WILLIAM STYRON'S NAT TURNER: Ten Black Writers Respond by John Henrik--Ed. Clarke

WILLIAM STYRON'S NAT TURNER: Ten Black Writers Respond

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KIRKUS REVIEW

A symposium of ten pieces which argue variously but unanimously that the ""voice"" and the ""confession"" in the Styron novel is not the subject's but the author's (""a white intellectual in blackface""); that Styron has suppressed some facts about the real Nat Turner while inventing others; that the novel which was subtitled a ""meditation on history"" is ""mired in misinterpretation""; and that throughout Nat is projected as a white supremacist's stereotyped sexual threat to white womanhood. The articles have been authored by various leading Negro thinkers, teachers and writers (among them John O. Killens, John H. Williams, and the editor) and one piece discusses the almost wholly admiring review coverage which appeared even though Styron ""snatched Nat Turner out of the nineteenth century. . . and placed him totally into our own age."" Also a corroboration and validation of the Kirkus Service review which first contended that the ""novel is full of Yassuh-Massah survival stereotypes and situations"" and that there ""is no congruence between the Nat Turner who lived and died before the Civil War and the Nat Turner who seems to be a superimposition of the '60's.

Pub Date: July 4th, 1968
Publisher: Beacon