The American Novel Since 1945 (ENGL 291)
Professor Hungerford draws a contrast between Toni Morrison and most of the writers studied up to this point in the course by pointing out how, for an African-American woman writer in particular, language is a site of violence. For all of her power to recuperate the voices of the oppressed, the novelist must be wary of the ways that breaking the silence, too, can constitute an act of invasion. As in the case of Pynchon, the word in The Bluest Eye enacts a near-physical touch; this is its pleasure and its danger. With inimitable complexity and grace, Morrison weaves her narrative around a young black girl who, in the void of her social persona, constructs a beautiful and poisonous fiction.
00:00 - Chapter 1. Morrison's Politics: The Other Side of the 1960s
07:16 - Chapter 2. Choosing a Form: Morrison's Use of the Novel
16:40 - Chapter 3. Complicated Sympathy: Cholly Breedlove
31:15 - Chapter 4. Negativities: The Other Engine of Narrative
42:56 - Chapter 5. Reading, Rape and Race: Poison in the Canon
Complete course materials are available at the Open Yale Courses website: http://open.yale.edu/courses
This course was recorded in Spring 2008.
Tagged under: alienation,freedom,negativity,opacity,poison,rape,safety,silence,sociology,sympathy,touch,voice,white,aesthetic
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