Journal of Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences in Split, No.10 December 2017.
Gordan Matas http://orcid.org/0000-0001-8064-7733 Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, University of Split, Split, Croatia
This work analyzes the complex manner in which Toni Morrison addresses the issue of history in her novels, with a specific emphasis on her novels Jazz and Paradise. Black writing in the United States depicts experience that is specifically African American. In other words, black literature records the historical and cultural circumstances that no other group shares. Toni Morrison frequently fuses aspects of the traditional omniscient narrator with the unreliable element of more limited narrators. By merging these aspects, Morrison presents the difficulties for African Americans both in telling the story of their past and in releasing themselves from it. Moreover, Morrison creates a fiction out of a fragment of recorded history. In so doing, she has at the same time created a myth, in the sense that it is not just a piece of fiction that attempts to bear witness to historical events, but also a story that embodies a particular historical contradiction, i.e. the necessity to remember the past, while being aware of the dangers of becoming locked in it.
African Americans; United States; history; racism; women; jazz