Studium anglistiky na KAA UPOL

Chesnutt, Charles Waddell. (1858 - 1932).

W o r k

- supported by William Dean Howells, received favourable reviews in his Atlantic Monthly, and found a large readership also by white audience

- concerned not with slavery x but: the status of Afro-Americans in the post-Civil War America

- the Reconstruction period: "one drop rule" (people with any African ancestry legally considered black) > white people pressed all people with any African ancestry into one lower caste

- later in his life a political and social activist: served in the committee of NAACP, worked with W.E.B. DuBois and Booker T. Washington, and contributed to NAACP's official magazine The Crisis 

(NAACP = National Association for the Advancement of Colored People)

The Conjure Woman (1899):

- a collection of dialect short stories

- the central narrator Uncle Julius = a more realistic counterpart of Joel Chandler Harris’s Uncle Remus

- a knowledge of folklore

The Wife of His Youth and Other Stories of the Colour Line (1899):

- a collection of dialect short stories

- often melodramatic themes of racial tensions (“The Wife of His Youth”)

The Marrow of Tradition (1901):

- a novel contrasting the liberal x radical attitudes of Afro-Americans toward their lynching in a small town

- Afro-American problems during the Reconstruction: assimilation, mixing of racial groups, lynching and racial prejudice

Frederick Douglass (1899):

- Douglass's biography


"Looking down the vista of time I see an epoch in our nation's history, not in my time or yours, but in the not distant future, when there shall be in the United States but one people, moulded by the same culture, swayed by the same patriotic ideals, holding their citizenship in such high esteem that for another to share it is of itself to entitle him to fraternal regard; when men will be esteemed and honored for their character and talents".

From "Race Prejudice; Its Causes and Its Cure" (1905).


(Chesnutt in 1898. Source: Wikimedia Commons).

  • Author

    Charles Waddell Chesnutt. (1858 - 1932). African-American.
  • Work

    Novelist. Short story writer. Author of black dialect stories.
  • Genres

    Folklore. Social writing. Racial themes. 


Baym, Nina, ed. The Norton Anthology of American Literature. New York: W. W. Norton, 1995.

Bercovitch, Sacvan, ed. The Cambridge History of American  Literature. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1995.

Cunliffe, Marcus. The Literature of the United States. London: Penguin, 1991.

Lauter, Paul, ed. The Heath Anthology of American Literature. Lexington: D. C. Heath, 1994.

McQuade, Donald, gen.ed. The Harper American Literature. New York: Harper & Collins, 1996.

Ruland, Richard, Malcolm Bradbury. Od  puritanismu k postmodernismu. Praha: Mladá fronta, 1997.

Vančura, Zdeněk, ed. Slovník spisovatelů: Spojené státy americké. Praha: Odeon, 1979.


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