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Naeem Nedaee

Toni Morison’s Beloved as a Minor Art Practice: A Deleuze-Guattarian Reading

(Volume 86 - Année 2017 — Special issue)
Article
Open Access

Attached document(s)

original pdf file

Abstract

Toni Morrison’s acute perception and treatment, in her novels, of the human and the postcolonial condition and her proposition of a problematics of individual and communal personhood have astounded contemporary readers and critics alike. This article aims to provide a Deleuze-Guattarian analysis of the workings of human relationships, human captivity and experiential writing in capturing the encounters between a sense of the self, a sense of the other and a remembrance of the past in Toni Morrison’s Beloved. In this line, I argue that the text of Beloved instigates a formalistic deterritorialization of the English language by pushing it to the verge of non-signification. Through depicting a confrontation between traumatized ex-slaves and the haunting memories of captivity in the past, Beloved constitutes a minor art practice that gives rise to non-identitarian modes of self-conception and emancipatory lines of flight. I will also discuss how the clash between a dominating imperialist discourse with its claims to rationality and pragmatism on one hand and a specifically African-American worldview with a more open and inclusive perception of life’s real possibilities on the other leads to the formation of multiple and heterogeneous assemblages of reality, memory and thought against pre-determined and ethnocentric values of being, identity and privilege. This marks Morrison’s attempt in building up a cornerstone of minoritarian writing, a minor literature, in the Deleuze-Guattarian sense of the term.

Keywords : deterritorialization, line of flight, minor literature, postcolonial condition

To cite this article

Naeem Nedaee, «Toni Morison’s Beloved as a Minor Art Practice: A Deleuze-Guattarian Reading», Bulletin de la Société Royale des Sciences de Liège [En ligne], Volume 86 - Année 2017, Special issue, 52 - 66 URL : https://popups.uliege.be/0037-9565/index.php?id=6572.

About: Naeem Nedaee

MA in English Literature, University of Tehran, naeemnedaee@ut.ac.ir