Character jean valjean toomer his southern sojourn as

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character Jean Valjean; Toomer His southern sojourn as a school principal in Sparta, Georgia (1922) found in him the belief that he had located his ancestral roots (from Toomer's experience and influence, Sparta was popularized as an ancestral root source by many of the Harlem Renaissance intelligensia; e.g., Zora Neal Hurston and Langston Hughes both traveled there in the summer of 1927). Thus, he began to write poems, stories, and sketches, especially about southern women whose stretch towards self-
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realization forced them into conflict with American societal moral attitudes. Upon return to Washington, he repeated his efforts, this time focusing on inhibited Negroes in the North. He made friends with Waldo Frank published in the most important journals. The result, for Toomer, was a book, Cane. In 1923 Cane was published together with Waldo Frank's Holiday . Frank was a mentor for Toomer, reading much of his work before publication. Toomer edited the manuscript of and actually wrote all the dialogue in Holiday. A few "important" white people thought Cane was an extraordinary work. At a time when the best (or popular) novelists, poets, and publishers had fame not unlike the movie and rock stars of today, Waldo Frank, said, "[Cane ] is a harbinger of the South's literary maturity... And, as the initial work of a man of 27, it is a harbinger of a literary force of whose incalculable future I believe no reader of this book will be in doubt." One wonders what Hemmingway and Faulkner thought of this! Though Cane survived only two small printings (1923 and 1927) while Toomer was alive, William Stanley Braithewaite, a black critic, exclaimed "Jean Toomer, ...artist of the race, ...can write
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