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Toni MorrisonMemory and Meaning$
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Adrienne Lanier Seward and Justine Tally

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9781628460193

Published to University Press of Mississippi: May 2015

DOI: 10.14325/mississippi/9781628460193.001.0001

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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: 21 September 2021

Modernity and the Homeless

Modernity and the Homeless

Toni Morrison and the Fictions of Modernism

(p.19) Modernity and the Homeless
Toni Morrison

Marc C. Conner

University Press of Mississippi

This essay examines Toni Morrison’s writings within the larger contexts of modernism and modernity. Starting from the fundamental tenet that Morrison’s entire project is concerned with what Ellison describes as “our orphan’s loneliness,” the essay traces Morrison’s response to the alienation that she locates as the very definition of the twentieth century. For Morrison, the crisis of modernity is homelessness, and she expands this modern condition to take in not merely the early 20th century of the modern poets, but extending back into the roots of modernism in the 17th century. In her effort to describe, witness to, and reveal the brutalizations of modernity, Morrison also traces a response to this radical condition of homelessness. This response is pointedly at odds with the dominant discourses of postmodern and postcolonial theory, in that it is both unremittingly embodied and resolutely religious in its nature. (143 words)

Keywords:   modernity, modernism, homelessness, alienation, postmodern and & postcolonial theory

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