Richard Wright's Native Son
Coinciding with the preparations for the celebration in 2008 of Richard Wright's 100th birthday, this new collection of critical essays onNative Son attests to the importance and endurance of Wright's controversial work. The eleven essays collected in this volume engage the objective of Rodopi's Dialogue Series by creating multidirectional conversations in which senior and younger scholars interact with each other and with previous scholars who have weighed in on the novel's import. Speaking from distant corners of the world, the contributors to this book reflect an international interest in Wright's unique combination of literary strategies and social aims. The wide range of approaches to Native Son is presented in five thematic sections. The first three sections cover aspects such as the historical reception of Wright's novel, the inscription of sex and gender both inNative Son and in other African American texts, and the influence of Africa and of vortical symbolism on Wright's aesthetics; following is the study of the novel from the point of view of its adoption and transformation of various literary genres—the African American jeremiad, the protest novel, the crime novel and courtroom drama, theBildungsroman, and the Biblical modes of narration. The closing section analyzes the novel's lasting influence through its adaptation to other artistic fields, such as the cinema and song in the form of hip-hop. The present volume may, therefore, be of interest for students who are not very familiar with Wright's classic text as well as for scholars and Richard Wright specialists.
African American Literature Afro-American American Exceptionalism American Jeremiad argues artistic audience Baldwin Bessie’s biblical Bigger Figures Bigger Thomas Bigger’s bildungsroman black male Black Power black women Book of Job character Chicago context Critical Essays critique death depiction economic Ellison Eminem Emplotment of Surplus existential explains Fabre fear feel female film gangsta rap genres Hip Hop Culture homo-social human Hurston images impact jeremiad killed liberation lives Mary Dalton Mary’s Max’s Meaning in Native modern mother movie murder narrative Native Son’s ideology naturalist nature Negro one’s oppression persona Petry Poe’s political Protest Novel race racial racism readers reflect relationship represents rhetorical Richard Wright Richard Wright’s Native Robert scene sense sexual slavery social society stereotypes story suggests Surplus Meaning symbol tradition Uncle Tom’s Children understand urban victim violence voice vortex vortical white American Wright’s fiction Wright’s novel writers York Zora Neale Hurston