Joel Chandler Harris

Easton Press Joel Chandler Harris books

Uncle Remus - 1981

Franklin Library Joel Chandler Harris books

Uncle Remus - Collected Stories of the World's Greatest Writers - 1979
Uncle Remus - World's Best Loved Books - 1982
Uncle Remus - 100 Greatest Masterpieces of American Literature - 1984

Writer Joel Chandler Harris

Joel Chandler Harris was an American journalist, fiction writer, and folklorist, best known for his creation of the Uncle Remus stories. Born on December 9, 1848, in Eatonton, Georgia, Harris would go on to become a prominent figure in Southern literature and folklore. Growing up in the South during the antebellum and post-Civil War eras, Harris experienced firsthand the rich oral traditions and dialects of African American slaves. These experiences greatly influenced his later work as a writer. At the age of 14, Harris began working for a newspaper, setting the stage for his future career in journalism.

In 1876, Joel Chandler Harris took a position with the Atlanta Constitution, where he gained popularity for his humorous and dialect-laden sketches. However, it was his creation of the Uncle Remus stories that would secure his place in literary history. The character of Uncle Remus, an elderly African American storyteller, became the central figure in a collection of animal fables and folktales that Harris adapted from African American folklore. The first collection, titled Uncle Remus: His Songs and Sayings, was published in 1880 and was followed by several more volumes, including Nights with Uncle Remus (1883) and Daddy Jake, the Runaway (1889). These stories, featuring animal characters like Br'er Rabbit, Br'er Fox, and Br'er Bear, became immensely popular and were praised for their authentic representation of Southern dialects and folk traditions. Despite criticism for perpetuating racial stereotypes, Harris maintained that his intention was to preserve and celebrate the unique cultural heritage of the Southern black community. The Uncle Remus stories were translated into multiple languages, adapted into various forms, and enjoyed international success.

Joel Chandler Harris continued his work at the Atlanta Constitution until his retirement in 1900, but his influence as a folklorist and writer persisted. He also wrote novels and other works, including On the Plantation: A Story of a Georgia Boy's Adventures During the War (1892) and Gabriel Tolliver: A Story of Reconstruction (1902). Joel Chandler Harris passed away on July 3, 1908, leaving behind a literary legacy that includes both his contributions to Southern literature and his efforts to preserve the folk traditions of the African American community in the post-Civil War South. The Uncle Remus stories remain an integral part of American folklore, though they are also viewed through a critical lens in the context of evolving cultural attitudes.

Uncle Remus - His Songs and His Sayings

Uncle Remus by Joel Chandler Harris is a collection of animal stories, songs, and oral folklore, collected from southern African-Americans. Many of the stories are didactic, much like those of Aesop's Fables and Jean de La Fontaine's stories. Uncle Remus is a kindly old former slave who serves as a storytelling device, passing on the folktales to children gathered around him. The stories are written in an eye dialect devised by Harris to represent a Deep South Gullah dialect. The genre of stories is the trickster tale. At the time of Harris's publication, his work was praised for its ability to capture plantation Negro dialect. Br'er Rabbit ("Brother Rabbit") is the main character of the stories, a likable character, prone to tricks and trouble-making, who is often opposed by Br'er Fox and Br'er Bear. In one tale, Br'er Fox constructs a lump of tar and puts clothing on it. When Br'er Rabbit comes along, he addresses the "tar baby" amiably but receives no response. Br'er Rabbit becomes offended by what he perceives as Tar Baby's lack of manners, punches it, and becomes stuck. Joel Chandler Harris was an American journalist, fiction writer, and folklorist best known for his collection of Uncle Remus stories. Harris was born in Eatonton, Georgia, where he served as an apprentice on a plantation during his teenage years. He spent the majority of his adult life in Atlanta working as an associate editor at the Atlanta Constitution.

“You can't run away from trouble. Ain't no place that far.” - Uncle Remus, Joel Chandler Harris' Uncle Remus is a collection of African-American stories, songs and oral folklore collected by Joel Chandler Harris. Uncle Remus is a fictional storyteller who shares stories about Br'er Rabbit, a trickster who is often opposed by Br'er Fox and Br'er Bear. Uncle Remus was adapted in the controversial Disney film, The Song of the South and the story characters are still feature in the Disney ride, Splash Mountain.

Bearing a striking resemblance to Aesop of Aesop's Fables fame, American author Joel Chandler Harris' Uncle Remus is also a former slave who loves to tell simple and pithy stories. Uncle Remus or to give it its original title, Uncle Remus: His Songs and His Sayings was published in late 1880 and received instant acclaim. The book was reviewed in hundreds of journals and newspapers across the country, leading to its immense success, both critical and financial.

Uncle Remus is the fictional title character and narrator of a collection of black American folktales compiled and adapted by Joel Chandler Harris and published in book form in 1881. Harris was a journalist in post-Reconstruction Atlanta, and he produced seven Uncle Remus books. He wrote these stories to represent the struggle in the Southern United States, and more specifically in the plantations. He did so by introducing tales that he had heard and framing them in the plantation context. He wrote his stories in a dialect which represented the voice of the narrators and their subculture. For this choice of framing, his collection has encountered controversy.

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