Studium anglistiky na KAA UPOL

McKay, Claude. (1889 - 1948).

L i f e

- born in Jamaica x but: lived in England, Japan, and US

W o r k

P o e t r y :

Songs of Jamaica (1912):

- a collection of rural poems in an authentic local Jamaican dialect

- a romantic glorification of the soil and the black race

Constab Ballads (1912):

- a collection of poems in an authentic local dialect

- his own experience as a policeman: city = the symbol of evil, social and moral decay, and racial tensions

Spring in New Hampshire (1920):

- published in London when he lived in England

Harlem Shadows (1922):

- published by a national publisher

- a conventional form x but: themes of racial pride, social protest, and occasionally militancy

- the ‘revolutionary sonnets’: “If We Must Die”

F i c t i o n :

Home to Harlem (1928):

- a novel concerned with street life in Harlem

- contains frank depictions of sexuality and night life

> criticised by W.E.B. DuBois who preferred socially conscious writing fighting for the Afro-American cause


"Although she feeds me bread of bitterness, / And sinks into my throat her tiger’s tooth, / Stealing my breath of life, I will confess / I love this cultured hell that tests my youth"!

From "America".


(Photo: Uta edu).

  • Author

    Claude McKay. (1889 - 1948). Jamaican.
  • Work

    Poet. Novelist. Short story writer. Writer of the Harlem Renaissance.
  • Genre

    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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