Studium anglistiky na KAA UPOL

Hughes, Langston. (1902 - 1967).

L i f e

- of a complex racial origin

- underwent a series of various jobs, worked as a busboy in Washington D.C. when V. Lindsay launched his literary career by publicising him in local papers

- supported himself after college by conducting a reading tour, travelled the US, Russia, China, and Japan, and asked to participate in a film to be shot in Russia x but: the film never made

W o r k

- the 1st Afro-American to achieve an international reputation

- a versatile personality: a poet, novelist, short story writer, playwright, essayist, editor of Afro-American anthologies, author of autobiography, biographies, histories, journalistic writing, and translations

- also wrote librettos, film scripts, songs, and children’s books

- drew on folk songs, folktales, and the rhythms of blues and jazz

- introduced the ‘Blues Stanza’ = any number of stanzas rhymed AAa BBb, includes a lot of improvisation on the theme of hard life, in the tradition of lamenting and complaining: problematic relationships, alcohol, drugs, etc.

P o e t r y :

The Weary Blues (1926):

- a collection of poems celebrating the black culture and jazz music

P r o s e :

Not Without Laughter (1930):

- a novel on the everyday Afro-American life

The Ways of White Folks (1934):

- a collection of short stories

‘The Simple Series’: 

Simple Speaks His Mind (1950), Simple Takes a Wife (1952), and The Best of Simple (1961)

- his major work, a series of character vignettes and sketches for a journal

- the central character = the humorous and street-wise Harlem worker Jesse B. Simple

 - comments on contemporary issues, and communicates his opinions to an educated black narrator

I Wonder as I Wander (1956):

- an autobiographical account of his childhood and travels

D r a m a :

Mulatto (1935):

- a successful play performed on Broadway


(Photo: Britannica).

  • Author

    Langston Hughes. (1902 - 1967). African-American.
  • Work

    Novelist. Short story writer. Poet. Playwright. Figure of the Harlem Renaissance.
  • Genres

    Blues poetry. Afro-American topics.


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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