Lecture 13 - Toni Morrison, The Bluest Eye

author: Amy Hungerford, Department of English, Yale University
recorded by: Yale University
published: April 8, 2011,   recorded: February 2008,   views: 3257
released under terms of: Creative Commons Attribution No Derivatives (CC-BY-ND)

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Description

Professor Hungerford draws a contrast between Toni Morrison and most of the writers studied up to this point in the course by pointing out how, for an African-American woman writer in particular, language is a site of violence. For all of her power to recuperate the voices of the oppressed, the novelist must be wary of the ways that breaking the silence, too, can constitute an act of invasion. As in the case of Pynchon, the word in The Bluest Eye enacts a near-physical touch; this is its pleasure and its danger. With inimitable complexity and grace, Morrison weaves her narrative around a young black girl who, in the void of her social persona, constructs a beautiful and poisonous fiction.

Reading assignment:

Toni Morrison, The Bluest Eye (1970)

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