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The Resource Toni Morrison's Beloved and the apotropaic imagination, Kathleen Marks

Toni Morrison's Beloved and the apotropaic imagination, Kathleen Marks

Label
Toni Morrison's Beloved and the apotropaic imagination
Title
Toni Morrison's Beloved and the apotropaic imagination
Statement of responsibility
Kathleen Marks
Title variation
Beloved and the apotropaic imagination
Creator
Contributor
Subject
Language
eng
Summary
"Toni Morrison{u2019}s Beloved and the Apotropaic Imagination investigates Toni Morrison{u2019}s Beloved in light of ancient Greek influences, arguing that the African American experience depicted in the novel can be set in a broader context than is usually allowed. Kathleen Marks gives a history of the apotropaic from ancient to modern times, and shows the ways that Beloved{u2019}sprotagonist, Sethe, and her community engage the apotropaic as a mode of dealing with their communal suffering. Apotropaic, from the Greek, meaning 2to turn away from,3 refers to rituals that were performed in ancient times to ward off evil deities. Modern scholars use the term to denote an action that, in attempting to prevent an evil, causes that very evil. Freud employed the apotropaic to explain his thought concerning Medusa and the castration complex, and Derrida found the apotropaic{u2019}s logic of self-sabotage consonant with his own thought. Marks draws on this critical history and argues that Morrison{u2019}s heroine{u2019}s effort to keep the past at bay is apotropaic: a series of gestures aimed at resisting a danger, a threat, an imperative. These gestures anticipate, mirror, and put into effect that which they seek to avoid{u2014}one does what one finds horrible so as to mitigate its horror. In Beloved, Sethe{u2019}s killing of her baby reveals this dynamic: she kills the baby in order to save it. As do all great heroes, Sethe transgresses boundaries, and such transgressions bring with them terrific dangers: for example, the figure Beloved. Yet Sethe{u2019}s action has ritualistic undertones that link it to the type of primal crimes that can bring relief to a petrified community. It is through these apotropaic gestures that the heroine and the community resist what Morrison calls 2cultural amnesia3 and engage in a shared past, finally inaugurating a new order of love. Toni Morrison{u2019}s Beloved and the Apotropaic Imagination is eclectic in its approach{u2014}calling upon Greek religion, Greek mythology and underworld images, and psychology. Marks looks at the losses and benefits of the kind of self-damage/self-agency the apotropaic affords. Such an approach helps to frame the questions of the role of suffering in human life, the relation between humans and the underworld, and the uses of memory and history."--Publishers website
Cataloging source
DLC
http://library.link/vocab/creatorDate
1963-
http://library.link/vocab/creatorName
Marks, Kathleen
Dewey number
813/.54
Government publication
government publication of a state province territory dependency etc
Index
index present
LC call number
PS3563.O8749
LC item number
B435 2002
Literary form
non fiction
Nature of contents
bibliography
http://library.link/vocab/relatedWorkOrContributorName
University of Missouri Press
http://library.link/vocab/subjectName
  • Morrison, Toni
  • Historical fiction, American
  • Self-destructive behavior in literature
  • African American women in literature
  • Self-preservation in literature
  • Infanticide in literature
  • Slavery in literature
  • Ohio
Label
Toni Morrison's Beloved and the apotropaic imagination, Kathleen Marks
Instantiates
Publication
Bibliography note
Includes bibliographical references and index
Carrier category
volume
Carrier category code
  • nc
Carrier MARC source
rdacarrier
Content category
text
Content type code
  • txt
Content type MARC source
rdacontent
Control code
50478389
Dimensions
24 cm
Extent
ix, 162 pages
Isbn
9780826214379
Isbn Type
(alk. paper)
Lccn
2002012715
Media category
unmediated
Media MARC source
rdamedia
Media type code
  • n
Label
Toni Morrison's Beloved and the apotropaic imagination, Kathleen Marks
Publication
Bibliography note
Includes bibliographical references and index
Carrier category
volume
Carrier category code
  • nc
Carrier MARC source
rdacarrier
Content category
text
Content type code
  • txt
Content type MARC source
rdacontent
Control code
50478389
Dimensions
24 cm
Extent
ix, 162 pages
Isbn
9780826214379
Isbn Type
(alk. paper)
Lccn
2002012715
Media category
unmediated
Media MARC source
rdamedia
Media type code
  • n

Library Locations

    • Thomas Jefferson LibraryBorrow it
      1 University Blvd, St. Louis, MO, 63121, US
      38.710138 -90.311107
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