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A Political Companion to W. E. B. Du Bois$
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Nick Bromell

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780813174907

Published to Kentucky Scholarship Online: September 2018

DOI: 10.5810/kentucky/9780813174907.001.0001

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Alightings of Poetry

Alightings of Poetry

The Dialectics of Voice and Silence in W. E. B. Du Bois’s Narrative of Double-Consciousness

Chapter:
(p.85) 3 Alightings of Poetry
Source:
A Political Companion to W. E. B. Du Bois
Author(s):

Anthony Reed

Publisher:
University Press of Kentucky
DOI:10.5810/kentucky/9780813174907.003.0004

This essay by Anthony Reed examines the ways that Du Bois explored his asymmetrical relationship to the world at large through his writing, particularly through his usage of double-consciousness. Du Bois stretches the limits of autobiographical writing to figuratively express race by transforming the discrepancy between his subjective lived experience—his relation to the world—and the objective facts of the world’s relation to Du Bois. Reed argues that Du Bois exceeds the limits of textual representation using the words themselves as well as their physical relationship to the page, but focuses on the lyric mode and first-person pronoun “I” to analyze the literary context of Du Bois’s work. Double-consciousness allows Du Bois to both imitate and elevate the reflective nature of autobiography and lyric poetry, disrupting the flow of time and sympathetic identification with the speaker.

Keywords:   gender, sexuality, lyric, colorline, poetry, W. E. B.Du Bois, identity, race, allegory, Dusk of Dawn

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