The Origin of Others
America's foremost novelist reflects on the themes that preoccupy her work and increasingly dominate national and world politics: race, fear, borders, the mass movement of peoples, the desire for belonging. What is race and why does it matter? What motivates the human tendency to construct Others? Why does the presence of Others make us so afraid?Drawing on her Norton Lectures, Toni Morrison takes up these and other vital questions bearing on identity in The Origin of Others. In her search for answers, the novelist considers her own memories as well as history, politics, and especially literature. Harriet Beecher Stowe, Ernest Hemingway, William Faulkner, Flannery O'Connor, and Camara Laye are among the authors she examines. Readers of Morrison's fiction will welcome her discussions of some of her most celebrated books--Beloved, Paradise, and A Mercy.If we learn racism by example, then literature plays an important part in the history of race in America, both negatively and positively. Morrison writes about nineteenth-century literary efforts to romance slavery, contrasting them with the scientific racism of Samuel Cartwright and the banal diaries of the plantation overseer and slaveholder Thomas Thistlewood. She looks at configurations of blackness, notions of racial purity, and the ways in which literature employs skin color to reveal character or drive narrative. Expanding the scope of her concern, she also addresses globalization and the mass movement of peoples in this century. National Book Award winner Ta-Nehisi Coates provides a foreword to Morrison's most personal work of nonfiction to date.

The Origin of Others Details

TitleThe Origin of Others
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseSep 18th, 2017
PublisherHarvard University Press
ISBN-139780674976450
Rating
GenreNonfiction, Writing, Essays, Race, History, Cultural, African American, Politics, Books About Books

The Origin of Others Review

  • Olivia
    January 1, 1970
    I wish I was 1/8 as smart as Toni Morrison’s thumb.
  • Jon(athan) Nakapalau
    January 1, 1970
    Toni Morrison has long been on my list of authors to read - but I never seem to have time to make for her. Now I will - this book was beyond any expectations I had. I can truly say that this slim volume has opened my eyes wide to so many issues in which we make other people 'Others' who are not like us - and hence do not deserve the same consideration we give to those we consider like 'Us'. This book should be right alongside The True Believer by Eric Hoffer - highest recommendation.
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  • Janani
    January 1, 1970
    Honestly Toni Morrison could write her drink order on a napkin and I would love it.
  • Book Riot Community
    January 1, 1970
    DISCLAIMER: I have not read this book, which is the transcripts of a series of lectures Morrison gave about the themes that preoccupy her books. But I feel like it’s not getting any press anywhere, and how can that be, when people need to know that there’s a new ToMo book out in the world!!! And even better, with an introduction by Ta-Nehisi Coates! Consider yourself informed now.Backlist bump: Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi CoatesTune in to our weekly podcast dedicated to all things new DISCLAIMER: I have not read this book, which is the transcripts of a series of lectures Morrison gave about the themes that preoccupy her books. But I feel like it’s not getting any press anywhere, and how can that be, when people need to know that there’s a new ToMo book out in the world!!! And even better, with an introduction by Ta-Nehisi Coates! Consider yourself informed now.Backlist bump: Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi CoatesTune in to our weekly podcast dedicated to all things new books, All The Books: http://bookriot.com/listen/shows/allt...
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  • Sue Dix
    January 1, 1970
    Since this book only took me a day to read, I will likely go back and read it again. Contained in it's 111 pages is so much that cannot possibly be absorbed in one read through. From the introduction through to the end of the 6th lecture, there is so much that we still need to learn, that I still need to learn. To deconstruct the "Other", we must know her and face her and realize that she is us. "Race is the classification of a species, and we are the human race, period." I highly recommend this Since this book only took me a day to read, I will likely go back and read it again. Contained in it's 111 pages is so much that cannot possibly be absorbed in one read through. From the introduction through to the end of the 6th lecture, there is so much that we still need to learn, that I still need to learn. To deconstruct the "Other", we must know her and face her and realize that she is us. "Race is the classification of a species, and we are the human race, period." I highly recommend this book.
