This work expands the scope of Morrison’s project to examine the ways and means of memory in the preservation of belief systems passed down from the earliest civilizations (both the Classical Greek and the Ancient Egyptian) as a challenge to the sterility of modernity. Moreover, this research explores the author’s specific use of Foucauldian theory as a vehicle for her narrative, which reclaims the very origins of civilization’s primal concerns with life, procreation and regeneration, springing from the very Heart of Africa. Despite the weight of "white" authority and the disparaging of "blackness," Beloved’s multiple "ghosts" conjure up a legacy so potent that no authoritarian discourse has been able to entirely erase it, a legacy that still speaks to us from a heritage we no longer acknowledge yet that nevertheless remains, and sustains us.
Table of Contents
Chapter 1: "Literary Archaeology" Chapter 2: "Memory Work" Chapter 3: "124 is Haunted" Chapter 4: Origins I: "Classical Greece" Chapter 5: Origins II: "Out of Africa" Conclusion Epilogue
Justine Tally is Professor of American Literature at the University of La Laguna, where she specializes in African American literature. Her books include Paradise Reconsidered: Toni Morrison’s (Hi)stories and Truths (1999) and The Story of Jazz: Toni Morrison’s Dialogic Imagination (2001), and The Cambridge Companion to Toni Morrison (Ed. 2007).
"Obviously the labor of a seasoned scholar who has read widely and taken her time, Tally's critical adventure explores the contents and continents required to accumulate the richly interpretative hermeneutics demanded by her writer...she turns to the text, which to my mind renders her book a page-turner, the writing remarkably readable, sometimes riveting, often funny." – Susan Neal Mayberry, African American Review