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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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Beginnings and Endings, Part Two: The Poetics of Similitude and Disavowal at Utopia's Gates

Beginnings and Endings, Part Two: The Poetics of Similitude and Disavowal at Utopia's Gates

Chapter:
(p.188) 5. Beginnings and Endings, Part Two: The Poetics of Similitude and Disavowal at Utopia's Gates
Source:
Toni Morrison
Author(s):

Yvette Christiansë

Publisher:
Fordham University Press
DOI:10.5422/fordham/9780823239153.003.0006

This chapter examines the poetics of similitude and disavowal in Toni Morrison's novel A Mercy. It suggests that this work is Morrison's attempt to separate race from slavery and to see it and its imagined emergent subjectivities in an ad hoc state in America. It analyzes the meaning of the separate journeys of the characters of Florens and her master Jacob Vaark and the attempts of Jacob and his wife Rebekka to reach for similitude in order to survive. This chapter also suggests that there is always an irresistible transference of memory from one generation to another, despite an attempt at rupture.

Keywords:   A Mercy, Toni Morrison, similitude, disavowal, race, slavery, emergent subjectivities, memory

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