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The Passing Figure: Racial Confusion in Modern American Literature

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New York, New York, U.S.A. 1996 Hard Cover First Edition Very Good. No Dustjacket Ex-Library. 6 x 9" A very good hardcover; an ex-library copy with usual markings; internally ... pages bright and clean; ----------SATISFACTION GUARANTEED---------FAST, COURTEOUS SERVICE------ Read more Show Less

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Overview

How and when does literature most effectively uncover race to be a metaphor? The passing figure, a light-skinned African-American capable and willing to pass for white, provides the thematic focus to this provocative study. In exploring the social and cultural history of this distinctly American phenomenon, Bennett moves freely between literature, film, and music, arguing that the passing figure is crucial to our understanding of past and present conceptions of race.
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Editorial Reviews

Booknews
Bennett (minority literature and gay and lesbian studies, U. of Minnesota-Minneapolis) examines three interrelated themes: blacks passing as whites in narratives from antebellum works to the Harlem Renaissance; the parodies of minstrelsy and other forms of racial impersonation or mimicry through music, speech, and even plot; and the contemporary obsession with gender passing, particularly as it relates to issues of race and racial passing. Annotation c. by Book News, Inc., Portland, Or.
Gerald Early
The Passing Figure: Racial Confusion in Modern American Literature is a first-rate effort in re-examining the Harlem Renaissance and 1920s America in a fresh way. This study connects discussions of popular culture, high-brow and popular literature, and constructions of race and ethnicity to provide new and valuable insights into the old dilemma of the American identity. The considerations of the various manifestations of 'Showboat' and 'The Jazz Singer' are especially fine. Yet The Passing Figure is more: a solid study of how the boundaries of race and gender in America are dramatized as both impenetrable yet fluid and fake.
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Product Details

Table of Contents

An Introduction to Passing 1
Black No More: Nomenclature, Metaphor, and Narrative 11
Running a Thousand Miles to Freedom: Theme to Genre 35
Show Boat and Showboating: How White People Pass 61
M. Butterfly in Yoknapatawpha: Recent Trends in Passing 95
Afterward: The Suture 125
Bibliography 129
Index 139
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