Рубрика: PROBLEMS OF POETICS OF FOREIGN LITERATURE
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Abstract: Dante in African American Literature as a theme of Dante studies has been developed by the Ameri- can scholar of Italian literature Dennis Looney. The article is written as a critical rethinking of Looney’s book and articles, in particular his concept and the examples he had collected. The author of the article denies the idea thoroughly elaborated by the American scholar that Dante was a notable figure in the process of the development of African American identity, as well as the fact that there was a tradition of African American study of Dante and his “Divine Comedy”, at least until the middle of the 20th century. T. Yakushkina argues that, firstly, a small number of examples in the 19th and the first half of the 20th century, without continuity or consistency among them, does not allow talking about a two-century-long tradition. Secondly, the examples have a different logic which correlates not with political processes in American society but with the development of African Ameri- can literature itself. Parallels with Dante’s name and allusions to his Commedia should be interpreted as artistic, not political, devices. One can observe the creative ease in using them only from the middle of the 20th century, when black literature overcame its lag behind the white mainstream and moved to a qualitatively new level of its development. In Dante’s Inferno African American writers found the material for solving their racial and cultural problems (Ralph W. Ellison, Amiri Baraka). In the 1980s, when African American Literature was built in the post- modern paradigm, Dante’s Inferno provoked the expansion of intertextual techniques along with the intention to see through the prism of the problems of black identity and assimilationism common human problems of the modern bourgeois world (G. Naylor). In addition, in the second half of the century, African American writers demonstrated a new attitude to Dante’s name. They used it not to get an access to the western culture but to reject it and proclaim their cultural identity. For modern African American culture, which is developing in a common dynamics with Western culture, it is characteristic to transfer Dante from literature to jazz and creative practices of rappers.
Key words: African American literature; African American writers; literary creative activity; literary genres; Italian literature; Italian poetry; Italian poets; perception of Dante; intertextuality.

Для цитирования:

Якушкина, Т. В. Данте в афроамериканской литературе / Т. В. Якушкина // Philological Class. – 2022. – Vol. 27 ⋅ №2. – С. 186–199.

For citation

Yakushkina, T. V. (2022). Dante in African American Literature. In Philological Class. 2022. Vol. 27 ⋅ №2. P. 186–199.

Publication Timeline:

Date of receipt: 24.09.2021; date of publication: 29.06.2022.

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