Home » Ralph Ellison and Kenneth Burke: At the Roots of the Racial Divide by Bryan Crable
Ralph Ellison and Kenneth Burke: At the Roots of the Racial Divide Bryan Crable

Ralph Ellison and Kenneth Burke: At the Roots of the Racial Divide

Bryan Crable

Published December 6th 2011
ISBN : 9780813932156
Hardcover
242 pages
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 About the Book 

Ralph Ellison and Kenneth Burke focuses on the little-known but important friendship between two canonical American writers. The story of this fifty-year friendship, however, is more than literary biography- Bryan Crable argues that theMoreRalph Ellison and Kenneth Burke focuses on the little-known but important friendship between two canonical American writers. The story of this fifty-year friendship, however, is more than literary biography- Bryan Crable argues that the Burke-Ellison relationship can be interpreted as a microcosm of the American racial divide. Through examination of published writings and unpublished correspondence, he reconstructs the dialogue between Burke and Ellison about race that shaped some of their most important works, including Burkes A Rhetoric of Motives and Ellisons Invisible Man. In addition, the book connects this dialogue to changes in American discourse about race. Crable shows that these two men were deeply connected, intellectually and personally, but the social division between white and black Americans produced hesitation, embarrassment, mystery, and estrangement where Ellison and Burke might otherwise have found unity. By using Ellisons nonfiction and Burkes rhetorical theory to articulate a new vocabulary of race, the author concludes not with a simplistic healing of the divide but with a challenge to embrace the responsibility inherent to our social order.American Literatures Initiative