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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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The Journey Back (Again)

The Journey Back (Again)

The Post-Traumatic Narratives

(p.144) Chapter Four The Journey Back (Again)
All Stories Are True

Tracie Church Guzzio

University Press of Mississippi

This chapter describes how Wideman’s dialogue with recorded or popular history illustrates his aesthetic effectively. Through the imagination, he can fill the gaps and silences of African American life in the historical consciousness, and in doing so, celebrates the unknown men and women who survived and kept a tradition alive in the wake of slavery, racism, and oppression. Reaching back into the past allows Wideman to confront the site of trauma and the “original sin” of America—slavery. Wideman seeks to question, deconstruct, and displace those histories of the hegemonic culture by revising them or overlapping them within his own fictions, autobiographies, and re-imaginings of the past. He buries the recorded history in his writing as historians have often buried the stories of African Americans in the official chronicles.

Keywords:   popular history, African American life, historical consciousness, slavery, racism, hegemonic culture

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