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Zeitschrift für Anglistik und Amerikanistik

A Quarterly of Language, Literature and Culture

[Journal of English and American Studies]

Ed. by Butter, Michael / Eckstein, Lars / Frenk, Joachim / Georgi-Findlay, Brigitte / Herbst, Thomas / Korte, Barbara / Leypoldt, Günter / Reinfandt, Christoph / Stefanowitsch, Anatol

CiteScore 2017: 0.07

SCImago Journal Rank (SJR) 2017: 0.123
Source Normalized Impact per Paper (SNIP) 2017: 0.323

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Volume 54, Issue 1


Performing Jazz, Defying Essence: Music as a Metaphor of Being in Jackie Kay’s Trumpet

Lars Eckstein
Published Online: 2014-04-15 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/zaa-2006-0107


The cultural validity of jazz has been evaluated very differently by various critical camps. Some voices try to essentialise jazz by either claiming it as a specifically African American tradition dominated by black, and mostly male musicians, or, alternatively, by explicitly limiting its cultural functionality to the black diaspora. Other voices, in contrast, insist on the hybrid genealogy and dialogic openness of jazz as a form of art that inherently defies boundaries of gender and race. Jackie Kay’s novel Trumpet fully subscribes to the latter opinion. Revolving around the jazz musician Joss Moody, Trumpet not only takes up jazz as a core theme but also refers to jazz-aesthetic principles and performative arrangements in its narrative design. Most importantly, however, Trumpet uses jazz as a metaphor of being, as a model of identity formation that privileges a performative approach to the social and biological constraints of gender and race

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Published Online: 2014-04-15

Published in Print: 2006-01-01

Citation Information: Zeitschrift für Anglistik und Amerikanistik, Volume 54, Issue 1, Pages 51–63, ISSN (Online) 2196-4726, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/zaa-2006-0107.

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© 2014 by Walter de Gruyter Berlin/Boston.Get Permission

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