Mythatypes: Signatures and Signs of African/Diaspora and Black Goddesses

Mythatypes: Signatures and Signs of African/Diaspora and Black Goddesses

Mythatypes: Signatures and Signs of African/Diaspora and Black Goddesses

Mythatypes: Signatures and Signs of African/Diaspora and Black Goddesses

Synopsis

Dr. Alexis Brooks De Vita analyzes African/Diaspora women's literary voices and images in ways which enhance and expand upon their unique--and uniquely inherited--symbols of female power. She identifies goddesses and ancestresses interacting in tales of literary heroines, reading individual stories against and within their timeless and dynamic historico-spiritual communities.

Excerpt

Mythatypes: Signatures and Signs of African/Diaspora and Black Goddesses is a work of incantation and invocation, of binding spells and ghostly presences. I use the vocabulary of bewitchment advisedly. This enchantment is not casual delight but discomfiting danger. Brooks De Vita summons a pantheon of African deities, goddesses predominantly, to illuminate a broad range of women's texts, both African American and Continental African, the latter in several languages. Wielding her potent concept of the "mythatype," she uncovers deep structures within these fictions and gives voice to the inner sympathies that exist between works written at times hundreds of years and thousands of miles apart. While some of the links recede into a distant ancestral past, Brooks De Vita's own position is self-consciously present and political. She fearlessly takes on current theoretical shibboleths and sacred cows, refusing to call a power imbalance that is nowhere near being righted "post colonial," choosing instead the more activist "decolonialist:" For all its theoretical and scholarly underpinnings, Mythatypes: Signatures and Signs of African/Diaspora and Black Goddesses is more than theory or scholarship. Brooks De Vita herself "cuts the border" between analysis -- with a very sharp knife -- and mythopoiesis. Like the Sibyl, she makes of her interleaved texts oracles and words of power.

Ralph J. Hexter

Professor of Classics and Comparative Literature

Dean of Arts and Humanities

University of California at Berkeley . . .

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