In what promises to be a real treat, Dunreith, Ava and I are going to hear Toni Morrison speak tonight.
It’s hard to believe that it’s been a full 20 years since Jon, Mom, and I went to Harvard to listen to the not-yet-named Nobel Prize winner deliver two of the three lectures that became the basis for Playing in the Dark. In the book, Morrison argued persuasively that there has been what she called “an Africanist presence” in American literature. This presence, she said, has been central, not peripheral to white American authors.
In the talks she discussed writers like Willa Cather, Herman Melville and Ernest Hemingway.
One of my favorite moments came during the question and answer session. If I remember correctly, the questioned asserted that black people had contributed little of literary merit.
“I disagree,” Morrison said, simply. The auditorium erupted in applause.
In addition Playing in the Dark, I’ve read Sula, The Bluest Eye and Song of Solomon, with the first and last books being particularly appealing to me.
Attending any event with Dunreith and Ava is guaranteed to be stimulating in its own right; being with them to hear Toni Morrison should make the evening even better.
I’ll keep you posted.