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- DescriptionIn this volume, Royn explores Toni Morrison's widespread engagement with ancient Greek and Roman tradition. Discussing all ten of her published vels to date, Royn examines the ways in which classical myth, literature, history, social practice, and religious ritual make their presence felt in Morrison's writing. Combining original and detailed close readings with broader theoretical discussion, she argues that Morrison's classical allusiveness is characterized by a strategic ambivalence. Adopting a thematic, rather than vel-by-vel approach, Royn demonstrates that Morrison's classicism is fundamental to the transformative critique of American history and culture that her work effects. Building on recent developments in race theory, transnational studies, and Classical Reception studies, the volume positions Morrison within a genealogy of intellectuals who have challenged the purported conservative nature of Greek and Roman tradition, and who have revealed its construction as a 'white' or pure and purifying force to be a fabrication of the Enlightenment. Exploring the ways in which Morrison's dialogue with Homer, Aeschylus, Euripides, Virgil, and Ovid relates to her simultaneous dialogue with many other American literary forebears - from Cotton Mather to Willa Cather, or from Pauline Hopkins to F.Scott Fitzgerald and William Faulkner - Royn shows that Morrison's classicism enables her to fulfil her own imperative that 'the past has to be revised'.
- Author BiographyTessa Roynon is a Research Fellow at St Peter's College, Oxford. Her research and publications to date have centred on the reception of the classical tradition in American and black diasporic literature, and on Toni Morrison's engagement with early modern English culture. Her publications include African Athena: New Agendas (OUP, 2011), co-edited with Daniel Orrells and Gurminder K. Bhambra. She serves on the advisory board of the International Journal of the Classical Tradition.
- PrizesWinner of Toni Morrison Society Prize for the Best Single-Authored Book 2015.
- Author(s)Tessa Roynon
- PublisherOxford University Press
- Date of Publication10/10/2013
- SubjectLiterary Criticism
- Series TitleClassical Presences
- Place of PublicationOxford
- Country of PublicationUnited Kingdom
- ImprintOxford University Press
- Weight414 g
- Width149 mm
- Height221 mm
- Spine20 mm
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