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Outward Evil Inward Battle

Human Memory in Literature

Bill F. Ndi, Benjamin Hart Fishkin

Publication Year: 2013

This book is a timely humanistic touch to memory studies. It uses literature as a laboratory for the workings of the mind, and characters as the subjects of human experimentation and diagnostics. This book considers authors from different societies and historical periods. The book is a refreshing illumination on the functioning of human memory. It complements the work of neuroscientists who seek to rationalize the workings of the same. Drawing from various ideas on memory, this rich and authoritative volume results from wide-ranging endeavors centered on the common fact that tracking memory in literature provides an astounding vista of orientations covered in its separate chapters. The writers examined in the various chapters become mediums for unleashing memory and its reconfiguration into artistic images. The ten separate chapters investigate different aspects of memory in such memoric associations as power, music, resistance, trauma, and identity. It is therefore no surprise that the editors should consider this book as ìa veritable menu for everything needed for an unforgettable memory banquetî.

Published by: African Books Collective

Title Page, Copyright

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pp. 2-3

The Editors

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pp. 4-9

Table of Contents

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pp. iii-iv

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Introduction

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pp. v-xx

In his seminal work Time and Narrative, the philosopher Paul Ricoeur builds on an earlier analysis in The Rule of Metaphor to draw a correlation in what he calls a “healthy circle between time and narrative”. As he argues, time is humanized to the extent that it portrays temporal experience; in fact, narrative is an experience of time ...

Section 1. Power

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Chapter 1. Quakers, Memory & the Past in Literature.

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pp. 3-36

Seventeenth century English mindscape was notably characterized by millenaries’ apocalyptic visions of the imminent end of the world. As a result of this, the period was marked by turmoil, changes and instability that affected every facet of social, economic, political, cultural, religious, ideological and literary life in both the Old and the New World. ...

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Chapter 2. The Power of Memory: Crossroads in Works by Thomas Wolfe, F. Scott Fitzgerald, and August Wilson

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pp. 37-52

In the early twentieth century, John Lancaster Spalding, a religious scholar commented, “As memory may be a paradise from which we cannot be driven, it may also be a hell from which we cannot escape” (282). In a perfect world memory would be a source of comfort and support. ...

Section 2. Music

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Chapter 3. Memory, the Blues, and African American Slave Narratives

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pp. 55-72

Ralph Ellison famously described the blues as “an impulse to keep the painful details and episodes of a brutal existence alive in one’s aching consciousness, to finger its jagged grain, and to transcend it. . . . As a form, the blues is an autobiographical chronicle of personal catastrophe expressed lyrically” (129). ...

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Chapter 4. It Rains Inside: Parenting and Music in Works by William Faulkner, August Wilson, and Sherman Alexie

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pp. 73-86

At the turn of the last century, it was “a jolly home, a sympathetic reception, [and] a bright supper” table that people aspired to (Dreiser 38). The home was a comfort and a familiar source of support. This idea proved elusive, and as the twentieth century progressed, modern society swerved erringly to become a mechanism that is out of touch with the needs of its children. ...

Section 3. Resistance

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Chapter 5. Unwavering Insubordination: Rebellion & Memory in The Letters of Elizabeth Hooton

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pp. 89-108

Over the centuries, the voices of women and their active participation in the events and ideas that have helped to revolutionize the world have been silenced consciously or unconsciously. The above quote by a well-known early Quakeress, Elizabeth Hooton, reputed not only as the first Female Preacher (Manners, E. 1915) ...

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Chapter 6. Memory and Resistance in the Poetry of Gcina Mhlophe

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pp. 109-130

For many black South Africans, apartheid laws may have been repealed in 1991, but the memory and the trauma from three centuries of separatist laws that were institutionalized in 1948 into official apartheid policy, are not easily forgotten. ...

Section 4. Trauma

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Chapter 7. Veiling the Past: Memory and Identity in Edwidge Danticat‘s The Dew Breaker

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pp. 133-152

The past has presented a challenge to postmodern writers, a paradox of some sort. For some the past has its glorious achievements, its high points that define individuals, cultures, nations. Various groups and nations celebrate centennials and millenniums, as individuals celebrate anniversaries to mark the progress made from one point in time to the next. ...

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Chapter 8. Memorizing the Dark: Margaret Walker and Toni Morrison Compress African American Time and Space in Poetry and Fiction

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pp. 153-168

In the twenty-first century, both science and literature inflict upon us a more taxing concept of memory than was standard at one time. Earlier notions of time have been agitated, stretched, revised by modern and post-modern theorists. ...

Section 5. Cultural Identity

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Chapter 9. There’s No Place Like Home: Cultural Memory in Toni Morrison‘s Tar Baby and Edwidge Danticat‘s Breath, Eyes and Memory

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pp. 171-185

Unsuccessful during its film-debut in 1939, it is surprising that the film based on L. Frank Baum‘s best-selling children’s book The Wonderful Wizard of Oz (1900), written 112 year ago, is more than familiar to today’s television and movie audiences. Around the globe, The Wizard of Oz represents the magic of self-discovery and cultural memory. ...

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Chapter 10. “Go Back and Get It:” Spirit Possession as Rite of Passage and a Medium of Self-reinvention in Contemporary African Diasporic Literature

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pp. 186-208

Through the invocation of “two-ness,” Dubois launches the dialectic of double consciousness which to him delineates the African diasporic people’s constant struggle to reconcile an African heritage with a European upbringing and education. This ambivalence, or ethnic dualism, occasions the need for African diasporic people ...

Index

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pp. 209-216


E-ISBN-13: 9789956790456
Print-ISBN-13: 9789956790166

Page Count: 242
Publication Year: 2013

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