A Gift of the Spirit: Reading the Souls of Black Folk

A Gift of the Spirit: Reading the Souls of Black Folk

by Eugene Victor Wolfenstein
     
 

ISBN-10: 0801473535

ISBN-13: 9780801473531

Pub. Date: 04/28/2007

Publisher: Cornell University Press

In A Gift of the Spirit, Eugene Victor Wolfenstein offers a reading of W. E. B. Du Bois's The Souls of Black Folk aimed at demonstrating its organic unity and coherence. He takes as his interpretive key the experience of the color line with which Du Bois's narrative begins—the incident from his youth in which a white girl refused his offer of a visiting card.

Overview

In A Gift of the Spirit, Eugene Victor Wolfenstein offers a reading of W. E. B. Du Bois's The Souls of Black Folk aimed at demonstrating its organic unity and coherence. He takes as his interpretive key the experience of the color line with which Du Bois's narrative begins—the incident from his youth in which a white girl refused his offer of a visiting card. Wolfenstein contends that this instance of misrecognition makes visible an aesthetic and affective configuration involving insult and injury, both racial and personal; anger as the immediate response to the humiliating wound; and, when that anger is suppressed, a melancholy retreat from the site of injury. As Wolfenstein reconstructs it, Souls tells the story of Du Bois's twofold approach to waging the battle for recognition: proud and disciplined resistance to the impositions and injustices of white supremacy; and the development of an intellectual station above the field of battle, where it could be surveyed from on high.With its serious and respectful approach to this canonical work in African American social theory, A Gift of the Spirit is a fitting tribute to the enduring relevance of Du Bois's singular achievement.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780801473531
Publisher:
Cornell University Press
Publication date:
04/28/2007
Series:
Psychoanalysis and Social Theory Series
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
192
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x (d)

Table of Contents


Preface     ix
Setting the Stage     1
Through a Glass Darkly     18
"Be Your Own Father"     27
Humani Nihil A Me Alienum Puto     38
Go Down, Moses     48
Betrayals     52
Vindicating Enlightenment     61
In the Shadows of Slavery     83
The Religious Ties That Bind     94
My Home Is Over Jordan     101
So Many Rivers to Cross     104
The Wayfarer     127
Consolation     135
Notes     147
References     161
Index     167

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