Chicago then threaten New York. Mumbo Jumbo. The Jazz Age and the Harlem Renaissance ain’t what they seem.

The new plague is a kind of anti-plague, really, one that enlivens rather than kills its host, causing an outbreak of dancing and sensuousness, people wriggling like fish, ‘lusting after relevance,’ ebullient and ecstatic.

Even the sap in the maple trees moves nasty.

In Reed’s multifaceted presentation, black music & dance, poetry & painting—favoring spontaneity, creativity and free expression over the strictures that would shackle the human spirit—were a challenge to the aesthetic order, and a threat to Western civilization more generally. The battle between opposing aesthetics was an early-20th c. American manifestation of an ancient conflict with origins in Egypt (Sun Ra was right!), renewed in late antiquity when the Church drove the rites associated with the pagan gods underground, where they persisted. The only remedy that the Church and the forces of order thenceforward knew was to ‘beat the living shit out of them.’ The 1915 invasion of Haiti by US Marines was intended as a preemptive strike against a Vodoun invasion, and Warren Harding was pushed into the presidency by agents of a secret society determined to thwart the spread of the ass-shaking epidemic. The plan goes off the rails when Harding exposes the Holy War in Haiti and then is spotted at a rent party in Harlem, with music and dancing as cover for a ‘chitterling switch’ to raise money for an anti-lynching campaign. Harding is suspected of speaking in code to blacks (“The Negro should be the Negro and not an imitation White man”) and of hiding his Negro ancestry and thus must be eliminated as Garfield was. Meanwhile, Marcus Garvey and Black Herman are subverting the intentions of the New Negro to assume his place in the established order; the last remnants of the Knights Templar are in hot pursuit of a band of mu’tafikah that is looting museums (‘pirate dens’) in a campaign to return stolen art to its origins; and the ancient rites have resurfaced as samizdat. At their wits’ end, the agents of order are forced to fight fire with fire—publishing a literary magazine as an organ of disinformation, and concocting a plot to impoverish the country so that people cannot afford radios.

A houngan explains that outbreaks of the dancing plague occurred because the mysteries had no text to turn to. A lost liturgy was seeking its litany. The genius of black people in America, says the houngan, is that they were dumped here on their own without the Book to tell them where the spirits were or how to perform the rites to invoke them and so they made up their own. Blues. Ragtime. Jazz. Inadvertently, they preserved and advanced the Work. With Mumbo Jumbo, the Work once more finds its Word.

Remember to feed the loas.
… (mais)
1 vote
HectorSwell | outras 12 resenhas | Jun 16, 2024 |
"The Novel [...] organized systematically and formally to short-circuit an older type of social and historical interpretation which it perpetually holds out and withdraws. [...] A realism that seeks History by way of our own pop images and simulacra of that history, which itself remains forever out of reach." — Fredric Jameson

There was a moment in the late 20th century in which the pre-eminent progressive author (Reed, Doctorow, perhaps also Coover, though I’m loath / to file him in that pigeonhole) was writing bad-on-purpose novels composed entirely of plot — all fat, in the sense that the adverb is excess fat in a sentence, I maintain 'plot' functions like this in the novel — the reading of which is providing a surplus value of pleasure derived from an extra-textual (i.e. romantic political) association in easy sympathy with a heaping of Catch-22 exclamation-mark humor. The difference between this kind of writing and my sympathy with that mantra (from Shelia Heti): "I should put a lot of shit in the play," perhaps comes down to (a different) "Argument From Degree."… (mais)
Joe.Olipo | outras 12 resenhas | Jan 1, 2024 |
An ad promises Benjamin "Chappie" Puttbutt III that he will learn the language of Japanese by spring. He had started taking lessons to learn Japanese in the Air Force Academy in the mid 1960s. Only the lessons ended after he had been expelled from the Academy. In the beginning the reader has no idea why Puttbutt has been expelled, but hang on! That story is coming and it's a doozy. In present day, Puttbutt teaches English at the Jack London College. His only ambition in life is to make tenure, but he is a miserable failure. [As an aside, I can tell you that tenure is not all that it is cracked up to be.] But anyway, Puttbutt is so desperate for this recognition that he jumps on the latest support bandwagon that will further his cause, even if it means derogatory talk about his own race and culture.
Reed's tongue in cheek commentary on institutional endowments was pretty funny. A student can get away with murder because his father practically funds the entire college. Where have we seen that before? Be prepared for other snarky commentary on political hotbed topics like the LA riots and the beating of Rodney King, nationalism, racism, any ism you can think of. Speaking of racism, here is a snarky scene to ponder: a professor is exclaiming that racism has never existed on the Jack London College campus while a fraternity is having its annual "Slave Day." I was tempted to play a drinking game with the words nationalism and Yoruba.
… (mais)
SeriousGrace | 1 outra resenha | Dec 25, 2023 |
For me, the most accessible of all of Reed's novels. I love his poetry.
Mark_Feltskog | 1 outra resenha | Dec 23, 2023 |



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