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  • Gabrielle
    January 1, 1970
    I honestly put this on my reading list because, I mean, it's Toni Morrison. But it gets 5 stars not just because it's Morrison, but because she is genius. This tiny book packs so much into just a few pages. For a lover of Morrison's body of literature this is a treat or an invitation for those new to Morrison. I have often been troubled by the way that "celebrated" white writers have treated race and the Other in their work and Morrison articulated it in a way that I never could. I highly recomm I honestly put this on my reading list because, I mean, it's Toni Morrison. But it gets 5 stars not just because it's Morrison, but because she is genius. This tiny book packs so much into just a few pages. For a lover of Morrison's body of literature this is a treat or an invitation for those new to Morrison. I have often been troubled by the way that "celebrated" white writers have treated race and the Other in their work and Morrison articulated it in a way that I never could. I highly recommend this book.
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  • Kathrin
    January 1, 1970
    Separating the "us" from the "other" has been used to strengthen the "us" in order to have a common enemy. It's a strategy to peg groups of people against each other. Toni Morrison's reviews this concept of "othering" with examples in literary works of her own and of other authors. This collection of essays is very current in the light of the political climate in the USA, but also on a grander scale due to globalization and the refugee crisis in Europe.
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  • Mélanie
    January 1, 1970
    On ne se lasse jamais de la plume de Toni Morrison, douce et si ferme à la fois. Ses six conférences données à Harvard en 2016 sont retranscrites ici, avec pour thème "Pourquoi la race est-elle un facteur de différenciations?". Problématique commune à de nombreux pays. Elle aborde ces questions en partant de l'esclavage jusqu'aux vagues de migrations contemporaines. Comme toujours avec l'incroyable Toni Morrison ces textes sont brillants et éclairants.
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  • Joslyn Allen
    January 1, 1970
    Review published: https://chronicbibliophilia.wordpress..."Language (saying, listening, reading) can encourage, even mandate, surrender, the breach of distances among us, whether they are continental or on the same pillow, whether they are distances of culture or the distinctions and indistinctions of age or gender, whether they are the consequences of social invention or biology."On this day - September 12, 2017 - the newest works of two heavyweights are being released to likely widely differin Review published: https://chronicbibliophilia.wordpress..."Language (saying, listening, reading) can encourage, even mandate, surrender, the breach of distances among us, whether they are continental or on the same pillow, whether they are distances of culture or the distinctions and indistinctions of age or gender, whether they are the consequences of social invention or biology."On this day - September 12, 2017 - the newest works of two heavyweights are being released to likely widely differing attention. Hillary Clinton's memoir assessing and assigning blame for her tumultuous loss in the 2016 presidential campaign is on the tip of everyone's tongue and at the top of every news feed. What isn't likely to get the buzz and analysis that "What Happened" is enjoying is Toni Morrison's new release,"The Origin of Others". This small but weighty treatise, drawn from Morrison's Norton Lectures, also reflects on the current socio-political climate, particularly on how 'othering' informs history, politics, and literature.One would face little argument in placing Toni Morrison among the greatest living American writers, and this work is introduced by a foreword from another, Ta-nehisi Coates. In the foreword, Coates beautifully captures the premise of Morrison's collection:"This is a work about the creation of aliens and the erection of fences, one that employs literary criticism, history, and memoir in an attempt to understand how and why we have come to associate those fences with pigment."This premise is one of great promise and desperate timeliness, and this collection of essays is deeply informative and flawlessly composed. What it isn't, unfortunately, is the commanding, mesmerizing voice one has come to expect from Toni Morrison. I suspect that hearing Morrison deliver these thoughts in their original lecture format would have been powerful and impactful. Their tenor and tone as essays, however, are constricted by their origin as lectures; in the place of narrative flow, one finds frequent quotations and a pedantic tone that just don't translate well to the page. I suspect that her agents and she herself are well aware of that fact, thus the relatively quiet release by a small publishing house. "The Origin of Others" is a less successful work by an inimitable author, but one which is timely in its content and as part of America's struggle to understand 'what happened' and how can we change what we have become. In no way does its measured success diminish her voice, her body of work, or her stature among the greats.
