David Copperfield

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Poof College Literature, Oct 1996 v23 n3 p88(16) The Black voice and the language of the text: Toni Morrison's 'Sula.' ([De]Colonizing Reading/[Dis]Covering the Other) Biman Basu. Abstract: African American writers have manipulated the narrative text to reflect their literary heritage: oral tradition. Toni Morrison skillfully appropriated the traditionally Anglo-American literary device in her novel 'Sula,' by excluding from the language she used that which is not found, shaped or informed by the nuances of the Black and female voice. Morrison's language is not just representational. It has caught the essence of music that she was striving for when she created Sula. Full Text: COPYRIGHT 1996 West Chester University One of the most significant developments in the African-American tradition has been the formation of a class of intellectuals (scholars, critics, writers), a formation shot through and through with conflict both within and without. The conflict, on one hand, is between African-American and American culture, and on the other, between this class of intellectuals and the "people," the "masses."

The conflict, in both its productive and traumatic force, may, in fact, be seen as propelling the trajectory of the African-American intellectual and expressive enterprise. Even the terms used to understand this phenomenon offer ample evidence of the centrality of conflict in the works of African-American writers: double consciousness, dialogics of difference/dialectics of identity, simultaneity of oppression/discourse, immersion and ascent, roots and routes, anchorage and voyage, etc. The centrality of this concern in cultural analysis cannot be elided when we shift our focus to literary studies. While this conflict is operative in practically all African-American writing, the focus here is on the tradition of black women's fiction, specifically as it appears in Toni Morrison's Sula. In terms of narrative strategy, black women writers have negotiated this conflict by manipulating what we...