Catalogue

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Discourse and the other : the production of the Afro-American text /
W. Lawrence Hogue.
imprint
Durham : Duke University Press, 1986.
description
ix, 190 p.
ISBN
082230676X :
format(s)
Book
Holdings
More Details
imprint
Durham : Duke University Press, 1986.
isbn
082230676X :
general note
Includes index.
catalogue key
10033519
 
Bibliography: p. [183]-186.
A Look Inside
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Choice on 1987-04:
Hogue's promising but ultimately disappointing book identifies a crucial issue in Afro-American literary studies: the significance of ``specific institutions of literary production and distribution''-editors, publishing houses, bookstores, libraries, literature departments, granting and awarding agencies. Using a methodology derived from the work of Michel Foucault to address concerns similar to those addressed in Houston Baker's Blues, Ideology, and Afro-American Literature (CH, Sep '85) Hogue focuses on the way the work of contemporary novelists is informed by alternative ``discursive formations.'' Although Hogue presents interesting readings of texts by Alice Walker, Ernest Gaines, and Albert Murray, his study fails to realize its vast potential. The primary difficulty stems from the paucity of specific research supporting his contentions. Discourse and the Other contains practically no statistical, or even anecdotal, evidence concerning the actual process of literary exclusion. Hogue's image of a monolithic literary establishment seriously underestimates the actual complexity of the process. Despite some tendency to overuse critical jargon (a particularly odd choice given his awareness of the implications of institutionally sanctioned language), Hogue has opened an area of inquiry that cannot be overlooked in future treatments of Afro-American literary culture. Primarily for graduate libraries.-C. Werner, University of Wisconsin
Reviews
This item was reviewed in:
Choice, April 1987
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Summaries
Main Description
The central thesis of Lawrence Hogue's book is that criticism of Afro-American literature has left out of account the way in which ideological pressures dictate the canon. This fresh approach to the study of the social, ideological, and political dynamics of the Afro-American literary text in the twentieth century, based on the Foucauldian concept of literature as social institution, examines the universalization that power effects, how literary texts are appropriated to meet ideological concerns and needs, and the continued oppression of dissenting voices. Hogue presents an illuminating discussion of the publication and review history of "major" and neglected texts. He illustrates the acceptance of texts as exotica, as sociological documents, or as carriers of sufficient literary conventions to receive approbation. Although the sixties movement allowed the text to move to the periphery of the dominant ideology, providing some new myths about the Afro-American historical past, this marginal position was subsequently sabotaged, co-opted, or appropriated (Afros became a fad; presidents gave the soul handshake; the hip-talking black was dressing one style and talking another.) This study includes extended discussion of four works; Ernest J. Gaines's The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman, Alice Walker's The Third Life of Grange Copeland, Albert Murray's Train Whistle Guitar, and Toni Morrison's Sula. Hogue assesses the informing worldviews of each and the extent and nature of their acceptance by the dominant American cultural apparatus.
Main Description
The central thesis of Lawrence Hogue's book is that criticism of Afro-American literature has left out of account the way in which ideological pressures dictate the canon. This fresh approach to the study of the social, ideological, and political dynamics of the Afro-American literary text in the twentieth century, based on the Foucauldian concept of literature as social institution, examines the universalization that power effects, how literary texts are appropriated to meet ideological concerns and needs, and the continued oppression of dissenting voices.Hogue presents an illuminating discussion of the publication and review history of "major" and neglected texts. He illustrates the acceptance of texts as exotica, as sociological documents, or as carriers of sufficient literary conventions to receive approbation. Although the sixties movement allowed the text to move to the periphery of the dominant ideology, providing some new myths about the Afro-American historical past, this marginal position was subsequently sabotaged, co-opted, or appropriated (Afros became a fad; presidents gave the soul handshake; the hip-talking black was dressing one style and talking another.)This study includes extended discussion of four works; Ernest J. Gaines's The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman, Alice Walker's The Third Life of Grange Copeland, Albert Murray's Train Whistle Guitar, and Toni Morrison's Sula. Hogue assesses the informing worldviews of each and the extent and nature of their acceptance by the dominant American cultural apparatus.
Table of Contents
Preface
Literary Production: A Silence in Afro-American Critical Practice
The Dominant American Literary Establishment and the Production of the Afro-American Text
Sixties' Social Movements, the Literary Establishment, and the Production of the Afro-American Text
History, the Black Nationalist Discourse, and The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman
History, the Feminist Discourse, and The Third Life of Grange Copeland
History, the Blues Idiom Style, and Train Whistle Guitar
The Song of Morrison's Sula: History, Mythical Thought, and the Production of the Afro-American Historical Past
The Post-Sixties, the Ideological Apparatus, and the Afro-American Text
Notes
Bibliography
Table of Contents provided by Publisher. All Rights Reserved.

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