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  • David Rush
    January 1, 1970
    Race it the classification of a species and we are the human race, period. Then what is this other thing – the hostility, the social racism, the Othering? Pg. 15I especially appreciated the first part of this book with its focus of “Being or Becoming the Stranger” which is really the starting point to think about racism. I suppose the idea of “the Other” it is a starting point for thinking about humans in all aspects of engagement with the world and could be applied to not just people, but anima Race it the classification of a species and we are the human race, period. Then what is this other thing – the hostility, the social racism, the Othering? Pg. 15I especially appreciated the first part of this book with its focus of “Being or Becoming the Stranger” which is really the starting point to think about racism. I suppose the idea of “the Other” it is a starting point for thinking about humans in all aspects of engagement with the world and could be applied to not just people, but animals, trees, anything really. My interpretation is that labeling things “other” is an attempt to find our place in the world / universe. And sometimes it goes horribly wrong.But to get back to this book, she has an example how the process can start simply enough…To understand that I was longing for and missing some aspect of myself and that there are no strangers. There are only versions of ourselves, many of which we have not embraced, most of which we wish to protect ourselves from. For the stranger is not foreign, she is random; not alien but remembered; and it is the randomness of the encounter with our already known – although unacknowledged – selves that summons a ripple of alarm. That makes us reject the figure and the emotions it provokes - especially when those emotions are profound. It is also what makes us want to own, govern, and administrate the Other. Pg. 38But what comes from dealing with our own psyche grows in a more sinister direction once power applied(Discussing the Aryan and Caucasian race)…Baum concludes, among other things, “Race, in short, is an effect of power.”---So when we speak or write of the stranger, the outsider, the Other, we should keep in mind what the relationship signifies. Pg 25This reminded me of Kendi’s book (https://www.goodreads.com/review/show... ) where he observes the drive for money (power) first drove enslavement and from there really followed classic racism and then hatred. For a good portion of the last half of her book she covers parts of her own novels. Which is fine but I think I would have gotten more out of it here if I had read them. I feel I should have by this point in my life, but I haven’t, so when she brings them up I felt a little lost.Toward the end she brings up From Radiance of the King by Camara Laye, and I have to go find this book about a clueless European traveling alone through Africa.What counts as intelligence among these Africans is not prejudice but nuance, and the ability and willingness to see, to surmise. The European’s refusal to meditate coherently on any even except the ones that concern his comfort or survival dooms him. Pg.109I wonder if she is saying the European world view makes it easier for the labeling of others and the horrifying development to full racism? I really like the book, but my only quibble is I wish she had spent more time working over how this process of “Othering” happens. Or maybe why it doesn’t happen sometimes? Or does it always happen? But I think these essays came from a lecture series so maybe I was look for a more complete connection of the topics than was intended.Still, read it.
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  • Sherri
    January 1, 1970
    I remembering seeing Toni Morrison speak about 20 years ago. Her book Paradise had just come out, and she read sections from it. This book, a transcript of her 2016 lectures, reminds me of that experience. In many of these lectures, Morrison shares how Paradise and several other of her books illuminate the complexities of "otherness" and also how they connect to our polarized political climate today. I really appreciated hearing her commentary about the books I've read (about half) and I'd like I remembering seeing Toni Morrison speak about 20 years ago. Her book Paradise had just come out, and she read sections from it. This book, a transcript of her 2016 lectures, reminds me of that experience. In many of these lectures, Morrison shares how Paradise and several other of her books illuminate the complexities of "otherness" and also how they connect to our polarized political climate today. I really appreciated hearing her commentary about the books I've read (about half) and I'd like to read the rest at some point. When I do, I'll revisit these lectures.
