The Cambridge companion to Ralph Ellison /

Corporate Author: Cambridge collections online.
Other Authors: Posnock, Ross,
Format: Online Book
Language: English
Published: Cambridge ; New York : Cambridge University Press, 2005.
Series: Cambridge companions to literature.
Online Access: Online version
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Review by Choice Review

Readers of these powerful essays will discover (or rediscover) the delineations of--and the sides taken in--the Ellison paradox: his notion of African Americans as not "separate but equal" but rather as a "mixed and pluralistic" people within and outside the African American context. In his strong introduction and essay on Ellison's politics, Posnock (Columbia Univ.) provides insight into the complexity of Ellison's declarations. In the concluding essay, "Dry Bones," Eric Sundquist considers Ellison's reaction and rebuttal to Irving Howe's espousal of Richard Wright's "politicized naturalism." Sundquist elucidates Ellison's approach, through fiction and nonfiction, to ethnicity, stereotypes, and universal aestheticism--not a black ethos but an ideal one. He finds common ground between Ellison and Bernard Malamud and Philip Roth, both of whom were accused of being too critical of their own people. For those not familiar with Ellison, Posnock includes a helpful, detailed chronology. The complete bibliography is valuable. ^BSumming Up: Highly recommended. Upper-division undergraduates and above. A. Hirsh emeritus, Central Connecticut State University

Copyright American Library Association, used with permission.