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Reclaiming Representations

Permanent Link: http://ncf.sobek.ufl.edu/NCFE003719/00001

Material Information

Title: Reclaiming Representations The Revisionist Work of Ishmael Reed
Physical Description: Book
Language: English
Creator: Van Dillen, Laura
Publisher: New College of Florida
Place of Publication: Sarasota, Fla.
Creation Date: 2006
Publication Date: 2006

Subjects

Subjects / Keywords: African American Literature
Postmodern Literature
Reed, Ishmael
Genre: bibliography   ( marcgt )
theses   ( marcgt )
government publication (state, provincial, terriorial, dependent)   ( marcgt )
born-digital   ( sobekcm )
Electronic Thesis or Dissertation

Notes

Abstract: In this thesis, I examine two works by African American author Ishmael Reed, Flight to Canada (1972) and Mumbo Jumbo (1976), in order to illuminate Reed�s fictive mission, which is to promote diverse artistic expression. This diversity exists in contrast to the stasis he perceives in Western culture; thus, Reed�s fiction attempts to deconstruct Western culture in order to promote alternate perspectives. In the first chapter, I explore Reed�s subversion of the Western cultural concepts of history and religion. For example, in Flight to Canada, Reed uses anachronistic narration to disrupt the linear conception of time (a fugitive slave escapes to Canada on a jumbo jet). In Mumbo Jumbo, Reed parodies the Judeo-Christian tradition by introducing Moses as a character in ancient Egypt, whose actions are dictated by the devious brother of Osiris, Set. The second chapter examines Reed�s treatment of cultural production, the methods through which culture is represented, and those representations are propagated. Reed focuses on several components of cultural production, including museum exhibits, the media, and academia. For Reed, the system of academia inhibits the expression of black artists by forcing them to write to meet cultural stereotypes. For example, a subplot in Mumbo Jumbo focuses on the quest to find the perfect �Talking Android,� a black writer who will transmit white ideals to his readers. In the conclusion, I explore Reed�s desire for black artists to rewrite culture. In his fiction, Reed subverts elements of Western culture through the act of rewriting. This rewriting is apparent in Reed�s presentation of caricatures, such as Lincoln in Flight to Canada and Hinckle Von Vampton, a play on the white patron of the Harlem Renaissance, Carl Van Vechten, in Mumbo Jumbo. Reed also revises historical times and places, such as the Civil War in Flight to Canada and the Harlem Renaissance and ancient Egypt in Mumbo Jumbo. Reed also includes the theme of rewriting as an important plot element in his works. In Flight to Canada, a house slave rewrites his master�s will, leaving himself all of the master�s property, which includes himself. Mumbo Jumbo ends with the refrain, �We will make our own future text,� because for Reed, even sacred books can be rewritten. By subverting Western culture through caricatures and revised accounts of history, and through the inclusion of rewriting as a theme in his works, Reed promotes the rewriting of culture as a means for liberation from physical, cultural, and artistic slavery.
Statement of Responsibility: by Laura Van Dillen
Thesis: Thesis (B.A.) -- New College of Florida, 2006
Electronic Access: RESTRICTED TO NCF STUDENTS, STAFF, FACULTY, AND ON-CAMPUS USE
Bibliography: Includes bibliographical references.
Source of Description: This bibliographic record is available under the Creative Commons CC0 public domain dedication. The New College of Florida, as creator of this bibliographic record, has waived all rights to it worldwide under copyright law, including all related and neighboring rights, to the extent allowed by law.
Local: Faculty Sponsor: Dimino, Andrea

Record Information

Source Institution: New College of Florida
Holding Location: New College of Florida
Rights Management: Applicable rights reserved.
Classification: local - S.T. 2006 V2
System ID: NCFE003719:00001

Permanent Link: http://ncf.sobek.ufl.edu/NCFE003719/00001

Material Information

Title: Reclaiming Representations The Revisionist Work of Ishmael Reed
Physical Description: Book
Language: English
Creator: Van Dillen, Laura
Publisher: New College of Florida
Place of Publication: Sarasota, Fla.
Creation Date: 2006
Publication Date: 2006

Subjects

Subjects / Keywords: African American Literature
Postmodern Literature
Reed, Ishmael
Genre: bibliography   ( marcgt )
theses   ( marcgt )
government publication (state, provincial, terriorial, dependent)   ( marcgt )
born-digital   ( sobekcm )
Electronic Thesis or Dissertation

Notes

Abstract: In this thesis, I examine two works by African American author Ishmael Reed, Flight to Canada (1972) and Mumbo Jumbo (1976), in order to illuminate Reed�s fictive mission, which is to promote diverse artistic expression. This diversity exists in contrast to the stasis he perceives in Western culture; thus, Reed�s fiction attempts to deconstruct Western culture in order to promote alternate perspectives. In the first chapter, I explore Reed�s subversion of the Western cultural concepts of history and religion. For example, in Flight to Canada, Reed uses anachronistic narration to disrupt the linear conception of time (a fugitive slave escapes to Canada on a jumbo jet). In Mumbo Jumbo, Reed parodies the Judeo-Christian tradition by introducing Moses as a character in ancient Egypt, whose actions are dictated by the devious brother of Osiris, Set. The second chapter examines Reed�s treatment of cultural production, the methods through which culture is represented, and those representations are propagated. Reed focuses on several components of cultural production, including museum exhibits, the media, and academia. For Reed, the system of academia inhibits the expression of black artists by forcing them to write to meet cultural stereotypes. For example, a subplot in Mumbo Jumbo focuses on the quest to find the perfect �Talking Android,� a black writer who will transmit white ideals to his readers. In the conclusion, I explore Reed�s desire for black artists to rewrite culture. In his fiction, Reed subverts elements of Western culture through the act of rewriting. This rewriting is apparent in Reed�s presentation of caricatures, such as Lincoln in Flight to Canada and Hinckle Von Vampton, a play on the white patron of the Harlem Renaissance, Carl Van Vechten, in Mumbo Jumbo. Reed also revises historical times and places, such as the Civil War in Flight to Canada and the Harlem Renaissance and ancient Egypt in Mumbo Jumbo. Reed also includes the theme of rewriting as an important plot element in his works. In Flight to Canada, a house slave rewrites his master�s will, leaving himself all of the master�s property, which includes himself. Mumbo Jumbo ends with the refrain, �We will make our own future text,� because for Reed, even sacred books can be rewritten. By subverting Western culture through caricatures and revised accounts of history, and through the inclusion of rewriting as a theme in his works, Reed promotes the rewriting of culture as a means for liberation from physical, cultural, and artistic slavery.
Statement of Responsibility: by Laura Van Dillen
Thesis: Thesis (B.A.) -- New College of Florida, 2006
Electronic Access: RESTRICTED TO NCF STUDENTS, STAFF, FACULTY, AND ON-CAMPUS USE
Bibliography: Includes bibliographical references.
Source of Description: This bibliographic record is available under the Creative Commons CC0 public domain dedication. The New College of Florida, as creator of this bibliographic record, has waived all rights to it worldwide under copyright law, including all related and neighboring rights, to the extent allowed by law.
Local: Faculty Sponsor: Dimino, Andrea

Record Information

Source Institution: New College of Florida
Holding Location: New College of Florida
Rights Management: Applicable rights reserved.
Classification: local - S.T. 2006 V2
System ID: NCFE003719:00001

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