How does racial ideology contribute to the exploration of narrative voice? How does narrative (un)reliability help in the production and critique of racial ideologies? Through a refreshing comparative analysis of well-established novels by Joseph Conrad, William Faulkner, James Weldon Johnson, Albert Camus and Alejo Carpentier, this book explores the racial politics of literary form. Narrative Reliability, Racial Conflicts and Ideology in the Modern Novel contributes to the emergent attention in literary studies to the interrelation of form and politics, which has been underexplored in narrative theory and comparative racial studies. Bridging cultural, postcolonial, racial studies and narratology, this book brings context specificity and awareness to the production of ideological, ambivalent narrative texts that, through technical innovation in narrative reliability, deeply engage with extremely violent episodes of colonial origin in the United Kingdom, the United States, Algeria, and the French and Spanish Caribbean. In this manner, the book reformulates and expands the problem of narrative reliability and highlights the key uses and production of racial discourses so as to reveal the participation of experimental novels in early and mid-20th century racial conflicts, which function as test case to display a broad, new area of study in cultural and political narrative theory.
Introduction. Experimenting with Reliability, Exploring Racial Conflicts
Chapter 1. A Voice of Persuasion, the English Gentleman, and British Imperialism in Joseph Conrad’s Lord Jim
Chapter 2. Reliability as a "Passing Zone": James Weldon Johnson’s The Autobiography of an Ex-Colored Man
Chapter 3. Degrees of Reliability, Miscegenation, and the New South Creed in Faulkner’s Absalom, Absalom!
Chapter 4. Estranging, Discordant Reliability, and French Colonial Algeria in Albert Camus’ L’étranger
Chapter 5. Narrative Perspective and the Lights and Shadows of the Haitian Revolution in Alejo Carpentier’s El reino de este mundo