Voices of Persuasion

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Cambridge University Press, Jun 11, 2009 - Literary Criticism - 192 pages
In this innovative study, Michael Staub recasts 1930s cultural history by analysing those genres so characteristic of the Depression era: Staub argues that several thirties writers - precisely because of their encounters with disinherited peoples - anticipated the dilemmas poststructuralist theory would identify; an awareness of the ambiguousness of historical truth, and the impossibility of representing reality without being complicit in its distortion. New interpretations of such canonised authors as James Agee, John Dos Passos, Zora Neale Hurston, John G. Neihardt and Tille Olsen are coupled with critical discussions of previously little-known works of ethnography, journalism, oral history and polemical fiction. This book will interest all who are concerned with the problematic relationship between representation and social reality and their mutual inextricability.
 

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Contents

1 Spoken Testimony Unwritten History
1
You Wont Hear It Nicely
20
Telling Native American History
54
Talking Black Talking Back
79
Giving the People Voice
110
Notes
141
Bibliography
160
Index
171
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