Martin R. Delany’s Blake (1859, 1861–1862) is one of the most important African American?and indeed American?works of fiction of the nineteenth century. It tells the story of Henry Blake’s escape from a southern plantation and his subsequent travels across the United States, into Canada, and to Africa and Cuba. His mission is to unite the black populations of the American Atlantic regions, both free and slave, in the struggle for freedom, whether through insurrection or through emigration and the creation of an independent black state. Blake is a rhetorical masterpiece, all the more strange and mysterious for remaining incomplete, breaking off before its final scene.
This edition of Blake, prepared by textual scholar Jerome McGann, offers the first correct printing of the work in book form. It establishes an accurate text, supplies contextual notes and commentaries, and presents an authoritative account of the work’s composition and publication history. In a lively introduction, McGann argues that Delany employs the resources of fiction to develop a critical account of the interconnected structure of racist power as it operated throughout the American Atlantic. He likens Blake to Upton Sinclair’s The Jungle, in its willful determination to transform a living and terrible present.
Blake; or, The Huts of America: A Corrected Edition will be used in undergraduate and graduate classes on the history of African American fiction, on the history of the American novel, and on black cultural studies. General readers will welcome as well the first reliable edition of Delany’s fiction.
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Jerome McGann is University Professor and John Stewart Bryan Professor of English at the University of Virginia.Review:
This version of Blake is without any doubt an edition to be welcomed, and will be cited as the principal text in the foreseeable future. (Eric Sundquist, Johns Hopkins University)
Martin Delany’s Blake is a fascinating novel. I’ve been waiting for a long while for a reliable edition, and Jerome McGann has produced it. (Robert Levine, University of Maryland)
An American literary classic most Americans have never heard of...The actual novel itself is unapologetically didactic, its characters mainly acting as mouthpieces for the author’s polemics?but those polemics possess a startling directness that makes a 21st-century reading of this fully-restored Blake as arresting as its original readers must have found it. (Steve Donoghue Christian Science Monitor 2017-02-20)
McGann has done a painstaking job of recovering the work, providing scrupulous editing, an excellent introduction, and copious notes that will undoubtedly draw added critical attention to the novel...Largely owing to its historical significance, this edition will be of most interest to scholars. (L. J. Parascandola Library Journal 2017-02-15)
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Book Description Beacon Press. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. 0807064181 New Condition. Bookseller Inventory # NEW6.1343748