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Toni Morrison and the Classical Tradition – Transforming American Culture - Oxford Scholarship Online
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Toni Morrison and the Classical Tradition: Transforming American Culture

Tessa Roynon


This book explores Toni Morrison's widespread engagement with ancient Greek and the Roman tradition. It examines the ways in which classical myth, literature, history, social practice, and religious ritual make their presence felt in all ten of Morrison's novels published to date. Combining close readings with theoretical discussion, it argues that Morrison's classical allusiveness is characterized by a strategic ambivalence. It demonstrates that Morrison's classicism is fundamental to the transformative critique of American history and culture that her work effects: the novelist deploys the c ... More

Keywords: Toni Morrison, classical tradition, classicism, classical allusiveness, ancient Greek, ancient Roman, Greece, Rome, American literature, American history

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2013 Print ISBN-13: 9780199698684
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2014 DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199698684.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Tessa Roynon, author
Research Fellow in English, St Peter's College, University of Oxford