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Most literary criticism today, under the sign of theory, is obscure and incomprehensible, and shies from presenting daring new ways to look at literature—when it engages with contemporary literature at all. Kenneth W. Warren's book is an example of a book of literary criticism in elegant prose, completely accessible and jargon-free, yet making a sophisticated argument about a whole branch of literature, connecting politics and literature in a most exciting way.
— Anis Shivani
1 Historicizing African American Literature 1
2 Particularity and the Problem of Interpretation 44
3 The Future of the Past 81
Conclusion: The Past in the Present 118