Black People : Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison Discussion

Discussion in 'Black People Open Forum' started by SophiaG, Jan 12, 2011.

  1. SophiaG

    SophiaG Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    I'm reading it now. If you read it, what was your opinion of it?

    I dont think I've ever read an author from the Harlem Renaissance before. Does Invisible Man fit into that period of time?
     
  2. skuderjaymes

    skuderjaymes Contextualizer Synthesizer MEMBER

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    no,, that was the 20's and 30's.. this book was published in the 50's..
    and you should keep that in mind as you read it.. their are some characters
    and events that mirror a later reality.. and it's easy to get confused and
    think that he was saying something about someone that he wasn't.

    what page are you on?


    I think it's a masterpiece... a true literary work of Art. I have 6 different
    editions of this book.. I've read it several times.. and am attempting.. once
    again.. to adapt it into a series of plays. I listen to an Audio version
    of the book quite often.. I have it on my Ipod.. it's like music for me..

    My biggest fear is that someone that does not understands it, takes it and makes it into a movie.. that would break my literary
    heart..

    anyway finish reading it so we can talk about it..

    Peace.
     
  3. skuderjaymes

    skuderjaymes Contextualizer Synthesizer MEMBER

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  4. SophiaG

    SophiaG Well-Known Member MEMBER

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  5. skuderjaymes

    skuderjaymes Contextualizer Synthesizer MEMBER

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    The Golden Day.. You're not too far past one of my favorite parts.. where he
    describes the campus.. What did you think of Trueblood's story?
     
  6. SophiaG

    SophiaG Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    If I had to pick a word to describe my impression of Trueblood (ironic name now that I think about it), it would be bumbling. In classical literature though, there are layers upon layers, which is what I sense in Invisible Man. Trueblood's account of his dream (real or not) was interesting to read. I think the grandfather clock was a metaphor for Vagina. :confused:

    I also got the feeling that Mr. Norton might've lusted after his daughter with how glowingly he spoke of her. Just a weird feeling I got while reading the text.

    Now I'm at the part where Dr. Bledsoe is dismissing our young protagonist to New York after raging at him for not understanding that black people had to lie to white people. I also get the sense that this is the first time our protagonists eyes have been opened, although he has always had a nagging guilt in the back of his mind from his grandfather's last words.

    By the way I've decided not to click on your links until I've finished the book. Hope you dont mind. I don't want to ruin the book by finding out how it ends.
     
  7. skuderjaymes

    skuderjaymes Contextualizer Synthesizer MEMBER

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    Sophia..

    one thing I learned about Ralph from his discussions and essays and whatnot is
    that his work is written to be read aloud.. it's a very oral kind of writing..
    meaning his writing reaches back the Oral tradition of storytelling found in
    African communities worldwide.. Because of the way Ralph incorporates
    sound in his writing, many of those long drawn out passages are better understood when heard.
    plus.. alot of what Ralph writes is lost on folks that have not come into contact
    with the kinds of personalities he uses in his fiction.. that's why I reccomend
    the audio to anyone that wants to really get into this book.. the audio
    renders the book in the way that it was conceived.. it really brings the
    characters to life.. also illustrates something that is lost on very many people
    that read this book: that it is a funny book.. it is filled with Ralph's old
    southern sense of humour.. but it's a kind of musical thing that you need to
    hear..

    I'm in the process of converting the audio sections to smaller files.. but I
    have uploaded one the sections for you to listen to.. this one doesn't really
    need to be heard to understand but I like it because his description of the
    "Mens House"..

    check it out:

    http://161.58.44.215/7087h.mp3

    It's a sixteen megabyte file.. you can right click it and download it.. or just
    click and let your audio player play it from the website.. I plan to put my
    favorite chapters up on my blog when I finish the conversion..


    Peace.
     
  8. skuderjaymes

    skuderjaymes Contextualizer Synthesizer MEMBER

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    Here's the excerpt to match the Audio from Chapter 13.


    I was to remember sooner than I had thought. The moment I entered the
    bright, buzzing lobby of Men's House I was overcome by a sense of alienation
    and hostility. My overalls were causing stares and I knew that I could live
    there no longer, that that phase of my life was past. The lobby was the
    meeting place for various groups still caught up in the illusions that had just
    been boomeranged out of my head: college boys working to return to school
    down South; older advocates of racial progress with Utopian schemes for
    building black business empires; preachers ordained by no authority except
    their own, without church or congregation, without bread or wine, body or
    blood; the community "leaders" without followers; old men of sixty or more still
    caught up in post-Civil-War dreams of freedom within segregation; the
    pathetic ones who possessed nothing beyond their dreams of being
    gentlemen, who held small jobs or drew small pensions, and all pretending to
    be engaged in some vast, though obscure, enterprise, who affected the
    pseudo-courtly manners of certain southern congressmen and bowed and
    nodded as they passed like senile old roosters in a barnyard; the younger
    crowd for whom I now felt a contempt such as only a disillusioned dreamer
    feels for those still unaware that they dream -- the business students from
    southern colleges, for whom business was a vague, abstract game with rules
    as obsolete as Noah's Ark but who yet were drunk on finance. Yes, and that
    older group with similar aspirations, the "fundamentalists," the "actors" who
    sought to achieve the status of brokers through imagination alone, a group of
    janitors and messengers who spent most of their wages on clothing such as
    was fashionable among Wall Street brokers, with their Brooks Brothers suits
    and bowler hats, English umbrellas, black calfskin shoes and yellow gloves;
    with their orthodox and passionate argument as to what was the correct tie
    to wear with what shirt, what shade of gray was correct for spats and what
    would the Prince of Wales wear at a certain seasonal event; should field
    glasses be slung from the right or from the left shoulder; who never read the
    financial pages though they purchased the Wall Street Journal religiously and
    carried it beneath the left elbow, pressed firm against the body and grasped
    in the left hand -- always manicured and gloved, fair weather or foul -- with
    an easy precision (Oh, they had style) while the other hand whipped a tightly
    rolled umbrella back and forth at a calculated angle; with their homburgs and
    Chesterfields, their polo coats and Tyrolean hats worn strictly as fashion
    demanded.​

     
  9. skuderjaymes

    skuderjaymes Contextualizer Synthesizer MEMBER

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    SophiaG.. did you ever finish the book?
     
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