Very well written, if a little dense, opinionated and self promotional.
I will leave it to Cornel West to pay tribute to Toni Morrison on my behalf …
This is a very special moment, not just in the history of Princeton University, not just in the history of American Civilization. This is a very special moment in the early part of the 21st century to salute and pay tribute to such a towering artist, an inimitable genius among us … because, believe me, when the American [Edward] Gibbon comes along and writes about the grand history of the rise and fall of the American empire …
he or she will have much to say about a monumental text written in 1851 by a literary genius named Herman Melville wrestling with the whiteness of a whale, will have much to say about the classic of 1929 "The Sound and the Fury" written by that white literary blues man William Faulkner, and will have much to say about the classic of 1987 "Beloved" written by Princeton’s own Toni Morrison as part of what it is to be a part of literary immortality
Cornel West, the inaugural Toni Morrison Lectures at Princeton University, October 2006, "The Gifts of Black Folk in the Age of Terrorism"
two lectures available here
This new collection brings together essays, occasional pieces, and speeches by the Nobel laureate and one of America's most important and influential writers. While everything is worth reading, her essays on the American canon and the challenges of black writers.
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