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Dead Letters SentQueer Literary Transmission$
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Kevin Ohi

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780816694778

Published to Minnesota Scholarship Online: January 2016

DOI: 10.5749/minnesota/9780816694778.001.0001

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“Vanished but Not Gone, Fixed and Held in the Annealing Dust”

“Vanished but Not Gone, Fixed and Held in the Annealing Dust”

Initiations and Endings in Go Down, Moses

(p.211) 10 “Vanished but Not Gone, Fixed and Held in the Annealing Dust”
Dead Letters Sent

Kevin Ohi

University of Minnesota Press

Exploring the various ways that Go Down, Moses is concerned with transmission—the transmission of property in the context of the history of slavery and of the ecological destruction of the land, and the transmission of knowledge, both in the various forms of initiation and instruction and in terms of the more or less forcible awakening to ideological strictures—Chapter Ten outlines a mode of queer reading demanded, it suggests, by Faulkner’s syntax: a superimposition of multiple unresolved, unhierarchized systems (most crudely: race, sexuality, property relations, ecology, initiation, temporality) simultaneously. Ultimately, the questions Go Down, Moses raises about its own coherence leads to the question of queer theory’s relation to the questions of transmission and race raised by the text.

Keywords:   Literary tradition, Literary and cultural transmission, Queer literary criticism, Queer theory, Initiation and Development, Close Reading, Potentiality, Temporality of Consciousness

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