LITR 5731 Seminar in Multicultural Literature
Minority Literature

Lecture Notes


HJ on inter-race: 1.2, 1.3, 1.6; 14.1


1.2 mulattoes, merchandise

1.3 maternal grandmother, daughter of a planter, freed, returned

1.5 bake crackers at night

1.6 Anglo-Saxon ancestors

1.7 slave, being property, can hold no property (cf. women)

1.12 future . . . what they would do with me

1.13 taught me to read and spell

3.6 happy free women

3.7 children torn from her

5.2 subdue = seduce?

5.3 vile monster, sacred commandments of nature

5.4 no shadow of law

5.5 beauty as greatest curse; admiration > degradation

5.7 silence or death

5.9 [private influence of grandmother; cf. Fuller]

5.11 two beautiful children playing together

6.1 [family dynamics disrupted]

6.3 literacy as trap

Ch. 6 as jealous mistress, but little women’s bonding

6.20 I was touched by her grief; incapable of feeling, not very refined (class difference)

6.22 color of his soul! (color code)

6.22 rejoice to live in town; contrast supposedly romantic plantation

6.23 whispers

6.26 romantic notions of a sunny clime

6.27 children as property, marketable as pigs

6.29 deadens moral sense in white women

7.3 laws no sanction to marriage

7.16 romantic codes of honor

7.20-21 rights?

7.31 marriage no protection

7.32 get to the north

10.6 confuses all principles of morality

10.7 different standards

14.5 gothic (pit)

14.6 double minority

14.8 no claim to a name

14.11 genealogies of slavery (skeins metaphor)

14.12 chains metaphor

21.1 gothic? Attic

21.4 all must be done in darkness

21.5 verisimilitude x romanticism

41.9 domesticity—home of my own







pleasure of company of someone who’s smarter than you are but wants and encourages your company

fiction / stories as learning how to live in world

fearlessness / shock but cool or deadpan--yet also delicacy

negative capacity: strong characters, independent of each other, not all same

mythic stature of characters

individualized, not stereotypical, yet stand for something

like they're the only people in the world




love of language


expansion of sensorium 173 (ch. 8)

40-41 black, rainbow


47 purple


185 deeper darkness


Gretchen: physicality

obsessive themes but never limiting

humanizes Macon Sr.

comic seriousness

humor p. 54 humor humanizes


difficulty of book:

no role model, no standard

Pilate, but problem of Reba and Hagar


196 she didn’t know any grown-up women




Notes on Song of Solomon


67-68 [Oedipal drama]


Loss, separation

absence of navel, problem of origins; need to know story (cf. Dream)