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Titles in Countess
Going to the Territory by
Call Number: 818.5409 E47g
Publication Date: 1986-06-12
The work of one of the most formidable figures in American intellectual life." -- Washington Post Book World The seventeen essays collected in this volume prove that Ralph Ellison was not only one of America's most dazzlingly innovative novelists but perhaps also our most perceptive and iconoclastic commentator on matters of literature, culture, and race. In Going to the Territory, Ellison provides us with dramatically fresh readings of William Faulkner and Richard Wright, along with new perspectives on the music of Duke Ellington and the art of Romare Bearden. He analyzes the subversive quality of black laughter, the mythic underpinnings of his masterpiece Invisible Man, and the extent to which America's national identity rests on the contributions of African Americans. Erudite, humane, and resounding with humor and common sense, the result is essential Ellison. From the Trade Paperback edition.
The Invisible Man by
Call Number: 813.54 E47i 1982
Publication Date: 1982-03-12
Ralph Elllison'sInvisible Manis a monumental novel, one that can well be called an epic of modern American Negro life. It is a strange story, in which many extraordinary things happen, some of them shocking and brutal, some of them pitiful and touching--yet always with elements of comedy and irony and burlesque that appear in unexpected places. It is a book that has a great deal to say and which is destined to have a great deal said about it. After a brief prologue, the story begins with a terrifying experience of the hero's high school days, moves quickly to the campus of a Southern Negro college and then to New York's Harlem, where most of the action takes place. The many people that the hero meets in the course of his wanderings are remarkably various, complex and significant. With them he becomes involved in an amazing series of adventures, in which he is sometimes befriended but more often deceived and betrayed--as much by himself and his own illusions as by the duplicity of the blindness of others. Invisible Manis not only a great triumph of storytelling and characterization; it is a profound and uncompromising interpretation of the Negro's anomalous position in American society.
Call Number: 813.54 E47j , 1999
Publication Date: 1999-05-29
Juneteenth, the Senator said, closing his eyes, his bandaged head resting beneath his hands. Words of Emancipation didn't arrive until the middle of June, so they called it Juneteenth. . . . In Washington, D.C., in the 1950s, Adam Sunraider, a race-baiting senator from a New England state, is mortally wounded by an assassin's bullet while making a speech on the Senate floor. To the shock of all who think they know him, Sunraider calls out from his deathbed for Hickman, an old black minister, to be brought to his side. The Reverend is summoned; the two are left alone. Out of their conversation, and the inner rhythms of memories whose weight has been borne in silence for many long years, a story emerges. For this United States senator, once known as Bliss, was raised by Reverend Hickman in a religion- and music-steeped black community not unlike Ralph Ellison's own childhood home. He was brought up to be a preaching prodigy in a joyful black Baptist ministry that traveled throughout the South and the Southwest. Together one last time, the two men retrace the course of their shared life in "an anguished attempt," Ellison once put it, "to arrive at the true shape and substance of a sundered past and its meaning." In the end the two men arrive at their most painful memories, memories that hold the key to understanding the mysteries of kinship and race that bind them, and to the senator's confronting how deeply estranged he has become from his true identity. Juneteenth draws on the full richness of America's black cultural heritage, from the dazzling range of vernacular sources in its language to the way its structure echoes the call-and-response pattern of the black church and the riffs and bass lines of jazz. It offers jubilant proof that whatever else it means to be a true American, it means to be "somehow black," as Ellison once wrote. For even as Senator Sunraider was bathed from birth in the deep and nourishing waters of African-American folkways, so too are all Americans. That idea is the cause for which Ralph Ellison gave the last full measure of his devotion. At the time of his death, he was still expanding his novel in other directions, envisioning a grand, perhaps multivolume, story cycle. Always, in Ellison's mind, the character Hickman and the story of Sunraider's life from birth to death were the dramatic heart of the narrative. And so, with the aid of Ellison's widow, Fanny, his literary executor, John Callahan, has edited this magnificent novel at the center of Ralph Ellison's forty-year work-in-progress--Juneteenth, its author's abiding testament to the country he so loved and to its many unfinished tasks.
Living with Music by
Call Number: 781.6509 E47m , 2001
Publication Date: 2001-05-29
"In those days it was either live with music or die with noise, and we chose rather desperately to live." Before Ralph Ellison became one of America's greatest writers, he was a musician and a student of jazz. The author ofInvisible Manwrote widely and brilliantly on his favorite music for more than fifty years, immersing himself in the lives and works of America's musicians, some of whom were his close friends. Ellison is, in fact, perhaps the most important jazz analyst we have.In Living with Music, celebrated jazz authority Robert G. O'Meally has collected the very best of Ellison's writings on this subject; each selection vibrant, insightful, and bursting with Ellison's love of the music in this unique and original anthology. For readers who think they know Ellison's work, this book will be a revelation. For music fans, it is an essential addition to the jazz bookshelf. Selections include the famousHomage to Duke Ellington on His Birthday, The Golden Age, Time Past, On Bird, Bird-Watching, and Jazz, letters to Albert Murray about Louis Armstrong, and O'Meally's 1976 interview with Ellison. In these pages, Ellison reflects on the greats, from Charlie Parker to Duke Ellington, and meditates on jazz classics in a style that will make even casual fans of the genre hear the music in a whole new way.In Living with Music, we see firsthand the resounding and profound influence that jazz and Ralph Ellison; two American originals, riffing, improvising, and conversing on a truly profound level, have had on our culture.