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Published: 17 June 2004

208 Pages | 69 halftones & 3 line illus.

6-1/8 x 9-1/4 inches

ISBN: 9780195161946

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Bookseller Code (06)

Playing the Races

Ethnic Caricature and American Literary Realism

Henry B. Wonham

Why did so many of the writers who aligned themselves with the social and aesthetic aims of late nineteenth-century American literary realism rely on stock conventions of ethnic caricature in their treatment of immigrant and African-American figures? Playing the Races argues that literary realism and ethnic caricature, two dramatically different aesthetic programs that flourished side by side in periodicals of the era, operated less as antithetical choices than as complementary impulses, both of which received full play within late nineteenth-century America's most demanding literary and graphic works.

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