Shadow and Act

Shadow and Act

Ralph Ellison Shadow and Act Ralph Ellison was born in Oklahoma and trained as a musician at Tuskegee Institute from 1933 to 1936, at which time a visit to New York and a meeting with Richard Wrightled to his first attempts at fiction.

Author: Ralph Ellison

Publisher: Vintage

ISBN: 9780307797377

Category: Literary Collections

Page: 352

View: 628

With the same intellectual incisiveness and supple, stylish prose he brought to his classic novel Invisible Man, Ralph Ellison examines his antecedents and in so doing illuminates the literature, music, and culture of both black and white America. His range is virtuosic, encompassing Mark Twain and Richard Wright, Mahalia Jackson and Charlie Parker, The Birth of a Nation and the Dante-esque landscape of Harlem−"the scene and symbol of the Negro's perpetual alienation in the land of his birth." Throughout, he gives us what amounts to an episodic autobiography that traces his formation as a writer as well as the genesis of Invisible Man. On every page, Ellison reveals his idiosyncratic and often contrarian brilliance, his insistence on refuting both black and white stereotypes of what an African American writer should say or be. The result is a book that continues to instruct, delight, and occasionally outrage readers thirty years after it was first published.
Categories: Literary Collections

A Study Guide for Ralph Ellison s Shadow and Act

A Study Guide for Ralph Ellison s  Shadow and Act

In his introduction to Shadow and Act, Ellison asserts that as a Negro American born in Oklahoma in postCivil War America, he is a "frontiersman." By Ellison's definition, the American frontier is the territory of the individual, ...

Author: Gale, Cengage Learning

Publisher: Gale, Cengage Learning

ISBN: 9781410357724

Category: Literary Criticism

Page: 26

View: 505

Categories: Literary Criticism

The Shadow and the Act

The Shadow and the Act

In The Shadow and the Act I examine the relationship between jazz and pragmatism. Specifically, I am interested in critiquing the ways that African American artist/intellectuals like Ralph Ellison, James Baldwin, and LeRoi Jones/Amiri ...

Author: Walton M. Muyumba

Publisher: University of Chicago Press

ISBN: 9780226554259

Category: Social Science

Page: 208

View: 699

Though often thought of as rivals, Ralph Ellison, James Baldwin, and Amiri Baraka shared a range of interests, especially a passion for music. Jazz, in particular, was a decisive influence on their thinking, and, as The Shadow and the Act reveals, they drew on their insights into the creative process of improvisation to analyze race and politics in the civil rights era. In this inspired study, Walton M. Muyumba situates them as a jazz trio, demonstrating how Ellison, Baraka, and Baldwin’s individual works form a series of calls and responses with each other. Muyumba connects their writings on jazz to the philosophical tradition of pragmatism, particularly its support for more freedom for individuals and more democratic societies. He examines the way they responded to and elaborated on that lineage, showing how they significantly broadened it by addressing the African American experience, especially its aesthetics. Ultimately, Muyumba contends, the trio enacted pragmatist principles by effectively communicating the social and political benefits of African Americans fully entering society, thereby compelling America to move closer to its democratic ideals.
Categories: Social Science

The Rites of Identity

The Rites of Identity

Ellison himself raises the question of audience in Ellison, Shadow and Act, 170. 91. Ellison, Going to the Territory, 276–277. Henry Louis Gates Jr. has examined the relationship of Ralph Ellison to Richard Wright at some length in ...

Author: Beth Eddy

Publisher: Princeton University Press

ISBN: 9781400825769

Category: Literary Criticism

Page: 224

View: 482

The Rites of Identity argues that Kenneth Burke was the most deciding influence on Ralph Ellison's writings, that Burke and Ellison are firmly situated within the American tradition of religious naturalism, and that this tradition--properly understood as religious--offers a highly useful means for considering contemporary identity and mitigating religious conflict. Beth Eddy adds Burke and Ellison to a tradition of religious naturalism that traces back to Ralph Waldo Emerson but received its most nuanced expression in the work of George Santayana. Through close readings of the essays and fiction of Burke and Ellison, Eddy shows the extent to which their cultural criticisms are intertwined. Both offer a naturalized understanding of piety, explore the psychological and social dynamics of scapegoating, and propose comic religious resources. And both explicitly connect these religious categories to identity, be it religious, racial, national, ethnic, or gendered. Eddy--arguing that the most socially damaging uses of religious language and ritual are connected to the best uses that such language has to offer--finds in Burke and Ellison ways to manage this precarious situation and to mitigate religious violence through wise use of performative symbolic action. By placing Burke and Ellison in a tradition of pragmatic thought, The Rites of Identity uncovers an antiessentialist approach to identity that serves the moral needs of a world that is constantly negotiating, performing, and ritualizing changes of identity.
Categories: Literary Criticism

Shadowing Ralph Ellison

Shadowing Ralph Ellison

But Shadow and Act's temperate mood and analytic mode apparently undermined an image of Ellison that now took on various denigrified forms: to Reed Whittemore, then, he seemed a "humanist of fairly spacious nineteenth century sort" ...

