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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:'Confessional spaces and criminality': incest in Alice Walker and Yvonne Vera's works
Author:Mhandu, EdwinISNI
Year:2013
Periodical:Journal for Studies in Humanities and Social Sciences (ISSN 2026-7215)
Volume:2
Issue:1
Pages:94-103
Language:English
Geographic term:Zimbabwe
Subjects:women writers
incest
men
sexuality
stereotypes
About persons:Yvonne Vera (1965-2005)ISNI
Alice Malsenior Walker (1944-)ISNI
Abstract:This paper explores incest in the works of Alice Walker and Yvonne Vera as a site for contestation of larger forces in society. In their work the butt of criticism is on the black man, who is presented as a source of danger with an untameable libido. In Alice Walker's work, the struggles of black people to realise equity as free and dignified people like their white counterparts is relegated to the secondary as the black family is presented as pathological and desirous of redemption. The girl child is almost always the target of the father's 'virility'. In the same groove, Vera, in 'Under the tongue', puts at the centre an incestuous relationship of somebody who chickened out on going to war. Thus, one can argue that according to Vera, the liberation struggle was not everyone's war as some had more personal and intricate battles to fight. Such a text, coming in the mid 1990s, at a time when certain 'truisms' known to be in Black men in the stereotypification lore were overly dramatised, tends to submerge genuine and well-meaning struggles for racial emancipation and self determination to the periphery. This article contextualises the crime of incest in its socio-political realm and refutes the overblown criminality of the black men as a political invention. That black men are portrayed as people with unrestricted libido is neither fortuitous nor an incidental project in Walker's and Vera's works. Bibliogr., sum. [ASC Leiden abstract]
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