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Wednesday feb 13.docx

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Department
English
Course
ENGL 3550
Professor
Scott Schau
Semester
Winter

Description
ENGL 3550 Wednesday, February 13, 2013 Prologue - Hole o Of. The America Play - How voice emerges from hole o “I” to “you” to “he” Repetitions and revisions - Constitution and reconstitution of “I” throughout novel - Remaking the “I” and his own subjectivity. Remaking himself - E.g. interrogations in factory hospital: interrogation about who he is ch 11 and then ch 12 begins with him coming up from subway—sort of rebirth Constitutions of the self: - Personal - Political - Existential—a notion of identity as metaphysical - Racial(ized) o “the vast whiteness in which I myself was lost” (238) o “who am I?... maybe I was just this blackness and bewilderment and pain, but that semmes less like a suitable answer than something I’s read somewhere”(240) o “When I discover who I am, I’ll be free” (243) - “who knows but that, on the lower frequencies, I speak for you?(IM 581) o “I” to “you” o You as audience (reader) – reaching out to reader, making connection between races (white and black), or a direct connection to Black if reader is Black. o Or you as himself. - Also slipperiness of identity o Shifting names, identities, disguise, misrecognition Prologue continued: - Visibility of black man o Images of eyes and blindness  Sight, blindness o Accompanied by violence and laughter (5)  Violence connected to visability - Light from Monopolated Light and Power o Drawing on white power  Stealing and diverting it ENGL 3550 o To define self (7)  To give himself power, surrounding himself with light Above picture : “after Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison, the Prologue,” Jeff Wall (1999-2000) Repetitions and revisions - Motifs of eyes, sight, blindness throughout novel - Eg. Battle royal: black boys blinded by white blindfolds imposed by white men (21 ff) - Vet in the Golden Day on blindness and race relations (95) - Blindness of Rev. Barbee, preaching at college (113) - Light blinding protagonist at first speech for brotherhood (338) - False vision Brother Jack’s false eye (474) - Reinhart’s sunglasses (483) o He starts to see things better as Reinhart  The less people are able to see him the more he is able to see them. - Vision - Light blinding - Whiteness and light is blinding - Prologue Con’d - Voice and sound - Louis Armstrong performance as intertext o “perhaps I like Louis Armstrong because he’s made poetry out of being invisible” (8) o “I play the invisible music of my isolation” (13) Look at picture below—detail about sound-record player is there –character is listening to it - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gHLTI2cMCQk ENGL 3550 - “What did I do to be so black and blue” listened to it in multiple ways Multiple layers—multiple dim
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