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Voices of the Fugitives
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African American fugitive slave narratives are receiving growing amounts of attention for their literary and historical value. This book examines the techniques the slave narrative writers used to authorize and rhetorically create themselves in their writings. By examining such issues as voice and identity formation, the volume demonstrates how identity may be seen as a cultural fabrication. Former slave narrators used a series of masking and doubling techniques to address their experiences as African Americans. This book crosses the boundaries between literary criticism and historical study by examining the tensions between generic conventions and the impulses that created and reinforced them. The introduction and opening chapter offer clear and accessible discussions of the social, political, cultural, and literary conditions influencing the slave narrative genre. Subsequent chapters are built on this theoretical framework and present close analytical readings of The Confessions of Nat Turner, Frederick Douglass' Narrative and My Bondage and My Freedom, Harriet Jacobs' Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl, and Running a Thousand Miles for Freedom, by William and Ellen Craft. The volume probingly traces the relationship between rhetorical self-creation and social ideology to show how that relationship was mediated within the fugitive slave narrative genre.
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Situates close analytical readings of individual slave narratives within the larger context of social, political, cultural, and literary conditions influencing the fugitive slave narrative genre.

Table of Contents

Preface Reading in the Breach The Call: The Literary and Cultural Landscape Let the World Dream Otherwise: The Literary Masks of Fugitive Slave Stories Dismantling the Master's House: The Cultural Context ...and the Response: Speaking for Themselves "Behold a Man Transformed": Sacred Language and the Secular Self in Frederick Douglass's Narrative Authority, Power, and Determination of the Will: The Dilemma of Rhetorical Ownership in Frederick Douglass's My Bondage and My Freedom and Harriet Jacob's Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl Ambiguity, Passing, and the Politics of Color: The Reconstruction of Race in William and Ellen Craft's Running a Thousand Miles for Freedom Epilogue: Of Being and Nothingness: Caliban's Reprise References Index

About the Author

STERLING LECATER BLAND, JR. is Assistant Professor of English at Rutgers University.

Reviews

"This book can be profitably used in undergraduate classrooms or as an ancillary text."-Biography ?This book can be profitably used in undergraduate classrooms or as an ancillary text.?-Biography

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