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Diane Publishing Books
Deep Talk: Reading African-American Literary Names
Debra Walker King (au)
Names and naming in Africa-Amer. (AA) lit. is very important. King interprets the significance of certain character names. She explores what she calls the “metatext” of names, where these words offer up symbolic, metaphoric, and other meanings. Literary names can give voice to unspoken themes and events, a process known as “deep talk.” Drawing on the work of Kristeva, Bakhtin, and Henry Louis Gates Jr., King explains the guidelines necessary to read “deep talk” in AA texts. She then applies these guidelines to texts by Ralph Ellison, Zora Neale Hurston, James Baldwin, Toni Morrison, and Alice Walker, and others. Reveals how this process empowered AA, a way of reclaiming black identity and resisting conventions of white society.
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