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The strangers book : the human of African American literature / Lloyd Pratt.

By: Pratt, Lloyd, 1967- [author.].
Material type: TextTextSeries: JSTOR eBooks.Haney Foundation series: Publisher: Philadelphia : University of Pennsylvania Press, [2016]Copyright date: ©2016Description: 1 online resource (xii, 186 pages .).Content type: text Media type: computer Carrier type: online resourceISBN: 0812291999; 9780812291995.Subject(s): American literature -- African American authors -- History and criticism | Strangers in literature | Blacks in literature | Human beings in literatureGenre/Form: Electronic books.Additional physical formats: Print version:: Strangers book.DDC classification: 810.9/896073 LOC classification: PS153.N5 | P73 2016Online resources: Click here to view this ebook.
Contents:
Cover; Contents; Preface; Introduction. Print and the Human; Chapter 1. The Making of Self-Evidence; Chapter 2. Frederick Douglass's Stranger-With-Thee; Chapter 3. Les Apôtres de la Littérature and Les Cenelles; Chapter 4. The Abundant Black Past; Chapter 5. How to Read a Strangers Book; Epilogue. Stranger Literature; Notes; Bibliography; Index; A; B; C; D; E; F; G; H; I; J; K; L; M; N; O; P; Q; R; S; T; U; V; W; Y; Acknowledgments
Summary: "The Strangers Book explores how various nineteenth-century African American writers radically reframed the terms of humanism by redefining what it meant to be a stranger. Rejecting the idea that humans have easy access to a common reserve of experiences and emotions, they countered the notion that a person can use a supposed knowledge of human nature to claim full understanding of any other person's life. Instead they posited that being a stranger, unknown and unknowable, was an essential part of the human condition. Affirming the unknown and unknowable differences between people, as individuals and in groups, laid the groundwork for an ethical and democratic society in which all persons could find a place. If everyone is a stranger, then no individual or class can lay claim to the characteristics that define who gets to be a human in political and public arenas. Lloyd Pratt focuses on nineteenth-century African American writing and publishing venues and practices such as the Colored National Convention movement and literary societies in Nantucket and New Orleans. Examining the writing of Frederick Douglass in tandem with that of the francophone free men of color who published the first anthology of African American poetry in 1845, he contends these authors were never interested in petitioning whites for sympathy or for recognition of their humanity. Instead, they presented a moral imperative to develop practices of stranger humanism in order to forge personal and political connections based on mutually acknowledged and always evolving differences."--Publisher's Web site.
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Item type Current location Call number URL Status Date due Barcode
Electronic Book UT Tyler Online
Online
PS153.N5 P73 2016 (Browse shelf) https://ezproxy.uttyler.edu/login?url=http://www.jstor.org/stable/10.2307/j.ctt17mcsgn Available ocn930300920

Includes bibliographical references and index.

Print version record.

Cover; Contents; Preface; Introduction. Print and the Human; Chapter 1. The Making of Self-Evidence; Chapter 2. Frederick Douglass's Stranger-With-Thee; Chapter 3. Les Apôtres de la Littérature and Les Cenelles; Chapter 4. The Abundant Black Past; Chapter 5. How to Read a Strangers Book; Epilogue. Stranger Literature; Notes; Bibliography; Index; A; B; C; D; E; F; G; H; I; J; K; L; M; N; O; P; Q; R; S; T; U; V; W; Y; Acknowledgments

"The Strangers Book explores how various nineteenth-century African American writers radically reframed the terms of humanism by redefining what it meant to be a stranger. Rejecting the idea that humans have easy access to a common reserve of experiences and emotions, they countered the notion that a person can use a supposed knowledge of human nature to claim full understanding of any other person's life. Instead they posited that being a stranger, unknown and unknowable, was an essential part of the human condition. Affirming the unknown and unknowable differences between people, as individuals and in groups, laid the groundwork for an ethical and democratic society in which all persons could find a place. If everyone is a stranger, then no individual or class can lay claim to the characteristics that define who gets to be a human in political and public arenas. Lloyd Pratt focuses on nineteenth-century African American writing and publishing venues and practices such as the Colored National Convention movement and literary societies in Nantucket and New Orleans. Examining the writing of Frederick Douglass in tandem with that of the francophone free men of color who published the first anthology of African American poetry in 1845, he contends these authors were never interested in petitioning whites for sympathy or for recognition of their humanity. Instead, they presented a moral imperative to develop practices of stranger humanism in order to forge personal and political connections based on mutually acknowledged and always evolving differences."--Publisher's Web site.

Reviews provided by Syndetics

Library Journal Review

Pratt (American literature, Univ. of Oxford) proposes that black writers in the 19th century reinvented the concept of humanism by similarly reimagining the idea of the stranger. © Copyright 2015. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

CHOICE Review

The end result of great scholarship is often to make the subject studied seem strange, allowing the reader to see a familiar issue or text with fresh eyes. Pratt (Univ. of Oxford, UK) accomplishes this feat in his exploration of 19th-century African American writing as a space where writers redefined ideals of humanism by positing that being a stranger was both essential to the human condition and important as a foundational belief for defining an ethical democratic society. The author first identifies this ideal in the collective publications of antifacist texts, then reads Frederick Douglass and the poets who contributed to Les Cenelles (1845)--a collection of 85 French-language poems by African Creole poets of Louisiana--as producing compelling reworkings of the human through the stranger persona. He ends by linking Douglass's work to contemporary writer Edward Jones and formalist George Lukacs in order to demonstrate how African American historical narratives rely on the stranger motif as a central means of capturing the totality of black experience. Building on the work of Alexander Weheliye, Ellen Rooney, and Paul Gilroy among others, Pratt develops an important argument about the need for revised and expanded notions of the human in revising social contracts. Summing Up: Highly recommended. Upper-division undergraduates through faculty. --David Earl Magill, Longwood University

Author notes provided by Syndetics

Lloyd Pratt is Drue Heinz Professor of American Literature at the University of Oxford. He is author of Archives of American Time: Literature and Modernity in the Nineteenth Century, also available from the University of Pennsylvania Press.

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