Playing in the Dark
The Nobel Prize-winning author now gives us a learned, stylish, and immensely persuasive work of literary criticism that promises to change the way we read American literature even as it opens a new chapter in the American dialogue on race.
Toni Morrison's brilliant discussions of the "Africanist" presence in the fiction of Poe, Melville, Cather, and Hemingway leads to a dramatic reappraisal of the essential characteristics of our literary tradition. She shows how much the themes of freedom and individualism, manhood and innocence, depended on the existence of a black population that was manifestly unfree--and that came to serve white authors as embodiments of their own fears and desires.
Written with the artistic vision that has earned Toni Morrison a pre-eminent 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.
"By going for the American literary jugular...she places her arguments...at the very heart of contemporary public conversation about what it is to be authentically and originally American. [She] boldly...reimagines and remaps the possibility of America."
"Toni Morrison is the closest thing the country has to a national writer."
The New York Times Book Review
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LibraryThing ReviewUser Review - bell7 - LibraryThing
Three essays on that originated as Toni Morrison's William E. Massey, Sr., Lectures given at Harvard are here in written form, exploring the way in which an "Africanist" persona is contrasted with ... Read full review
LibraryThing ReviewUser Review - dchaikin - LibraryThing
80. Playing in the Dark : Whiteness and the Literary Imagination by Toni Morrison 1992, 100 page hardcover read Dec 9-12 These essays are work but also enlightening if you can manage to fight your way ... Read full review