The Problem of Embodiment in Early African American Narrative (Hardback)Katherine Fishburn (author)
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Offering a revolutionary way of reading 19th-century slave narratives, Fishburn seeks to recover the philosophical foundations of African American literature. Underlying slave narrative is an expression of the problem of physical embodiment; that is, the dualistic thinking of the mind-body division. Fishburn's work uncovers the tension between needing to acknowledge the fact of human embodiment and wishing to overcome its consequences in a racist society. One of the strongest points made by this pioneering work is the controversial claim that these slave narratives offer one of the most telling, if largely overlooked, pre-Heideggerian critiques of liberal humanism ever attempted in the West.
Number of pages: 216
Weight: 486 g
Dimensions: 229 x 152 x 15 mm
?Focusing primarily on concepts of Maurice Merleau-Ponty, the author presents an impressive range of Eurocentric theory to explicate five slave narratives, illustrating ways in which each argues from a philosophical standpoint for the notion of human connectedness.?-Choice
"Offering a fresh perspective on the cultural politics that shape our understanding of 19th-century African American literary production, The Problem of Embodiment in Early African American Narrative argues that the body knows its needs, and that it expresses that knowledge in a number of ways. The body (especially the 19th-century Black body) is also shaped and produced by culture, so that "it" knows the world we have created better than "we" do. This study looks to rejoin the "it" of the body to the "we" of our understanding, not merely our conscious awareness but also our grounds for philosophy.... This controversial thesis will shake up many of the standard approaches to these texts, to good effect."-John Ernest Assistant Professor University of New Hampshire