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date: 20 September 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter focuses on Rita Dove’s The Darker Face of the Earth, placing it in the context of postcolonial studies and the Classics, race politics, and gender. Dove takes the Oedipus myth as her model, setting her story in the pre-Civil War south. Thus, the incest becomes miscegenation, and the sexual politics are linked with racial politics. The large role of fate and the oracle becomes the system of slavery itself. Arguing that Dove subtly shows the interrelationship of race and gender, the chapter asks how radical such uses of ancient material can be.

Keywords: African knowledge, Black Arts Movement, The Darker Face of the Earth, European knowledge, gender, women's roles, identity politics, postcolonial uses of tragedy, Rita Dove, Oedipus, myth and play, slavery and fate

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