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Published: 30 November 1989

352 Pages | photos

5-5/16 x 8 inches

ISBN: 9780195060744

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Bookseller Code (06)


Figures in Black

Words, Signs, and the "Racial" Self

Henry Louis Gates, Jr.

In this insightful volume, Henry Louis Gates, Jr., a leading scholar in African-American studies, attacks the notion of African-American literature as a kind of social realism. Insisting, instead, that critics focus on the most repressed element of African-American criticism--the language of the text--Gates advocates the use of a close, methodical analysis of language, made possible by modern literary theory. Incorporating the theoretical insights of critics such as Bakhtin, Foucault, Lacan, Derrida, and Bloom, he explores the work of a wide range of African-American writers from Phillis Wheatley to Ishmael Reed and Alice Walker.

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