Lecture 24 - Faulkner's Light in August, Part III
recorded by: Yale University
published: Aug. 19, 2014, recorded: December 2011, views: 1428
released under terms of: Creative Commons Attribution No Derivatives (CC-BY-ND)
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Professor Wai Chee Dimock focuses on the unresolved problem of race in Light in August, focusing her discussion on the variety of reflexive and calculated uses of the word “nigger” as a charged term toward Joe Christmas. She shows how the semantic burden of the word varies – used under duress by Joe Brown and the dietician, deliberately made light of by Hightower and Bobbie, fused with the contrary meanings of Calvinist theology by Joanna Burden, and finally ironized by Joe Christmas himself. Dimock uses these multiple uses of the word “nigger” to meditate on the making of racial identities and our collective input into that process.
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