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  • Aleatha
    January 1, 1970
    I read this book pretty quickly and I enjoyed it. I don’t want my low ranking to scare anyone away. I’ve watched Morrison’s lectures on YouTube and I was pretty excited to read this one. Unfortunately it covered topics that I’ve already heard her speak/write about, so I felt disappointed and I definitely wanted to read more.
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  • Salvatore
    January 1, 1970
    Interesting that she dives into her own fiction to elucidate some of the issues of race and power structures in America that her novels already seems to embody. I was hoping these lectures turned essays would ride closer to Playing in the Dark - as in a close reading of Hemingway and Faulkner and O'Connor. Some points I wish were further explored. Guess I just have to wait for her next novel!
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  • LaToya
    January 1, 1970
    This is a fascinating book by Ms Toni Morrison! It’s gives the reason why race matters from 6 different perspectives and literary examples to support them. I love a book that gives me even more books to read! 😁
  • Rod-Kelly Hines
    January 1, 1970
    It was too short!!! Toni Morrison is simply brilliant and of course I enjoyed this insightful little collection of the essays!
  • Beverly
    January 1, 1970
    thoughts coming shortly
  • Havebooks Willread
    January 1, 1970
    Toni Morrison is one of those people who thinks on such a higher plane than I do that I am wowed every time I read something of hers. I am certain I only grasped a small percentage of the gems she shares in this short collection of lectures and could benefit from a re-reading in a few years.I especially enjoyed the way she examined the role race plays in literature, referencing and discussing works by people such as Hemingway, Harriet Beecher Stowe, Flannery O'Connor, Joseph Conrad, and her own Toni Morrison is one of those people who thinks on such a higher plane than I do that I am wowed every time I read something of hers. I am certain I only grasped a small percentage of the gems she shares in this short collection of lectures and could benefit from a re-reading in a few years.I especially enjoyed the way she examined the role race plays in literature, referencing and discussing works by people such as Hemingway, Harriet Beecher Stowe, Flannery O'Connor, Joseph Conrad, and her own Beloved (as "the ultimate Other") and The Bluest Eye which I'm familiar with as well as Ghanaian author, Camara Laye, Faulkner, and her own Paradise, Home, God Help the Child, and A Mercy, with which I am not familiar. Her insight, especially regarding "what more, really, do you know about characters when you know their race", is fascinating, and getting the "backstory" on her own works is fun. If I had time, I would love to read and re-read the works she references with her commentary at my elbow.What I hear her saying is that "race is an idea, not a fact" (xv) and racism precedes race as humans tend to want to divide and create "others" different from our own "clan" based on various criteria whether race, wealth, gender, class, religion, etc. in an effort to obtain power and control and ultimately a sense of belonging. I was fascinated with her assertion that people who embraced the slavery of black people were forced to play mental gymnastics and declare black people to be less human, a foreign species, a different race in order to feel better about themselves, to feel more normal, to retain their own humanity while "blocking the dehumanization and estrangement of others", their fellow humans.She discusses globalization and its accompanying loss of culture, and has fascinating insights into various views of Africa. I loved her thoughts on accepting others instead of segregating ourselves from people we perceive as different from us. And I am continually mulling some of her statements about thinking--examining the world around us and really seeing and evaluating it rather than just accepting it as is. Reading this work makes me want to add several books to my "want to read" list.A few quotes since I borrowed the book from the library:"He had a seamless commitment to the status quo. He did not wonder about slavery's morality or his place in its scheme. He merely existed in the world as he found it and recorded it (in his diary)" (8)."The definition of 'Americanness' (sadly) remains color for many people" (17).""I can testify, from my own experience and observation, that slavery is a curse to the whites as well as to the blacks. It makes the white fathers cruel and sensual; the sons violent and licentious; it contaminates the daughters, and makes the wives wretched" (29)."There are no strangers. There are only versions of ourselves, many of which we have not embraced, most of which we wish to protect ourselves from. . .we deny her personhood, the specific individuality we insist upon for ourselves" (38) "Each woman differed in age, body shape, color, dress. I must say it was extraordinary--this intimacy with a stranger. Silent, knowing. Accepting each other--one to one" (74)."In Camara Laye's The Radiance of the King, the cliched journey into storybook African darkness either to bring light or to find it is re- imagined" (104)."What counts as intelligence is not prejudice but nuance and the ability and willingness to see, to surmise" (109).
