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Chapter 10 - Visualizing Black Identity in Ellison’s Fiction

from Part II - Historical, Political, and Cultural Contexts

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  14 January 2022

Paul Devlin
Affiliation:
United States Merchant Marine Academy, New York
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Summary

This chapter examines Ellison’s interest in visual art from his college days at Tuskegee Institute to the end of his career. By tracing Ellison’s evolving interest in visual media ranging from sculpture to painting to photography, I demonstrate his consistent attention to visual art. Most importantly, I consider how Ellison’s attention to the world of the visual influences his narrative technique. From his early experiments with short stories and novellas to his work on Invisible Man, essays, and Three Days Before the Shooting. . ., Ellison’s engagement with visual art reflects his sophisticated experimentation with presenting black identity.

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Ralph Ellison in Context , pp. 117 - 126
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2021

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