英美文学通论
美国文学讲义11
发布时间:2008-05-26  浏览次数:

Chapter 11 Black American Literature

  I. Overview

  Negro  coloured legally free  black after civil rights movement

  1.oral tradition

  (1songs and ballads

  (2spirituals: sorrow of the singers earlier condition and longing for freedom

  (3blues: after civil war, derived from work songs  loneliness, separation, losses, wonderings, love, desperation, sense of doom

  (4jazz: after WWI, developed from blues, died out in the Great Depression

  2.written literature from 1760s

  (1poetry: religious, enduring, patient to the white

  (2slave narrative: autobiographical experience of the person

  (31920s: Harlem Renaissance  New York, black  black dialect and black folklore  ※the new negro§ representatives: Langston Hughes ※black poet laureate§, Huston, Claude McKay

  (41940s: Richard Wright, Ralph Ellison

  (550s~60s: a lot of black writers emerged in the civil rights movement: James Baldwin, Brooks, Jones

  (670s~80s: publishing of ※Root§ Alex Haley, Walker  ※The Colour Purple§, Morrison the second woman writer and the only black who won Nobel Prize

  II. Richard Wright

  1.life

  2.works

  (1Uncle Toms Children: Four Novellas

  (2Native Son

  (3Black Boy

  (4The Outsider the first novel of existentialism in America, published in France

  3.themes and subjects

  His common theme is to condemn racism, urge reform, criticize evils of society. His books focus on racial conflict and physical violence. They review the devastating effect of institutionalized hatred hatred brought by social system and humiliation on black males psyche. They affirmed dignity and humility of societys outcasts.

  4.writing techniques  realism, naturalism

  He tries to show that people cannot escape from society. Therefore, society must be changed. He is a father figure, especially to the writers of violence.

  III.    Ralph Ellison

  1.life

  2.works: Invisible Man

  significance: It has a universality of theme problems of all modern people, not only regional dilemma of existence.

  3.attitude: complexity of art  the best art makes good politics, not vice versa.

  IV.     James Baldwin

  1.life

  2.works

  (1Go Tell It on the Mountain

  (2Notes of a Native Son

  (3Nobody Knows My Name

  (4The Fire Next Time

  3.point of view

  Baldwin calls for the blacks to resort to means including force so as to bring about the nations self-realization. He saw love and understanding as difficult but necessary way to overcome racial conflict.

  4.themes: race, homosexuality

  V.  Alice Walker

  1.life

  2.works

  (1Once a collection of poems

  (2In Search of Our Mothers Gardens ※womanism§ instead of feminism

  (3The Colour Purple epistolary

  VI.     Toni Morrison

  1.life

  2.works

  (1The Bluest Eye

  (2Sula

  (3Song of Solomon the best black novel after Native Son and Invisible Man

  (4Tar Baby

  (5Beloved

  (6Jazz

  (7Love trilogy

  3.themes: love, guilt, history, individual, gender, race, religion

  4.purpose: to empower the black people to act for themselves, to recognize for their own world, own history, own reality

  5.style  many kinds of factors: naturalism, realism, fantasy, reality, magical realis