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  • D.A. Gray
    January 1, 1970
    These six lectures take the reader through coded language designed by the powers that be to differentiate between who belongs in the group and who does not. Morrison pulls from different stages of American history, from antebellum history to the most active periods of immigration in the late 19th and early 20th century to Jim Crow to our more recent history.This exploration challenges a whitewashed view of not only history but a culture which is defined in the States more by color than by any re These six lectures take the reader through coded language designed by the powers that be to differentiate between who belongs in the group and who does not. Morrison pulls from different stages of American history, from antebellum history to the most active periods of immigration in the late 19th and early 20th century to Jim Crow to our more recent history.This exploration challenges a whitewashed view of not only history but a culture which is defined in the States more by color than by any real defining characteristics of culture such as the characteristics of a people – intellectual achievement, religion, food, customs and social patterns. In this limited definition becoming American means becoming white – an assimilation that the European immigrants of a century ago could achieve but persons of color, could not.Perhaps what is most powerful is Morrison's discussion of the ways in which a nation's obsession with color has outweighed any insight into the culture or the characteristics of people. Immigrants, after so long, where not identified as Irish, as Italian, as Polish, or Russian, etc. after they became able to identify as white. And Morrison illustrates this obsession through the nation's literature, the indoctrination of a racial power structure through the words of Flannery O'Connor, an illustration of stereotypes assigned by color in the memoirs of Mary Prince. The discussion illustrates that the stereotypes used to demean black Americans, words like 'savage' or 'animalistic' became embodied by the white slave-owners rather than the slaves. Yet the codified language became ingrained in white culture.And more powerful is the discussion of a kind of moral relativity that places other considerations of right and wrong as secondary to color. The acceptance in Faulkner's Absalom, Absalom of incest when compared to the one drop rule, or in Morrison's own Beloved of killing one's children (to escape the pain of slavery) if it weakens the power of the Fugitive Slave Act, are vivid examples of the way in which color, either consciously or subconsciously, and the desire to maintain a color-based power structure have made other considerations of right and wrong secondary.An important read. And a much-needed discussion for anyone that thought society had ever evolved to the point the problems of racism were in the past. And a much-needed starting point for self-examination for anyone who considers their self a human.
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  • Beverlee
    January 1, 1970
    I admit to believing Toni Morrison’s writing is perfect. Reading The Origin of Others only reinforces this belief. This book is an examination of prevalent themes in Morrison’s work such as color-ism, racism, and slavery especially in the novels Paradise, Beloved, and The Bluest Eye. Why is literature set up so that one group is seen as acceptable, wholly realized individuals and any person not belonging to that group seen as other or less than? We know literature most likely is rooted in realit I admit to believing Toni Morrison’s writing is perfect. Reading The Origin of Others only reinforces this belief. This book is an examination of prevalent themes in Morrison’s work such as color-ism, racism, and slavery especially in the novels Paradise, Beloved, and The Bluest Eye. Why is literature set up so that one group is seen as acceptable, wholly realized individuals and any person not belonging to that group seen as other or less than? We know literature most likely is rooted in reality even if the events described did not occur. Is this set up in place to reinforce an idea of supremacy of over another? Can the roles ever be reversed? These questions are a few that are answered and I think can be applied to the current political environment surrounding the 45th President of the US. My favorite lines- “the danger of sympathizing with the stranger is the possibility of becoming the stranger. To lose one’s racial-ized rank is to lose one’s own valued and enshrined difference.” “I am determined to de-fang cheap racism, annihilate & discredit the routine, easy, available color fetish, which is reminiscent of slavery itself.”“Provoking language or eclipsing it, an image can determine not only what we know and feel but also what we believe is worth knowing about what we feel.”
