Abstract

abstract:

This article argues that there is a utopian impulse animating the work of Toni Morrison that is best manifest in the figure of “home.” It turns to utopian scholars, Morrison scholars, and Morrison herself to theorize home-as-utopia in Morrison’s work and discusses the novel in which it finds its fullest expression, 2012’s Home. It explicates how, against a demythologizing dystopian portrayal of 1950s America, Morrison posits utopia not as an ideal or blueprint, or as an enclave or other space, but instead as an everyday ethical practice. It links Morrison’s idea of home to Ernst Bloch’s concept of heimat as well as what Lucy Sargisson describes as “a system of social exchange . . . marked by the desire to give.” It thus sheds light on the “home” that, according to Evelyn Jaffe Schreiber, “has provided an ongoing hopeful thread interweaving [Morrison’s] novels” and defines Morrison’s search for “paradise.”

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Additional Information

ISSN
2154-9648
Print ISSN
1045-991X
Pages
pp. 291-308
Launched on MUSE
2019-01-05
Open Access
No
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