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Toni MorrisonAn Ethical Poetics$
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Yvette Christiansë

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780823239153

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: May 2013

DOI: 10.5422/fordham/9780823239153.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM FORDHAM SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.fordham.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Fordham University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in FSO for personal use.date: 19 September 2021

From Witnessing to Death Dealing: On Speaking of and for the Dead

From Witnessing to Death Dealing: On Speaking of and for the Dead

Chapter:
(p.28) 1. From Witnessing to Death Dealing: On Speaking of and for the Dead
Source:
Toni Morrison
Author(s):

Yvette Christiansë

Publisher:
Fordham University Press
DOI:10.5422/fordham/9780823239153.003.0002

This chapter examines the writings of Toni Morrison about witnessing and dealing with death. It discusses the commentaries of Giorgio Agamben and Jean-Francois Lyotard on Morrison's novels and suggests that her focus on origins upends the presumptive temporality of witnessing by revealing the entanglement of a future catastrophe with the desire for amnesia and severance from the past that so often appears to be a source of freedom. This chapter also contends that from The Bluest Eye through Tar Baby, Morrison questioned the processing of witnessing and most of her novels are filled with the necessity of remembering forgetting.

Keywords:   Toni Morrison, death, witnessing, Giorgio Agamben, Jean-Francois Lyotard, The Bluest Eye, Tar Baby, forgetting

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