Writing the Subject: Bildung and the African American Text

By Gunilla Theander Kester | Go to book overview

NOTES
1
In describing the young black women who come from Mobile, Aiken, Meridian Toni Morrison writes in The Bluest Eye: "They go to land-grant colleges, normal schools, and learn how to do the white man's work with refinement: home economics to prepare his food; teacher education to instruct black children in obedience; music to soothe the weary master and entertain his blunted soul. Here they learn the rest of the lesson begun in those soft houses with porch swings and pots of bleeding heart: how to behave. The careful development of thrift, patience, high morals, and good manners. In short, how to get rid of the funkiness. The dreadful funkiness of passion, the funkiness of nature, the funkiness of the wide range of human emotions" (68).
2
Robert William Fogel and Stanley L. Engerman convincingly describe the profitable nature of slavery in Time on the Cross ( New York: Norton, 1974).
3
The intricate issue of the parallel between the whip-scarred text on Dessa's body and the white male text that reduces Dessa to a "Darky" has been poignantly discussed by Mae Gwendolyn Henderson in "Speaking in Tongues: Dialogics, Dialectics, and the Black Woman Writer's Literary Tradition," Changing our own Words: Essays on Criticism, Theory, and Writing by Black Women ed. Cheryl A. Wall ( New Brunswick: Rutgers UP, 1989) 16-37; and Deborah E. McDowell, "Negotiating between Tenses: Witnessing Slavery after Freedom--Dessa Rose," Slavery and the Literary Imagination, ed. Deborah E. McDowell and Arnold Rampersad ( Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins UP, 1989) 144-163.
4
In the suggestive name Arcopolis Williams brings together many meanings in the Greek, such as the various Greek prefixes Arko- (to be enough, to suffice), Arceo- (1. to ward off; 2. to assist, aid, be of use, be strong), Arche- (prefix from Archo; also meaning

-135-

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Writing the Subject: Bildung and the African American Text
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Acknowledgments vii
  • Contents ix
  • Introduction 1
  • Notes 20
  • 1 - The African American Double Subject: Ralph Ellison's Invisible Man 21
  • Notes 41
  • 2 - A Double Heritage: Invisible Man, Wilhelm Meister and Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass 45
  • Notes 71
  • Notes 100
  • 4 - The Rhetoric of Freedom in Charles Johnson's Oxherding Tale and Sherley Anne Williams' Dessa Rose. 107
  • Notes 135
  • Conclusion REpresentation/PREsentation: Writing the Subject 137
  • Notes 150
  • SELECTED BIBLIOGRAPHY 151
  • Index 171
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