Lecture 24 - Faulkner, Light in August (3)

Hemingway, Fitzgerald, Faulkner

Yale

Professor Wai Chee Dimock focuses on the unresolved problem of race in Light in August, focusing her discussion on the variety of reflexive and calculated uses of the word "nigger" as a charged term toward Joe Christmas. She shows how the semantic burden of the word varies -- used under duress by Joe Brown and the dietician, deliberately made light of by Hightower and Bobbie, fused with the contrary meanings of Calvinist theology by Joanna Burden, and finally ironized by Joe Christmas himself. Dimock uses these multiple uses of the word "nigger" to meditate on the making of racial identities and our collective input into that process.

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