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THE DILEMMA OF "DOUBLE-CONSCIOUSNESS": TONI MORRISON'S NOVELS

Denise Heinze

3 ratings by Goodreads
ISBN 10: 0820315230 / ISBN 13: 9780820315232
Published by Univ of Georgia Pr, US, 1993
Condition: Near Fine Hardcover
From Atlanta Vintage Books (Atlanta, GA, U.S.A.)

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Pages are clean, no markings from previous owners. Boards are clean. Binding is tight. Top edge text block is moderately foxed. Dust jacket is clean, bright, and unmarked with slight edgewear. Bookseller Inventory # 87188

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Bibliographic Details

Title: THE DILEMMA OF "DOUBLE-CONSCIOUSNESS": TONI ...

Publisher: Univ of Georgia Pr, US

Publication Date: 1993

Binding: Hardcover

Book Condition:Near Fine

Dust Jacket Condition: Near Fine

Edition: First Edition

About this title

Synopsis:

In "The Dilemma of 'Double Consciousness'" Denise Heinze contributes to the dialogue on Toni Morrison by analysing the extent to which her novels have been influenced by history and the interactions of race, class and gender. Although Morrison's career represents an American success story, her writings attack values long revered in American society: the cult of domesticity and true womanhood, romantic love and ideal standards of beauty, capitalism and the Protestant work ethic, and the primacy of Western culture and modern technology. Morrison is a myth-basher, argues Heinz, but she is also a myth-maker whose ontology finds its meaning in nature, primitivism, the past and the supernatural. Central to understanding Morrison's challenge to traditional values, Heinze believes, is W.E.B. Du Bois' notion of "double-consciousness" - the condition in which a person is representative of, and immersed in, two distinct ways of life. Heinze also draws on Henry Louis Gates Jr's notion of the symbiotic relationship that Morrison, as an African-American writer, shares with white writers. Morrison's position as part of the literary establishment and as part of minority culture in America grants her two perspectives, both of which inform her work. She successfully incorporates these perspectives, Heinze contends, by appropriating conventional literary forms to render artistically the story of black experience inside white culture. Morrison employs rational and controlled methods to naturalise seemingly irrational responses to life, and her "outsider within" status lends her a credibility that crosses racial, cultural and class lines. In chapters that address Morrison's aesthetic, her treatment of families, her social dialectic and her use of supernatural elements, Heinze provides readings of all six novels. Morrison's stories of black families and black culture, Heinze says, appeal to a wide and growing audience by inviting her readers to share in her double-consciousness, to join her in a symbolic journey whose final destination is truth and understanding.

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