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The seventeen essays collected in this volume prove that Ellison was not only one of America's most dazzling and innovative novelists, but perhaps also our most perceptive and iconoclastic commentator on matters of literature, culture, and race. In Going to the Territory, Ellison provides us with dramatically fresh readings of Faulkner and Richard Wright, along with new perspectives on the music of Duke Ellington and the art of Romare Bearden. He analyzes the subversive quality of black laughter, the mythic underpinnings of his masterpiece Invisible Man, and the extent to which America's national identity rests on the contributions of African-Amercians.
"[This] is the work of one of the most formidable figures in American intellectual life. Many of the sixteen pieces it contains are concerned with the nature and quality of the lives black Americans lead...More generally, though, [it] is a book about being American, and the conclusions it reaches are applicable to all Americans."--Jonathan Yardley, The Washington Post
The Little Man at Chehaw Station
On Initiation Rites and Power: Ralph Ellison Speaks at West Point
What These Children Are Like
The Myth of the Flawed White Southerner
If the Twain Shall Meet
What America Would Be Like Without Blacks
Portrait of Inman Page: A Dedication Speech
Going to the Territory
An Extravagance of Laughter
Remembering Richard Wright
Homage to Duke Ellington on His Birthday
The Art of Romare Bearden
Society, Morality, and the Novel
"A Very Stern Discipline"
The Novel as a Function of American Democracy
Perspective of Literature