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All Stories Are TrueHistory, Myth, and Trauma in the Work of John Edgar Wideman$
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Tracie Church Guzzio

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9781617030048

Published to University Press of Mississippi: March 2014

DOI: 10.14325/mississippi/9781617030048.001.0001

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“All Stories Are True”

“All Stories Are True”

Palimpsestic Storytelling

(p.15) Chapter One “All Stories Are True”
All Stories Are True

Tracie Church Guzzio

University Press of Mississippi

This chapter shows how the Ibo saying “all stories are true” suggest a way of reading Wideman’s chronicle of his family and the history of the community and the race. The statement and its appearance in his canon direct readers to a meditation on history itself, the nature of storytelling, and the dialogue between cultural discourses. This can also be extended into a consideration of Wideman’s style and how it reflects his content. His “palimpsestic” storytelling can be seen through the intratextual and intertextual interaction of multiple perspectives, narrators, versions of stories, and discourse modes. This allows Wideman to engage both the European and African traditions in his narratives as dialogic and contrapuntal texts.

Keywords:   nature of storytelling, Ibo saying, cultural discourses, palimpsestic storytelling, contrapuntal texts

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