By Julia Sun-Joo Lee
Conceived as a literary shape to aggressively publicize the abolitionist reason within the usa, the African American slave narrative continues to be a strong and illuminating demonstration of America's darkish background. but the genre's effect prolonged a long way past the borders of the united states In a interval while few books offered greater than copies, slave narratives bought within the tens of hundreds of thousands, delivering British readers brilliant bills of the violence and privation skilled by means of American slaves. Eloquent, bracing narratives by means of Frederick Douglass, William field Brown, Solomon Northrop, and others loved unheard of attractiveness, appealing audiences that incorporated activists, reporters, and a few of the era's maximum novelists.The American Slave Narrative and the Victorian Novel investigates the shaping impression of the yankee slave narrative at the Victorian novel within the years among the British Abolition Act and the yank Emancipation Proclamation. The publication argues that Charlotte Bront?, W. M. Thackeray, Elizabeth Gaskell, Charles Dickens, and Fanny and Robert Louis Stevenson built-in into their works customary components of the slave narrative-from the emphasis on literacy as a device of liberation, to the teleological trip from slavery to freedom, to the ethics of resistance over submission. It contends that Victorian novelists used those tropes in an try and entry the slave narrative's paradigm of resistance, light up the transnational measurement of slavery, and articulate Britain's function within the worldwide group. via a deft use of disparate assets, Lee finds how the slave narrative turns into a part of the textual community of the English novel, making obvious how black literary, in addition to monetary, construction contributed to English culture.Lucidly written, richly researched, and cogently argued, Julia Sun-Joo Lee's insightful monograph makes a useful contribution to students of yank literary historical past, African American literature, and the Victorian novel, as well as highlighting the colourful transatlantic alternate of principles that illuminated literatures on each side of the Atlantic in the course of the 19th century.
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Additional info for The American Slave Narrative and the Victorian Novel
At these narrative fault lines, the slave narrative slides against adjacent genres, triggering moments of linguistic, epistemological, and even ontological crisis. The fugitive slave becomes not only an “organizing center,” but also an epicenter for the fundamental narrative events in the novel. Meaning radiates outward from these narrative nodes, across the metonymic, as well as metaphoric, axis. It is perhaps unsurprising, then, that those common metaphors of transatlantic relations—“matrix,”“web,”“rhizomes,” and “network”—are Introduction 21 metaphors of metonymic relations.
Meaning radiates outward from these narrative nodes, across the metonymic, as well as metaphoric, axis. It is perhaps unsurprising, then, that those common metaphors of transatlantic relations—“matrix,”“web,”“rhizomes,” and “network”—are Introduction 21 metaphors of metonymic relations. America, Europe, and Africa comprise “parts of the whole” Atlantic world. Each, in its turn, is both inseparable from, and reﬂective of, the system from which it emerges. On the textual level, this can be seen in the slave narrative’s absorption of novelistic tropes—but it can also be seen reciprocally, in the novel’s absorption of slave narrative tropes.
Were Victorian novels and novelists integrating the slave narrative to disseminate antislavery sentiment? To illuminate alternate forms of injustice? Or simply to cannibalize the verbal and semantic forms of an exceedingly popular genre? Did the Victorian novel and novelist condone and even promote the sloppy metaphorization that Douglass so feared? Genre Tectonics and the Textual Atlantic In Culture and Imperialism, Edward Said cautions against such overly hasty calls to judgment. ”83 In his famous analysis of Jane Austen’s Mansﬁeld Park, he is careful to identify the workings of imperialism in the novel without engaging in a wholesale condemnation of the genre.
The American Slave Narrative and the Victorian Novel by Julia Sun-Joo Lee