In the tenth episode of the Long and Short, Seamus and Mark turn to two figures of the Harlem Renaissance. Nella Larsen’s ‘Passing’ is a taut, tense and tartly stylish take on the Jamesian short story, redolent with ironies and ambiguities, and feels just as relevant today. Widely considered his masterwork, Langston Hughes’s ‘Montage of a Dream Deferred’ draws on the modernist tradition, a documentarian sensibility and the fragmentation of bebop to capture the multiplicity of Harlem voices.
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