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23. Edward P. Jones, The Known World (cont.)

The American Novel Since 1945 (ENGL 291) In this second lecture on The Known World, Professor Hungerford addresses Edward P. Jones's ambitious and ambivalent relation to literacy. Jones shows us the power of narrative to bring together the fragmentation of the world, but is at the same time deeply aware of the fragility of text, all of the ways it can be destroyed, misinterpreted, abused, or lost. The son of an illiterate mother, Jones--who, it seems, composed and memorized large portions of The Known World before setting anything down in print--models a form of literary self-consciousness infused with the moral dilemmas of slavery and freedom that is unique among contemporary novels. 00:00 - Chapter 1. Meditations on the Difficulty of Writing: The Right-to-Left Directionality of Creation 13:43 - Chapter 2. The Fragile Power of Text: Insubstantiality of Freedom 20:45 - Chapter 3. The Complicity of Creation 24:58 - Chapter 4. The Durability of Plastic Arts: Augustus's Carving and Alice's Weaving 33:32 - Chapter 5. Edward P. Jones's Authorial Project: Weaving Unity into the Fragmented Modern Narrative Complete course materials are available at the Open Yale Courses website: This course was recorded in Spring 2008.
Length: 46:44


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