David Yaffe analyzes the relationship between American literature and jazz in this tome made to order for the English majors (or ex-English majors) out there. This short book is rich with trenchant literary analysis but a bit short on narrative thrust, as befits such a highbrow project. Discussing the connection between these two remarkable and vibrant artforms is much less interesting than actually experiencing either one, unless of course you’re an English professor, like Yaffe himself. Few of us would prefer reading about the relationship between Norman Mailer’s fiction and Thelonious Monk’s music to reading the former or hearing the latter.
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