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Playing in the Dark: Whiteness and the Literary Imagination (William E. Massey, Sr. Lectures in the History of American Civilization)

by

Playing in the Dark: Whiteness and the Literary Imagination (William E. Massey, Sr. Lectures in the History of American Civilization) Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist Toni Morrison brings the genius of a master writer to this personal inquiry into the significance of African-Americans in the American literary imagination. Her goal, she states at the outset, is to "put forth an argument for extending the study of American literature...draw a map, so to speak, of a critical geography and use that map to open as much space for discovery, intellectual adventure, and close exploration as did the original charting of the New World--without the mandate for conquest."

Author of Beloved, The Bluest Eye, Song of Solomon, and other vivid portrayals of black American experience, Morrison ponders the effect that living in a historically racialized society has had on American writing in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. She argues that race has become a metaphor, a way of referring to forces, events, and forms of social decay, economic division, and human panic. Her compelling point is that the central characteristics of American literature individualism, masculinity, the insistence upon innocence coupled to an obsession with figurations of death and hell--are responses to a dark and abiding Africanist presence.

Through her investigation of black characters, narrative strategies, and idiom in the fiction of white American writers, Morrison provides a daring perspective that is sure to alter conventional notions about American literature. She considers Willa Cather and the impact of race on concept and plot; turns to Poe, Hawthorne, and Melville to examine the black force that figures so significantly in the literature of early America; and discusses the implications of the Africanist presence at the heart of Huckleberry Finn. A final chapter on Ernest Hemingway is a brilliant exposition of the racial subtext that glimmers beneath the surface plots of his fiction.

Written with the artistic vision that has earned her a preeminent place in modern letters, Playing in the Dark will be avidly read by Morrison admirers as well as by students, critics, and scholars of American literature.

Synopsis:

Morrison brings the genius of a master writer to this personal inquiry into the significance of African-Americans in the American literary imagination. Through her investigation of black characters, narrative strategies, and idiom in the fiction of white American writers, Morrison provides a daring perspective that is sure to alter conventional notions about American literature.

Synopsis:

Toni Morrison is Winner of the 1993 Nobel Prize in Literature

Toni Morrison is a 2000 National Humanities Medal Winner

Synopsis:

Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist Toni Morrison brings the genius of a master writer to this personal inquiry into the significance of African-Americans in the American literary imagination. Hergoal, she states at the outset, is to "put forth an argument for extending the study of American literature...draw a map, so to speak, of a critical geography and use that map to open as much space for discovery, intellectual adventure,and close exploration as did the original charting of the New World--without the mandate for conquest."

Author of Beloved, The BluestEye, Song of Solomon, and other vivid portrayals of black American experience, Morrison ponders the effect that living in a historically racialized society has had on American writingin the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. She argues that race has become a metaphor, a way of referring to forces, events, and forms of social decay, economic division, and human panic. Her compelling point is that the centralcharacteristics of American literature individualism, masculinity, the insistence upon innocence coupled to an obsession with figurations of death and hell--are responses to a dark and abiding Africanist presence.

Through her investigation of black characters, narrative strategies, and idiom in the fiction of white American writers, Morrison provides a daring perspective that is sure to alter conventionalnotions about American literature. She considers Willa Cather and the impact of race on concept and plot; turns to Poe, Hawthorne, and Melville to examine the black force that figures so significantly in the literature of early America;and discusses the implications of the Africanist presence at the heart of Huckleberry Finn. A final chapter on Ernest Hemingway is a brilliant exposition of the racial subtext that glimmers beneath the surface plots of his fiction.

Written with the artistic vision that has earned her a preeminent place in modern letters, Playing in the Darkwill be avidly read by Morrison admirers as well as bystudents, critics, and scholars of American literature.

About the Author

Toni Morrison is Robert F. Goheen Professor in the Council of the Humanities at Princeton University.

Table of Contents

1. black matters

2. romancing the shadow

3. disturbing nurses and the kindness of sharks

Product Details

ISBN:
9780674673779
Author:
Morrison, Toni
Publisher:
Harvard University Press
Location:
Cambridge, Mass. :
Subject:
American - General
Subject:
History & Criticism *
Subject:
History and criticism
Subject:
American literature
Subject:
Afro-americans in literature
Subject:
Race in literature
Subject:
Blacks in literature
Subject:
Whites in literature.
Subject:
Littâerature amâericaine
Subject:
African Americans in literature
Subject:
Negros en la literatura
Subject:
General Literary Criticism & Collections
Subject:
Noirs amâericains dans la littâerature
Subject:
Noirs dans la littâerature
Subject:
Human skin color in literature
Subject:
White in literature
Subject:
Afro americanos en la literatura
Subject:
Raza en la literatura
Subject:
Race dans la littâerature
Subject:
African-American & Black
Subject:
Literary Criticism : General
Subject:
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Ethnic Studies/African-American Studies
Subject:
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Discrimination & Race Relations
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Includes bibliographical references.
Series:
William E. Massey, Sr. Lectures in the History of American Civilization
Series Volume:
1992
Publication Date:
May 1992
Binding:
HARDCOVER
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Illustrations:
None
Pages:
110
Dimensions:
8 x 6 in 10 oz

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Related Subjects

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Science and Mathematics » Environmental Studies » General

Playing in the Dark: Whiteness and the Literary Imagination (William E. Massey, Sr. Lectures in the History of American Civilization) Used Hardcover
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Product details 110 pages Harvard University Press - English 9780674673779 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , Morrison brings the genius of a master writer to this personal inquiry into the significance of African-Americans in the American literary imagination. Through her investigation of black characters, narrative strategies, and idiom in the fiction of white American writers, Morrison provides a daring perspective that is sure to alter conventional notions about American literature.
"Synopsis" by , Toni Morrison is Winner of the 1993 Nobel Prize in Literature

Toni Morrison is a 2000 National Humanities Medal Winner

"Synopsis" by , Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist Toni Morrison brings the genius of a master writer to this personal inquiry into the significance of African-Americans in the American literary imagination. Hergoal, she states at the outset, is to "put forth an argument for extending the study of American literature...draw a map, so to speak, of a critical geography and use that map to open as much space for discovery, intellectual adventure,and close exploration as did the original charting of the New World--without the mandate for conquest."

Author of Beloved, The BluestEye, Song of Solomon, and other vivid portrayals of black American experience, Morrison ponders the effect that living in a historically racialized society has had on American writingin the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. She argues that race has become a metaphor, a way of referring to forces, events, and forms of social decay, economic division, and human panic. Her compelling point is that the centralcharacteristics of American literature individualism, masculinity, the insistence upon innocence coupled to an obsession with figurations of death and hell--are responses to a dark and abiding Africanist presence.

Through her investigation of black characters, narrative strategies, and idiom in the fiction of white American writers, Morrison provides a daring perspective that is sure to alter conventionalnotions about American literature. She considers Willa Cather and the impact of race on concept and plot; turns to Poe, Hawthorne, and Melville to examine the black force that figures so significantly in the literature of early America;and discusses the implications of the Africanist presence at the heart of Huckleberry Finn. A final chapter on Ernest Hemingway is a brilliant exposition of the racial subtext that glimmers beneath the surface plots of his fiction.

Written with the artistic vision that has earned her a preeminent place in modern letters, Playing in the Darkwill be avidly read by Morrison admirers as well as bystudents, critics, and scholars of American literature.

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