Henry James Goes to the Movies

Henry James Goes to the Movies

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Black on Black provides the first comprehensive analysis of the modern African American literary response to Africa, from W.E.B. Du Bois's The Souls of Black Folk to Alice Walker's The Color Purple. Combining cutting-edge theory, extensive historical and archival research, and close readings of individual texts, Gruesser reveals the diversity of the African American response to Countee Cullen's question, "What is Africa to Me?" John Gruesser uses the concept of Ethiopianism--the biblically inspired belief that black Americans would someday lead Africans and people of the diaspora to a bright future--to provide a framework for his study. Originating in the eighteenth century and inspiring religious and political movements throughout the 1800s, Ethiopianism dominated African American depictions of Africa in the first two decades of the twentieth century, particularly in the writings of Du Bois, Sutton Griggs, and Pauline Hopkins. Beginning with the Harlem Renaissance and continuing through the Italian invasion and occupation of Ethiopia, however, its influence on the portrayal of the continent slowly diminished. Ethiopianism's decline can first be seen in the work of writers closely associated with the New Negro Movement, including Alain Locke and Langston Hughes, and continued in the dramatic work of Shirley Graham, the novels of George Schuyler, and the poetry and prose of Melvin Tolson. The final rejection of Ethiopianism came after the dawning of the Cold War and roughly coincided with the advent of postcolonial Africa in works by authors such as Richard Wright, Lorraine Hansberry, and Alice Walker.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 400 pages
  • 152 x 229 x 30.48mm | 802.86g
  • Lexington, United States
  • English
  • illus
  • 0813121914
  • 9780813121918

Review quote

"Indispensable for anyone interested in James adaptations." -- Studies in the Novel "A comprehensive, impressive collection of essays on film adaptations of Henry James." -- Hollins Critic "A well-informed, well-written book which extends the way we think about Henry James and his work.... Includes the best established and newer voices in James studies." -- Greg W. Zacharias "The essay entitled 'Based on the Novel by Henry James: The Golden Bowl 2000' is one of the best I've ever read about the film adaptation of a difficult novel." -- Film Quarterly "In this anthology of essays, 16 academics dissect novelist Henry James's seemingly inexhaustible allure to filmmakers ranging from William Wyler to Jane Campion and examine the degrees to which these celluloid versions succeed in translating James's highly uncinematic, psychological prose to the screen." -- Entertainment Weekly "The essays enrich a new field of James studies, as well as provide a fascinating account of more than fifty years of film history." -- English Literature in Transition "This collection of sophisticated essays contributes to a growing field that could be labeled 'James film studies.'" -- Choice
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About Susan M. Griffin

Susan M. Griffin, professor of English at the University of Louisville, is the editor of the Henry James Review.
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