Playing in the Dark: Whiteness and the Literary Imagination, by Toni Morrison

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“Playing in the Dark: Whiteness and the Literary Imagination is an adaptation of three lectures that Toni Morrison delivered at the Massey Lectures at Harvard University in 1990. She turned the three-part series into a ninety-one-page book, published in 1992 by Harvard University Press. The lectures concern issues of race in American literature and the ways that literary whiteness and literary blackness are actively constructed within literature. She considers how these racial issues affect literature as a whole.”

Morrison seeks to expand the scope of American literature and use gender roles, sexualization, and racial prejudice as her subject matter. Race is a metaphorically tool in her approach and her goal seems to be that a Black increasingly necessary in American-ness comparing historical views. Morrison defends writing about race in literature saying to do so would rob fiction of it’s power.

Quotes

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