Lecture 23 - Edward P. Jones, The Known World (cont.)

author: Amy Hungerford, Department of English, Yale University
recorded by: Yale University
published: April 8, 2011,   recorded: April 2008,   views: 2349
released under terms of: Creative Commons Attribution No Derivatives (CC-BY-ND)
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Description

In this second lecture on The Known World, Professor Hungerford addresses Edward P. Jones's ambitious and ambivalent relation to literacy. Jones shows us the power of narrative to bring together the fragmentation of the world, but is at the same time deeply aware of the fragility of text, all of the ways it can be destroyed, misinterpreted, abused, or lost. The son of an illiterate mother, Jones--who, it seems, composed and memorized large portions of The Known World before setting anything down in print--models a form of literary self-consciousness infused with the moral dilemmas of slavery and freedom that is unique among contemporary novels.

Reading assignment:

Edward P. Jones, The Known World (2003)

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