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The Timeless Toni Morrison

The Past and The Present in Toni Morrison’s Fiction. A Tribute to Toni Morrison on Occasion of Her 85th Birthday


Edited By Agnieszka Łobodziec and Blossom N. Fondo

The book presents a cultural study of Toni Morrison’s fiction, focused on her representations of the past and present, along with the relationship between the two. The authors analyze Morrison’s texts not solely as aesthetic, autonomous objects but as manifestations of a cultural and creative practice closely related to actuality. They examine various incorporations of history in Morrison’s writings. The contributions search out thematic continuities as well as discernable ruptures in the texts while noting futuristic tendencies in Morrison's novels and the texts’ envisagement of the human race.

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Pragmatic and Linguistic Functions in Toni Morrison’s Beloved (Barbara Compagnucci)


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Barbara CompagnucciFlorida Gulf Coast University

Pragmatic and Linguistic Functions in Toni Morrison’s Beloved

Abstract: At the heart of Toni Morrison’s work, she explores the lives of African Americans, with a focus on the subjugation of black women during misogynistic and racially oppressed times. In her novel Beloved, the author succeeds in bringing these issues to the forefront by focusing on the importance of language using a postmodernist framework. By incorporating this framework, Toni Morrison creates an aesthetic identity that gives a voice to exploited fictional characters through the application of pragmatic and linguistic expression in the novel Beloved. In an effort to show how Morrison fleshes out and substantiates these points, this paper will explore the theories of Martin Heidegger in his essay “Language,” Ferdinand de Saussure’s “Course in General Linguistics,” and Roman Jakobson’s “Linguistics and Poetics” and reveal how these three theories play a central part in the development of language within the novel. Moreover, the discourse that will be analyzed in Beloved will not include a rule governed distribution; rather, it will indicate a hermeneutical connection. In doing so, this paper will show how by drawing on the experience of Margaret Garner, Morrison was able to create her own neo-slave narrative, which afforded a contemporary public the opportunity to “experience” the spectacle of African American slave history. This paper will clarify the pragmatic and linguistic constituents with which naming verifies the character Beloved, and is in direct correlation to Heidegger’s...

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