Encountering Ralph Ellison's Invisible Man: The Politics of Textual Revision

February 9, 12:00pm - 1:15pm
Mānoa Campus, Center for Korean Studies Auditorium

Professor Foley will describe the process of researching and writing her 2010 book, Wrestling with the Left: The Making of Ralph Ellison’s Invisible Man. Her principal focus will be on the extensive revisions that Ellison made during the seven years (1945-52) during which he wrote his famous novel.

Drawing upon her examination of the thousands of pages of drafts and notes of Ellison’s novel, she will demonstrate how a text that was originally proletarian in orientation and sympathetic to the left was converted into a cold war classic. Overlaid upon this narrative of Ellison’s changing political and artistic goals will be Foley’s narrative of her own encounter with—and estimate of—the novel over several decades, from her days as a graduate student involved in the New Left to the present.

Barbara Foley, one of the foremost contemporary Marxist critics of American literature, is Professor in the Department of English and the Program in American Studies at Rutgers University, Newark. She is the author of four books, the most recent of which is Wrestling with the Left: The Making of Ralph Ellison’s Invisible Man as well as of numerous articles on proletarian literature, African American literature and documentary fiction.

Event Sponsor
Center for Biographical Research, Mānoa Campus

More Information
956-3774, biograph@hawaii.edu, http://www.facebook.com/CBRHawaii

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