Thursday, August 20, 2015

the last book I ever read (Mat Johnson's Pym, excerpt two)

from Pym: A Novel by Mat Johnson:

I used to complain that the only things the white literary world would accept of Africa’s literary descendants were reflections of the Europeans themselves: works that focused on the effects of white racism, or the ghettos white economic and social disfranchisement of blacks created. I still think that, I have just come to the understanding that I’m not better. I like Poe, I like Melville, I like Hemingway, but what I like the most about the great literature created by the Americans of European descent is the Africanist presence within it. I like looking for myself in the whitest of pages. I like finding evidence of myself there, after being told my footprints did not exist on that sand. I think the work of the great white writers is important, but I think it’s most important when it’s negotiating me and my people, because I am as arrogant and selfish a reader as any other.

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