Geoffrey Sanborn's Plagiarama!: William Wells Brown and the Aesthetic of PDF

By Geoffrey Sanborn

ISBN-10: 023117442X

ISBN-13: 9780231174428

William Wells Brown (1814–1884) used to be a vocal abolitionist, a common antagonist of Frederick Douglass, and the writer of Clotel, the 1st identified novel by means of an African American. He was once additionally an intensive plagiarist, copying a minimum of 87,000 phrases from as regards to three hundred texts. within the first full-length severe learn of Brown in virtually fifty years, Geoffrey Sanborn bargains a unique analyzing of Brown’s plagiarism, arguing the act used to be a way of capitalizing at the energies of mass-cultural entertainments. by means of developing the textual an identical of a range convey, Brown lively antislavery discourse and evoked the possibility of a pleasurably built-in world.

Brown’s key dramatic protagonists have been the “spirit of capitalization”—the unscrupulous double of Max Weber’s spirit of capitalism—and the “beautiful slave girl,” a light-skinned African American lady at the verge of sale and rape. The unsettling portrayal of those figures, unfolding inside a riotous patchwork of second-hand texts, disappointed conference and provoked the mind's eye. may a slippery upstart lay the basis for a surely interracial society? may possibly the fetishized snapshot of a not-yet-sold girl carry open the prospect ¬¬of different destinies? Sanborn’s research of pastiche and plagiarism provides new intensity to the examine of nineteenth-century cultural heritage and African American literature, suggesting modes of African American writing that reach past narratives of necessity and function. Brown’s use of plagiarized texts and play with possession also are very important precursors to the paintings of such later authors as Pauline Hopkins, Nathaniel West, and Kathy Acker.

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Plagiarama!: William Wells Brown and the Aesthetic of Attractions by Geoffrey Sanborn


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