Abstract

This article contends that Invisible Man registers Ellison’s indebtedness to, but also revision of, Faulkner’s modernist experiments with narrative voice. On the one hand, Ellison emulates distinctively Faulknerian techniques for representing the consciousness of an alienated subject. On the other hand, Invisible Man reworks and expands upon Faulkner’s representational strategies by consistently articulating the thought process of a reflective black individual. In order to highlight Ellison’s engagement with Faulknerian narrative voice, this essay devotes sustained attention to “Pantaloon in Black,” arguing that the short story constitutes Faulkner’s most ambitious attempt to capture black interiority. This examination of “Pantaloon” clarifies Ellison’s project, as Faulkner’s imaginative shortcomings in portraying Rider are precisely those that Ellison’s novel seeks to redress.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1558-9595
Print ISSN
0004-1610
Pages
pp. 111-137
Launched on MUSE
2015-09-24
Open Access
No
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