The idea for this book emerged from a deceptively simple question: Why are there so many porches in the conjure tales of Charles Chesnutt? Although Chesnutt's conjure stories center on often-fantastic transformations within a reimagined slave South, the contemporary frame settings of his late nineteenth-century tales can seem repetitious at best, almost always placing the same characters on the same porch of the same post-Reconstruction North Carolina mansion. Was this repetition a sign of a lack of narrative imagination? Or was Chesnutt's insistent return to the plantation porch instead a canny exploration of a powerfully resonant physical site and social space? And what did it mean in particular for an African American author writing at the so-called nadir of American race relations-and the peak of the Colonial Revival-to probe the socio-spatial legacy of the architecture of slavery? Why those porches, in this way, at that moment?
|Original language||English (US)|
|Publisher||New York University Press|
|Number of pages||269|
|ISBN (Print)||0814732461, 9780814732465|
|State||Published - 2011|
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Arts and Humanities(all)