By Zeese Papanikolas
Just as ragtime composers subverted musical expectancies by means of combining ecu march timing with African syncopation, so this book's protagonists—who diversity from Emily Dickinson to Thorstein Veblen and from Henry and William James to Charles Mingus—interrogated the trendy American global via their very own "syncopations" of cultural givens. The previous antebellum slave dance, the cakewalk, with its parody of the manners and pretensions of the white parents within the great residence, offers a template of the way the tricksters, shamans, poets, philosophers, ragtime pianists, and jazz musicians who inhabit this publication used the humanities of parody, satire, and cover to subvert American cultural norms and to create new works of miraculous good looks and highbrow vigor.
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An American Cakewalk: Ten Syncopators of the Modern World by Zeese Papanikolas