Critique of Black Writing, White Reading: Race and the Politics of Feminist Interpretation

659 Words Mar 28th, 2008 3 Pages
In "Black Writing, White Reading: Race and the Politics of Feminist Interpretation" Elizabeth Abel travels along the stepping stones given by Toni Morrison in "Recitatif" to draw her conclusions on the race of each girl. Abel uses conversation with a colleague, correspondence with Morrison, and a strong foundation of literature on the politics of racial issues in conjunction with feminism to support her opinion on the characters' racial identities. This conclusion on the assigned races is also used as a springboard to highlight other themes that Abel has derived from "Recitatif." Though the author's arguments prove thought provoking and well researched, one still may have contrasting opinions. Thankfully, do to the genius In Toni …show more content…
She draws upon a large pool of feminist authors to support her interpretations of Recitatif. Her strongest source that she draws upon is, of course, her correspondence with Toni Morrison. Unfortunately, Morrison's response simply raises more questions. Morrison, of course, never specifies her intentions for which girl is white, and which is black (476). Abel's arguments begin to lose credence when she makes light of the fact that through out the second half of Recitatif, her colleague Lula Fragd's interpretations are more consistent. The consistency is in Fragd's ideas on the story is found in the fact that she bases most of her interpretations on economic class factors, rather that the authors cultural interpretations (475). When she tires interprets the significance of the women's last names immediately following this, it seems as though she is almost grasping at straws. She highlights how the last name of each woman corresponds with a famous person in place corresponding to the race that she has given them. However, Morrison could easily have named the women simply to show more irony (476). Elizabeth Abel's critique of Toni Morrison's Recitatif is at the very least well researched, but the questions that it leaves in the minds of readers places this article quiet higher than (the very least). Not only does Abel manage to get readers to question their initial beliefs after a quick read of Recitatif,

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