Saturday, September 24, 2011

The Cinematic Foundations of Native Son, Pt. 2

There are only traces of Trader Horn, the movie Bigger watches w/ Jack and Doc.  We're gonna keep the pictures in our eyes.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

What Crate Digging Looks Like on Paper

Go here after you look at the picture.  You'll wish that Dr. Wald spent a bit more time posting the scans from the Defender.

The Musical Foundations of Native Son, Pt. 6

"They listened to the pipe organ. It was humming so low that it could scarcely be heard. There were times when it seemed to stop altogether; then it would surge forth again, mellow, nostalgic, sweet."

Maybe the most telling of all musical references in the book.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

The Musical Foundation of Native Son, Pt. 5

     "He sat at the table.  The odor of frying bacon and boiling coffee drifted to him from behind the curtain.  His mother's voice floated to him in song.

Life is like a mountain railroad
With an engineer that's brave
We must make the run successful
From the cradle to the grave....

     "The song irked him and he was glad when she stopped and came in the room with a pot of coffee and a plate of crinkled bacon." 

Saturday, September 3, 2011

The Musical Foundation of Native Son, Pt. 4

      "Bigger walked to the front of the store and stood looking out the plate glass window.  The, suddenly, he felt sick.  He saw Gus coming along the street. And his muscles stiffened.  He was going to do something to Gus; just hat, he didn't know.  As Gus neared him he heard him whistling: 'The Merry Go Round Broke Down....'
     "'Hi, Bigger,' Gus said.
      "Bigger did not answer. Gus passed him and started toward the rear tables.  Bigger whirled and kicked him hard."

Friday, September 2, 2011

The Musical Foundations of Native Son, Pt. 3

Noiselessly, he went up the steps and inserted his key in the lock; the door swung in silently and he heard his mother singing behind the curtain.

Lord, I want to be a Christian,
In my heart, in my heart,
Lord, I want to be a Christian
In my heart, in my heart....

He tiptoed into the room and lifted the top matress of his bed and pulled forth the gun and slipped it inside his shirt.  Just as he was about to open the door his mother paused in her singing.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

The Musical Foundation of Native Son, Pt. 2

     "Say, Jan, do you know many negroes?  I want to meet some."
     "I don't know any very well.  But you'll meet them when you're in the party."
     "The have so much emotion!  What a people!  If we could ever get them going..."
     "We can't have a revolution without 'em," Jan said.  "They've got to be organized.  They've got spirit.  They'll give the party something it needs."
     "And their songs -- the spirituals!  Aren't they marvelous?"  Bigger saw her turn to him."Say, Bigger, can't you sing?"
     "I can't sing," he said.
     "Aw Bigger," she said, pouting.  She tilted her head, closed her eye and opened her mouth.

"Swing low, sweet chariot,
Coming for to carry me home . . . . "

     Jan joined in and Bigger smiled derisively.  Hell, that ain't the tune, he thought.
     "C'mon, Bigger, and help us sing it," Jan said.
     "I can't sing," he said again.
     They were silent.  The car purred along.