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 The outdated antebellum slave dance, the cakewalk, with its parody of the manners and pretensions of the white fogeys within the gigantic residence, presents a template of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