Double-Consciousness/Double Bind

Theoretical Issues in Twentieth-Century Black Literature
Author: Sandra Adell
A provocative study of major twentieth century African American writers and critics
Cloth – $44
Publication Date
Cloth: 01/01/1994
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About the Book

Sandra Adell looks at Black literature and criticism's relationship with the complex ensemble of Western literature, criticism, and philosophy. Adell begins with an analysis of the metaphysical foundations of W. E. B. Du Bois's famous formulation of double-consciousness and how Black writing bears the traces of such European philosophers as Kant, Hegel, and Marx. She then examines, in the double context of black literature and European philosophy, the writings of major authors and essayists like Richard Wright, Leopold Senghor, Maya Angelou, Houston A. Baker, Jr., and Henry Louis Gates Jr. and offers a thoughtful analysis of the "double bind" created by conflicting claims of Euro- and Afrocentrism in Black literature.

About the Author

Sandra Adell is a professor in the Department of Afro-American Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She is the author of Literary Masters: Toni Morrison and editor of Contemporary Plays by African American Women: Ten Complete Works.

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"'It is a peculiar sensation, this double consciousness, this sense of always looking at one's self through the eyes of others.' For Adell, W. E. B. Du Bois's famous articulation of the 'twoness' of Black Americans is the key to understanding the 'double bind' which afflicts contemporary African American literary theory. . . . The book demands and deserves recognition as a cogent intervention."--Yearbook of English Studies