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James Baldwin, Teju Cole, and Glenn Ligon

This essay uses Edward Said’s theory of affiliation to consider the relationship between James Baldwin and contemporary artists Teju Cole and Glenn Ligon, both of whom explicitly engage with their predecessor’s writing in their own work. Specifically, Baldwin’s essay “Stranger in the Village” (1953) serves a through-line for this discussion, as it is invoked in Cole’s essay “Black Body” and Ligon’s visual series, also titled Stranger in the Village. In juxtaposing these three artists, I argue that they express the dialectical energy of affiliation by articulating ongoing concerns of race relations in America while distinguishing themselves from Baldwin in terms of periodization, medium-specificity, and their broader relationship to Western art practice. In their adoption of Baldwin, Cole and Ligon also imagine a way beyond his historical anxieties and writing-based practice, even as they continue to reinscribe their own work with his arguments about the African-American experience. This essay is an intermedial study that reads fiction, nonfiction, language-based conceptual art and mixed media, as well as contemporary politics and social media in order consider the nuances of the African-American experience from the postwar period to our contemporary moment. Concerns about visuality/visibility in the public sphere, narrative voice, and self-representation, as well as access to cultural artifacts and aesthetic engagement, all emerge in my discussion of this constellation of artists. As a result, this essay identifies an emblematic, though not exclusive, strand of African-American intellectual thinking that has never before been brought together. It also demonstrates the ongoing relevance of Baldwin’s thinking for the contemporary political scene in this country.

James Baldwin Review

This study is about the central place of the emotional world in Beckett's writing. Stating that Beckett is ‘primarily about love’, it makes a re-assessment of his influence and immense popularity. The book examines numerous Beckettian texts, arguing that they embody a struggle to remain in contact with a primal sense of internal goodness, one founded on early experience with the mother. Writing itself becomes an internal dialogue, in which the reader is engaged, between a ‘narrative-self’ and a mother.

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The hidden self in Beckett’s short fiction

5 The dispeopled kingdom: the hidden self in Beckett’s short fiction Preceding chapters have examined the experience of primal disconnection in several of Beckett’s works. Murphy’s failure to recognize emerging, loving feelings, Watt’s inability to connect to an enduring, whole internal presence, the disrupted, enmeshed relationships in Waiting for Godot, the images of primal maternal absence in … but the clouds …, Footfalls and so forth, all reflect a central feeling-state of nonrecognition within narrative-self. This chapter focuses on first-person short

in Samuel Beckett and the primacy of love
The representation of violence in Northern Irish art

visual artworks Willie Doherty responds to both the performative and narrative dimensions of Northern Irish punishment killings by creating texts which, while silent, are complexly self-reflexive and engage the viewer’s own understanding of the Northern Irish conflict. 9780719075636_4_017.qxd 290 16/2/09 9:30 AM Page 290 After words Doherty’s photographic diptych entitled Small Acts of Deception 1 (1997) at first seems enigmatic, eschewing contextualising detail save for the enigmatic title. It deliberately refrains from presenting the images within an overt

in Irish literature since 1990
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White male vulnerability as heterosexual fantasy

figure of the broken, rich, sad white man entails, motivates and fuels. Second, and in connection with Eva Illouz’s (2014) analysis of Fifty Shades as self-​help, I inquire after the interconnections of trauma and sexual fantasy within the novels’ broad appeal. Third, bringing these strands of discussion together, I ask how male vulnerability of the spectacular kind works in relation to social and economic privilege, the dynamics of BDSM and gendered relations of power  –​namely, how the narrative centrality of a privileged yet broken white man attunes the imagery of

in The power of vulnerability
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The male leader’s autobiography and the syntax of postcolonial nationalism

space, and allow emergent national identities to be performed. By looking at a particularly definitive, form-giving or in-forming narrative genre, the independence leader’s autobiography, the work of this chapter is to show how the story of the growth to self-consciousness of the leader at national independence often presents as a synonym for the rise of the nation. In both Indian and African nationalist movements, the two points of focus in this chapter, leaders’ tales operate as inaugural symbolic texts shaping and justifying configurations of status and power in the

in Stories of women
Irish fiction and autobiography since 1990

amidst whispers culminates in an apprehension of his own impalpability: ‘Now the haunting meant something new to me – now I had become the shadow.’39 Paradoxically, ghostliness is reified at the very moment when consolidation seems at hand. The nameless narrator wakes up from an impossible history only to find himself still trapped within history’s nightmare. As Regan’s analysis makes clear, Reading in the Dark is essentially an abortive autobiography, a novel about the failure of self-representation and the frustration of narrative revelation. As a chronicle of gapped

in Irish literature since 1990
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Don’t Ever Wipe Tears Without Gloves as a reparative fantasy

viewers constructed by Don’t Ever Wipe Tears Without Gloves coincided with the idea of Sweden as a nation, and the national self-​image was reformed. If the TV series in its first episode introduced the narrative as a war drama  –​‘It was like a war that was fought in a time of peace’ –​it took six months for the drama to be crowned as a national narrative, and the AIDS victims recognised as soldiers of a nation, fighting for love but killed in action (Gould, 2002). The war metaphor in Don’t Ever Wipe Tears Without Gloves and the idea of AIDS victims as veterans

in The power of vulnerability
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Colonial body into postcolonial narrative

friend, Dikeledi, in many ways her double, becomes pregnant. ‘Reproduction’ at both levels, of image and of child, is in relation to Maru neither simple replication nor fulfilment, the achievement of wholeness. It is rather a separation, the creation of difference, the possibility of new meaning – in particular, the possibility of creating a new narrative of self, a self-authored tale of the everyday. Woman as sign of the extreme other, the definitive subaltern, becomes a sign-writer in her own right.4 The second Margaret follows with her pencil the ‘carved wounds

in Stories of women
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. The central argument of this study suggests that a fundamental contribution of Beckett’s work is its presentation of very early experiences in the formation of the human mind and, in particular, the struggles of an emerging-self to maintain contact with a primary sense of internal goodness. This struggle is highly complex, manifesting throughout his oeuvre in variable, sophisticated ways, appearing in character relations, imagery and the associative flow of the plot, and as internal struggles within the narratives and monologues of various firstperson pieces, both

in Samuel Beckett and the primacy of love