TITLE

"THE BONE-DEEP LONGING…IN THE POSSIBILITY OF THAT CHILD": THE TRANSFORMING POTENTIAL OF FATHERHOOD IN DAVID ANTHONY DURHAM'S WALK THROUGH DARKNESS

AUTHOR(S)
Kovalová, Karla
PUB. DATE
June 2011
SOURCE
Litteraria Pragensia;2011, Vol. 21 Issue 41, p34
SOURCE TYPE
Academic Journal
DOC. TYPE
Literary Criticism
ABSTRACT
This essay explores racial and masculine identity in David Anthony Durham's novel Walk through Darkness (2002). It argues that Durham presents an alternate view of the male slave's journey from bondage to freedom while creating a new archetype of the black hero -- a slave father -- whose escape from bondage is spurred less by the desire for freedom than the prospect of being reunited with his beloved woman and yet unborn child. In doing so, it radically challenges the paradigm of literacy-identity-freedom established by original male slave narratives, while adopting (albeit simultaneously altering) the paradigm of family-identity-freedom, embodied by original slave narratives written by women. The essay further suggests that, using the story of a fugitive slave from antebellum America in Walk through Darkness, Durham reinvents the meaning of black fatherhood by introducing a new textual model of African American manhood, in which fatherhood is not hindered by 'the stigma of race' but displays instead a transforming potential that allows black males to become (more complete) men. In addition, the essay highlights that, reflecting the historically messy nature of American racial bloodlines, Durham challenges the existing definition of American racial identity by writing in the largely unexplored experiences of European immigrants.
ACCESSION #
64139457

 

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