A Historical Guide to Ralph Ellison / Edition 1

A Historical Guide to Ralph Ellison / Edition 1

by Steven C. Tracy
     
 

Ralph Ellison has been a controversial figure, both lionized and vilified, since he seemed to burst onto the national literary scene in 1952 with the publication of Invisible Man. In this volume Steven C. Tracy has gathered a broad range of critics who look not only at Ellison's seminal novel but also at the fiction and nonfiction work that both preceded and

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Overview

Ralph Ellison has been a controversial figure, both lionized and vilified, since he seemed to burst onto the national literary scene in 1952 with the publication of Invisible Man. In this volume Steven C. Tracy has gathered a broad range of critics who look not only at Ellison's seminal novel but also at the fiction and nonfiction work that both preceded and followed it, focusing on important historical and cultural influences that help contextualize Ellison's thematic concerns and artistic aesthetic. These essays, all previously unpublished, explore how Ellison's various apprenticeships—in politics as a Black radical; in music as an admirer and practitioner of European, American, and African-American music; and in literature as heir to his realist, naturalist, and modernist forebears—affected his mature literary productions, including his own careful molding of his literary reputation. They present us with a man negotiating the difficult sociopolitical, intellectual, and artistic terrain facing African Americans as America was increasingly forced to confront its own failures with regard to the promise of the American dream to its diverse populations. These wide-ranging historical essays, along with a brief biography and an illustrated chronology, provide a concise yet authoritative discussion of a twentieth-century American writer whose continued presence on the stage of American and world literature and culture is now assured.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780195152517
Publisher:
Oxford University Press, USA
Publication date:
05/28/2004
Series:
Historical Guides to American Authors Series
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
296
Product dimensions:
8.00(w) x 5.30(h) x 1.00(d)

Meet the Author

Steven C. Tracy is Professor of Afro-American Studies at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.

Table of Contents

Abbreviations
Introduction3
Ralph Ellison, 1913-1994 : a brief biography19
"Creative an cultural lag" : the radical education of Ralph Ellison59
A delicate ear, a retentive memory, and the power to weld the fragments85
"Something warmly, infuriatingly feminine" : gender, sexuality, and the work of Ralph Ellison115
The integrated literary tradition143
Ralph Ellsion's politics of integration171
Illustrated chronology207
Bibliographical essay : probing the lower frequencies : fifty years of Ellison criticism233
Contributors261
Index265

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