Author: John Samuel Wright

Publisher: Univ. Press of Mississippi

ISBN: 9781604730753

Category: Literary Criticism

Page: 294

View: 249

In 1952, Ralph Ellison (1914-1994) published his novel Invisible Man, which transformed the dynamics of American literature. The novel won the National Book Award, extended the themes of his early short stories, and dramatized in fictional form the cultural theories expressed in his later essay collections Shadow & Act and Going to the Territory. In Shadowing Ralph Ellison, John Wright traces Ellison's intellectual and aesthetic development and the evolution of his cultural philosophy throughout his long career. The book explores Ellison's published fiction, his criticism and correspondence, and his passionate exchanges with and impact onOCoother literary intellectuals during the Cold War 1950s and during the culture wars of the 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s. Wright examines Ellison's body of work through the lens of Ellison's cosmopolitan philosophy of art and culture, which the writer began to construct during the late 1930s. Ellison, Wright argues, eschewed orthodoxy in both political and cultural discourse, maintaining that to achieve the highest cultural awareness and the greatest personal integrity, the individual must cultivate forms of thinking and acting that are fluid, improvisational, and vitalisticOColike the blues and jazz."
Categories: Literary Criticism

Out of Touch

Out of Touch

10 Shadow and Act , 109-110 . I try to retain Ellison's language so that in my discussion of this essay and other writings of this period , I adopt the word " Negro " without quotation marks . 11 Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari .

Author: Maureen Frances Curtin

Publisher: Psychology Press

ISBN: 0415940192

Category: Literary Criticism

Page: 172

View: 806

Looks at the figurative use of skin in the works of Virginia Woolf, Ralph Ellison, Thomas Pynchon, and Kathy Acker.
Categories: Literary Criticism

Black Literature and Literary Theory

Black Literature and Literary Theory

Notes 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 Ralph Ellison, 'Richard Wright's Blues', Shadow and Act (New York: Signet, 1966), pp. 89–104. All quotations from Shadow and Act are taken from the Signet edition; page numbers for this essay subsequently appear ...

Author: Henry Louis Gates, Jr

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN: 9781134838417

Category: Literary Criticism

Page: 328

View: 269

The imaginative literature of African and Afro-American authors writing in Western languages has long been seen as standing outside the Western literary canon. In fact, however, black literature not only has a complex formal relation to that canon, but tends to revise and reflect Western rhetorical strategies even more than it echoes black vernacular literary forms. This book, first published in 1984, is divided into two sections, thus clarifying the nature of black literary theory on the one hand, and the features of black literary practice on the other. Rather than merely applying contemporary Western theory to black literature, these critics instead challenge and redefine the theory in order to make fresh, stimulating comments not only on black criticism and literature but also on the general state of criticism today.
Categories: Literary Criticism

Black Conservatism

Black Conservatism

Ralph Ellison, “Blues People,” New York Review of Books February 9, 1964, reprinted in Shadow and Act (New York: Random House, 1964), 257. 6. Ellison, Shadow and Act, x. While Ellison grounds the book in his developing consciousness, ...

Author: Peter Eisenstadt

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN: 9781135628468

Category: History

Page: 322

View: 141

This volume is the first comprehensive examination of African American conservative thought and politics from the late eighteenth century to the present. The essays in the collection explore various aspects of African American conservatism, including biographical studies of abolitionist James Forten, clergymen Henry McNeal Turner and J.H. Jackson, and activists A. Philip Randolph and Bayard Rustin. Thematic essays in the volume consider southern black conservatism in the late nineteenth century and after World War I, African American success manuals, Ellisonian cultural criticism , the Nation of Islam, and African Americans and the Republican Party after 1964.
Categories: History

Ralph Ellison

Ralph Ellison

if Ralph Ellison were not the author of Invisible Man, his recent collection of essays, Shadow and Act, would be a very significant work. There are astute commentaries on literature, music, and society, and the commentaries are enriched ...

Author: Harold Bloom

Publisher: Infobase Publishing

ISBN: 9781604135787

Category: Literary Criticism

Page: 247

View: 277

Presents a collection of critical essays on the works of Ralph Ellison.
Categories: Literary Criticism

Bleak Liberalism

Bleak Liberalism

Ralph Ellison, “The World and the Jug,” in Shadow and Act (New York: Vintage, 1995), 111. 8. Ellison, “That Same Pain, That Same Pleasure,” in Shadow and Act, 15. 9. Lionel Trilling, “Reality in America,” in The Liberal Imagination: ...

Author: Amanda Anderson

Publisher: University of Chicago Press

ISBN: 9780226923536

Category: Literary Criticism

Page: 192

View: 633

Why is liberalism so often dismissed by thinkers from both the left and the right? To those calling for wholesale transformation or claiming a monopoly on “realistic” conceptions of humanity, liberalism’s assured progressivism can seem hard to swallow. Bleak Liberalism makes the case for a renewed understanding of the liberal tradition, showing that it is much more attuned to the complexity of political life than conventional accounts have acknowledged. Amanda Anderson examines canonical works of high realism, political novels from England and the United States, and modernist works to argue that liberalism has engaged sober and even stark views of historical development, political dynamics, and human and social psychology. From Charles Dickens’s Bleak House and Hard Times to E. M. Forster’s Howards End to Doris Lessing’s The Golden Notebook, this literature demonstrates that liberalism has inventive ways of balancing sociological critique and moral aspiration. A deft blend of intellectual history and literary analysis, Bleak Liberalism reveals a richer understanding of one of the most important political ideologies of the modern era.
Categories: Literary Criticism