Balditsyn P.V. Stylistic Innovations in Jean Toomer’s Short Stories
The article studies several stories and lyrical sketches by Jean Toomer. The focus is on the selection of short stories “Cane” (1923). In his works Toomer largely exploits lyrical genres and folk songs – forced leitmotives, rich imagery, reiterations, metaphor and comparison, symbol and metonymy, inversion, ellipsis and oxymoron; various discursive forms and practices – verses and prose, informative and poetical, personal and collective speech. All of this is squeezed into very short stories which look like musical pieces, songs or blues.
Meanwhile, the stories in “Cane” have all elements of epic narration – the author vividly portrays his characters, puts their real-life stories in a historic context, and shows how they survive in a society full of sins and vices.