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This Norton Critical Edition of The Conjure Stories arranges the tales chronologically by composition date, allowing readers to discern how Chesnutt experimented with plots and characters and with the idea of the conjure story over time. With one exception, the text of each tale is that of the original publication. (The text of SThe Dumb Witness was established from two typescripts held at the archives of Fisk University.) The stories are accompanied by a thorough and thought-provoking introduction, detailed explanatory annotations, and illustrative materials. SContexts presents a wealth of materials chosen by the editors to enrich the reader "s understanding of these canonical stories, including a map of the landscape of the conjure tales, Chesnutt "s journal entry as he began writing fiction of the South, as well as writings by Chesnutt, William Wells Brown, and Paul Laurence Dunbar, among others, on the stories " central motifs âfolklore, superstition, voodoo, race, and social identity in the South following the Civil War. SCriticism is divided into two parts. SEarly Criticism collects critical notices for The Conjure Woman that suggest the volume "s initial reception, assessments by William Dean Howells and Benjamin Brawley, and a biographical excerpt by the author "s daughter, Helen Chesnutt. SModern Criticism demonstrates rich and enduring interest in The Conjure Stories with ten important essays by Robert Hemenway, William L. Andrews, Robert B. Stepto, John Edgar Wideman, Werner Sollors, Houston A. Baker, Eric J. Sundquist, Richard H. Brodhead, Candace J. Waid, and Glenda Carpio. A Chronology of Chesnutt "s life and work and a Selected Bibliography are also included.
Table of Contents
|A Note on the Texts|
|The Texts of the Conjure Stories|
|The Goophered Grapevine|
|The Conjurer's Revenge|
|A Deep Sleeper|
|The Dumb Witness|
|A Victim of Heredity; or, Why the Darkey Loves Chicken|
|The Gray Wolf's Ha'nt|
|Mars Jeems's Nightmare|
|Sis' Becky's Pickaninny|
|The Marked Tree|
|The Terrain of Chesnutt's Conjure Tales|
|Charles W. Chesnutt|
|From His Journal, Spring 1880|
|[Why could not a colored man . . . write a far better book about the South?]|
|[I think I must write a book]|
|William Wells Brown|
|[Voudooism in Missouri]|
|The Sad Fate of Mr. Fox Ovid|
|The Transformation of Daphne into a Laurel|
|Letters to Albion W. Tourgée and George Washington Cable|
|To Tourgée, Sept. 26, 1889|
|To Cable, March 29, 1890|
|To Cable, June 13, 1890|
|The Deserted Plantation|
|Superstitions and Folk-lore of the South|
|The Free Colored People of North Carolina|
|Adaptation of "The Dumb Witness"|
|The Negro in Art: How Shall He Be Portrayed?|
|Critical Notices of The Conjure Woman|
|Mr. Charles W. Chesnutt's Stories|
|[Fiction with a Firm Sense of Art]|
|Chesnutt and Walter Hines Page|
|[Black Magic, Audience, and Belief]|
|[A Critique of the Plantation Legend]|
|[The Cycle of the First Four Stories]|
|[Julius's Ex-Slave Narrative]|
|[Reason, Property, and Modern Metamorphoses]|
|[The Sound of the Conjure Stories]|
|[Chesnutt's Revision of Uncle Remus]|
|[Chesnutt's Negotiation with the Dominant Literary Culture]|
|Conjuring the Conjugal: Chesnutt's Scenes from a Marriage|
|[Black Humor in the Conjure Stories]|
|Table of Contents provided by Publisher. All Rights Reserved.|