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Re-centering the History of the Americas: Toni Morrison’s Beloved and A Mercy

Authors: Šesnić, Jelena;

Re-centering the History of the Americas: Toni Morrison’s Beloved and A Mercy

Abstract

This article discusses the status of Toni Morrison as an American writer who consistently foregrounded African American history and experience and acted during her long career as a public intellectual. Morrison’s writerly agenda has been to delve into the epistemological origin of constructions such as race and blackness, placed in the context of their historical manifestation, such as transatlantic slavery as manifested in Morrison’s two most striking historical novels, Beloved (1987) and A Mercy (2008). Writing slavery, as a way to re-write the United States’ history and probe its dark spaces, places Morrison’s texts in a long line of nineteenth-century slave narratives, and in particular their twentieth-century avatar, the neo-slave novel, which strives to historicize slavery from the sufferer’s perspective. In the process, Morrison creates a “resistant text” (Sommer) requiring the reader’s imaginative and ethical engagement and refusing to fill in all the gaps. That the haunting of slavery still requires imaginative, historical, and ethical engagement, like the one accorded it by Morrison, is a fact of U.S. American social life to the present day.

Country
Croatia
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Keywords

memory, transatlantic slavery, the historical novel, Toni Morrison, history, the neo-slave novel, HUMANISTIČKE ZNANOSTI. Interdisciplinarne humanističke znanosti., HUMANISTIC SCIENCES. Interdisciplinary Humanistic Studies.

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  • citations
    This is an alternative to the "Influence" indicator, which also reflects the overall/total impact of an article in the research community at large, based on the underlying citation network (diachronically).
    0
    popularity
    This indicator reflects the "current" impact/attention (the "hype") of an article in the research community at large, based on the underlying citation network.
    Average
    influence
    This indicator reflects the overall/total impact of an article in the research community at large, based on the underlying citation network (diachronically).
    Average
    impulse
    This indicator reflects the initial momentum of an article directly after its publication, based on the underlying citation network.
    Average
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citations
This is an alternative to the "Influence" indicator, which also reflects the overall/total impact of an article in the research community at large, based on the underlying citation network (diachronically).
BIP!Citations provided by BIP!
popularity
This indicator reflects the "current" impact/attention (the "hype") of an article in the research community at large, based on the underlying citation network.
BIP!Popularity provided by BIP!
influence
This indicator reflects the overall/total impact of an article in the research community at large, based on the underlying citation network (diachronically).
BIP!Influence provided by BIP!
impulse
This indicator reflects the initial momentum of an article directly after its publication, based on the underlying citation network.
BIP!Impulse provided by BIP!
0
Average
Average
Average
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