“Swaying to the Music of the Moon”

Gary Edward Holcomb

in Claude McKay, Code Name Sasha

Published by University Press of Florida

Published in print June 2007 | ISBN: 9780813030494
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780813039381 | DOI:
“Swaying to the Music of the Moon”

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This chapter examines Claude McKay's Romance in Marseille which is the crucial third novel of McKay's queer black Marxist trilogy. Romance in Marseille is a candid intercourse of queer black and white proletariat which unifies the projects of the three black queer revolutionary novels of McKay. This novel is a work that articulates dramatic intelligence about the character of radical fiction during the late 1920s and the early 1930s. This unpublished novel presents a gay white radical character who imparts to black workingmen and Communists of different races the emancipator power of queer anarchist possibility. This chapter discusses the significance of the sexual underworld in McKay's novel, with particular focus on the black anarchist queer nationhood that can be traced in the text wherein the socially unacceptable may pursue their passion and pleasure at the crossroads of queer brotherhood and leftist cultural work. Romance in Marseille reflects Eduoard Glissant's revision of négritude. The novel' creolization presents a voice of the postcolonial phenomenological condition of becoming a race and an emergence beyond race to culture built on the potential for revolutionary merging.

Keywords: Claude McKay; Romance in Marseille; black Marxist; revolutionary novels; queer anarchist; leftist; négritude

Chapter.  24582 words. 

Subjects: Literature

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