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  • Mridula
    January 1, 1970
    Every time I hear that Toni Morrison has published a new book I immediately make room/space to digest her words. Thus it was with The Origin of Others. At 118 pages and almost pocket size it is a short but mighty read. Morrison references her (and others) work to name the continued atrocities of racism and 'othering'. She names how social and dehumanizing constructions of 'race' continue to violate and oppress others. Morrison's words are powerful and insightful. The last few pages focus on Cama Every time I hear that Toni Morrison has published a new book I immediately make room/space to digest her words. Thus it was with The Origin of Others. At 118 pages and almost pocket size it is a short but mighty read. Morrison references her (and others) work to name the continued atrocities of racism and 'othering'. She names how social and dehumanizing constructions of 'race' continue to violate and oppress others. Morrison's words are powerful and insightful. The last few pages focus on Camara Laye's 'The Radiance of the King' and crescendo into a longing of 'other'. I was left a little breathless at Morrison's skillful use of this story to illustrate my own hunger for more. Highly recommended.
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  • Sarah Weathersby
    January 1, 1970
    Ta-Nehesi Coates wrote the 16-page Foreword for this book. (A book of 114 pages that fit in the palm of my hand) He has remarkable insight into the challenges of black people dealing with racism.But when it comes to Toni Morrison, what is an "Other?" Ms. Morrison's text does not use the word "race," but characterizes "Others," by the ways in which they interact. They can be male or female, sometimes ghosts that walk. If you have read her book "Beloved," you know what "Others" can be.
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  • Tammy
    January 1, 1970
    Toni Morrison will forever be my literary lodestar, and the insight into her mind as she confronts the idea of the Other is beyond special to me. This small collection of her 2016 Norton Lectures at Harvard is both timely and timeless. I fear we will never escape the consequences of slavery and the mental and moral magic act necessary to build a society on the backs of slaves, but at least we have Morrison (and Coates) to help us understand and try to do better.
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  • Kris - My Novelesque Life
    January 1, 1970
    4 STARSThis collection of essays are speeches by written by Toni Morrison. This is a short collection but Morrison is on point. The issues brought up in this book (race, culture and the idea of "others") are powerful and well supported. I recommend this book to everyone as it inspires great dialogue of what we should be accepting.
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  • Carol
    January 1, 1970
    This book is not much over a hundred pages but I had to moderate my reading pace and read it more like a text book. I reread many passages and closed the book frequently just to think. Many books are referenced, Morrison’s own writing and a great many from other authors from post high school reading. The chapters are small, the language is rich, and the insights will weigh on you.
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  • Anna
    January 1, 1970
    I end my crazy long day with Toni Morrison’s The Origin of Others. Short , sweet, and to the point. Toni Morrison walks you through literature, racism/race, whiteness, and the creation of the Other. Ta-Nehisi Coates wrote a powerful Foreword to the book in which he describes Toni as “one of the finest writers and thinkers this country has ever produced.” I would be inclined to agree.
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  • Zach
    January 1, 1970
    America: read Morrison. everything.
  • Ifeyinwa
    January 1, 1970
    While I liked this a lot, it felt like Morrison could have gone a little deeper. Maybe it's only meant to serve as an intro to her works, as opposed to fully-fleshed out analytical essays. Worth reading!
