- The Oxford Handbook of Critical Improvisation Studies
- Contributors to Volume 2
- Introduction: On Critical Improvisation Studies
- Improvisation Technology as Mode of Redesigning the Urban
- Lots Will Vary in the Available City
- Improvising the Future in Post-Katrina New Orleans
- Billy Connolly, Daniel Barenboim, Willie Wonka, Jazz Bastards, and the Universality of Improvisation
- A Computationally Motivated Approach to Cognition Studies in Improvisation
- A Consciousness-Based Look at Spontaneous Creativity
- In the Beginning, There Was Improvisation
- Landmarks in the Study of Improvisation: Perspectives from Ethnomusicology
- Saving Improvisation: Hummel and the Free Fantasia in the Early Nineteenth Century
- Negotiating Freedom and Control in Composition: Improvisation and Its Offshoots, 1950 to 1980
- Musical Improvisation: Play, Efficacy, and Significance
- Improvisation in Freestyle Rap
- Speaking of the I-Word
- Modernist Improvisations
- Diversity and Divergence in the Improvisational Evolution of Literary Genres
- Improvisatory Practices and the Dawn of the New American Cinema
- Brilliant Corners: Improvisation and Practices of Freedom in Sent for You Yesterday
- Improvisation in Contemporary Experimental Poetry
- Subjective Computing and Improvisation
- Improvisation and Interaction, Canons and Rules, Emergence and Play
- Imposture as Improvisation: Living Fiction
- Role-Play, Improvisation, and Emergent Authorship
- Bodies, Border, Technology: The Promise and Perils of Telematic Improvisation
- She Stuttered: Mapping the Spontaneous Middle
- Live Algorithms for Music: Can Computers Be Improvisers?
- Improvisation of the Masses: Anytime, Anywhere Mobile Music
Abstract and Keywords
“Brilliant Corners: Improvisation and Practices of Freedom” is a critique of John Edgar Wideman’s novel, Sent for You Yesterday. The chapter interrogates Wideman’s attempt to expose the limits of masculinity and racial thinking through his use of blues-idiom musical themes and jazz aesthetics in the novel. It argues that Wideman, rather than essentializing or reifying status quo conceptions of blackness and masculinity, offers through Doot, the novel’s narrator, a model of a blues idiom literary mind and body improvising within the liminal spaces of various identities, voices, and narratives. Wideman’s novel suggests that while improvisation can create various forms of freedom from shifting, dehumanizing constraints; it is also an ever-evolving, embodied practice that demands training and continual reinvention.
Walton M. Muyumba is Associate Professor of English at Indiana University.
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