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In this visionary book, Murray takes an audacious new look at black music and, in the process, succeeds in changing the way one reads literature. Murray's subject is the previously unacknowledged kinship between fiction and the blues. Both, he argues, are virtuoso performances that impart information, wisdom, and moral guidance to their audiences; both place a high value on improvisation; and both fiction and the blues create a delicate balance between the holy and the obscene, essential human values and cosmic absurdity.
Encompassing artists from Ernest Hemingway to Duke Ellington, and from Thomas Mann to Richard Wright, The Hero and the Blues pays homage to a new black aesthetic.
1. The Social Function of the Story Teller
2. The Dynamics of Heroic Action
3. The Blues and the Fable in the Flesh