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This chapter shows how jazz was pivotal in the reconfiguration of boundaries between high and low culture. After being banned by the Nazis during the war, jazz was associated with resistance and subversion and widely celebrated following liberation. Although jazz remained politically and artistically significant, it also ignited a fierce debate. The French felt they had to choose between two types of jazz, traditional New Orleans jazz or the more transient bebop, and the choice became a major symbolic issue. The practice of New Orleans jazz, considered by many as the “authentic” form, was aesthetically opposed to fast tempo bebop and its their intellectual leanings, and further complicated by French ambivalence toward the United States. The chapter also compares jazz to classical music and describes how jazz influenced popular music, literature, and film.

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