• Water and Liminality in Praisesong for the Widow and Daughters of the Dust

    Author(s):
    Carmen Lopez (see profile)
    Date:
    2016
    Group(s):
    LLC 20th- and 21st-Century American, LLC African American, MS Visual Culture, TC Cognitive and Affect Studies, TC Women’s and Gender Studies
    Subject(s):
    African American culture, African American literature, Cultural studies, Metaphysics, Spirituality
    Item Type:
    Essay
    Tag(s):
    contemporary fiction, cultural displacement, ecocriticism, identity, slavery
    Permanent URL:
    http://dx.doi.org/10.17613/M6R31C
    Abstract:
    This essay examines the influence and effects of water in post-colonial African American women of the Gullah and Gee-Chee cultures from the sea islands of Georgia and south Carolina, reviewing the ecological theory of phenotypes establishing the eco-boundaries of the resulting pure-selves through the examination of one film and a novel: Julie Dash’s Daughters of the Dust and Pauli Marshall’s Praisesong for the Widow. Both works show how the water cycle, involving all its different form in nature, demolishe the essentialist post-colonial theory. These post-colonial works solicit an embedded palimpsest addition by the incorporation of textual allusions to Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night and Coleridge’s Rhyme of the Ancient Mariner, evidencing the need of water for the realization of what Viktor Frankl’s describes as the human responsibility in life (Frankl, V. 1999). These African-American women will give an answer to their lives’ existential meaning by recycling and widespreading their coexisting selves’ “eco-self”, using water as their main dynamic force.
    Notes:
    African American women diaspora comparative study of Pauli Marshall's novel "Praisesong for the Widow" and Julie Dash's film "Daughters of the Dust"
    Metadata:
    Status:
    Published
    License:
    All Rights Reserved

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