  • Joshua
    January 1, 1970
    There is a level of amazing intellect that is astounding for it's ability to find true insight into the human condition, and manifest in writing an approachable and easily understandable analysis of behavior. Toni Morrison manages to surpass even this level in just overbook she takes the time to write.I am consitently envious of Morrisson's ability as a writer, specifically her ability to write both fiction and nonfiction without any real signs that she is struggling to do so. Every one of her t There is a level of amazing intellect that is astounding for it's ability to find true insight into the human condition, and manifest in writing an approachable and easily understandable analysis of behavior. Toni Morrison manages to surpass even this level in just overbook she takes the time to write.I am consitently envious of Morrisson's ability as a writer, specifically her ability to write both fiction and nonfiction without any real signs that she is struggling to do so. Every one of her texts is a powerful examinations of race, and this collection of essays, though short, is yet another incredible exploration. Morrison lays out how the idea of "othering," or turning another human being into an abstract alien being is at the real heart of racism. She explores how this behavior is not comforting to the human species, but in fact is self-revealing as internal loathing. Morrison observes how racism is not just an exercise to promote oneself above others, but in fact is a persistent system in which one is trying to place oneself in opposition to another human being for the sake of self-promotion. These essays are about racism, but also about culture and the way human beings are fallible when it comes to the topic of race. Rather than simply write about the horrors of slavery, Morrison digs into the horror and tries to understand how it is working, how the system of race prejudice harms both the victims as well as the perpetrators, and of course, because it's Toni Morrison, she tries to understand the narrative of racism as something relevant and persistent in the culture.
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  • Misha
    January 1, 1970
    "The necessity of rendering the slave a foreign species appears to be a desperate attempt to confirm one's own self as normal. The urgency of distinguishing between those who belong to the human race and those who are decidedly non-human is so powerful the spotlight turns away and shines not on the object of degradation but on its creator. Even assuming the exaggeration by the slaves, the sensibility of slave owners is gothic. It's as though they are shouting, 'I am not a beast! I'm not a beast! "The necessity of rendering the slave a foreign species appears to be a desperate attempt to confirm one's own self as normal. The urgency of distinguishing between those who belong to the human race and those who are decidedly non-human is so powerful the spotlight turns away and shines not on the object of degradation but on its creator. Even assuming the exaggeration by the slaves, the sensibility of slave owners is gothic. It's as though they are shouting, 'I am not a beast! I'm not a beast! I torture the helpless to prove I am not weak.' The danger of sympathizing with the stranger is the possibility of becoming a stranger. To lose one's racial-ized rank is to lose one's own valued and enshrined difference." (29-30)"It is a disturbing encounter that may help us deal with the destabilizing pressures and forces of the transglobal tread of peoples. Pressures that can make us cling manically to our own cultures, languages, while dismissing others'; make us rank evil according to the fashion of the day; make us legislate, expel, conform, purge, and pledge allegiance to ghosts and fantasy. Most of all, these pressures can make us deny the foreigner in ourselves and make us resist the death of the commonness of humanity." (109-110)
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  • Lara
    January 1, 1970
    "Narrative fiction provides a controlled wilderness, an opportunity to be and to become the Other. The stranger. With sympathy, clarity, and the risk of self-examination.""The resources available to us for benign access to each other, for vaulting the mere blue air that separates us, are few but powerful: language, image, and experience... Language (saying, listening, reading) can encourage, even mandate, surrender, the breach of distances among us, whether they are continental or on the same pi "Narrative fiction provides a controlled wilderness, an opportunity to be and to become the Other. The stranger. With sympathy, clarity, and the risk of self-examination.""The resources available to us for benign access to each other, for vaulting the mere blue air that separates us, are few but powerful: language, image, and experience... Language (saying, listening, reading) can encourage, even mandate, surrender, the breach of distances among us, whether they are continental or on the same pillow, whether they are distances of culture or the distinctions and indistinctions of age or gender, whether they are the consequences of social invention or biology.""Much of the alarm hovering at the borders, the gates, is stoked, it seems to me, by 1) both the threat and the promise of globalization; and 2) an uneasy relationship with our own foreignness, our own rapidly disintegrating sense of belonging.""Most of all, these pressures can make us deny the foreigner in ourselves and make us resist to the death the commonness of humanity."
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