Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Implied NowhereAbsence in Folklore Studies$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Shelley Ingram, Willow G. Mullins, and Todd Richardson

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9781496822956

Published to University Press of Mississippi: January 2020

DOI: 10.14325/mississippi/9781496822956.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM Mississippi SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.mississippi.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University Press of Mississippi, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in MSSO for personal use.date: 22 September 2021

The Footprints of Ghosts: Fictional Folklorists in the Work of Gloria Naylor, Lee Smith, Randall Kenan, and Colson Whitehead

The Footprints of Ghosts: Fictional Folklorists in the Work of Gloria Naylor, Lee Smith, Randall Kenan, and Colson Whitehead

Chapter:
(p.95) Three The Footprints of Ghosts: Fictional Folklorists in the Work of Gloria Naylor, Lee Smith, Randall Kenan, and Colson Whitehead
Source:
Implied Nowhere
Author(s):

Shelley Ingram

Publisher:
University Press of Mississippi
DOI:10.14325/mississippi/9781496822956.003.0007

This chapter looks at the fictional folklorists who appear in the work of Gloria Naylor, Lee Smith, Randall Kenan, and Colson Whitehead. An interesting pattern emerges when you consider the works of these four writers side-by-side: each of the stories are structured through a metafictive, self-conscious framework, each ask the reader to think critically about notions of authenticity, and each are haunted by ghosts, both figurative and literal. The ghostly is not an arbitrary signifier here. It figures an absence that has something to do with knowledge and text, with literary tourism, and with the inability to ever know, really, the shape of a community’s past, present, or future. This chapter thus argues that the character of the folklorist serves as a metonymic signifier of the absence always present in the representation of cultures.

Keywords:   Gloria Naylor, Lee Smith, Randall Kenan, Colson Whitehead, Ghosts, Absence

University Press of Mississippi requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.