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Slavery Through the White-Tinted Lens of an Embedded Black Narrator: Séjour’s “The Mulatto” and Chesnutt’s “Dave’s Neckliss” as Intertexts

Slavery Through the White-Tinted Lens of an Embedded Black Narrator: Séjour’s “The Mulatto” and... Slavery Through the White-Tinted Lens of an Embedded Black Narrator: Séjour's "The Mulatto" and Chesnutt's "Dave's Neckliss" as Intertexts By Edward J. Piacentino One of the familiar conventions of nineteenth-century southern plantation short fiction is the frame narrative, featuring retrospective accounts by slaves or former slaves. The origin of this form, Victor Séjour's "The Mulatto," is the first short story by a U.S.-born African American.1 Set in Saint Domingue (present-day Haiti), "The Mulatto" inaugurated the pattern of using an embedded slave or former slave narrator who recounts a harrowing tale of oppression, inhumanity, and psychological suffering under bondage. The story was written in French and published in the March 1837 issue of the Parisian antislavery journal La Revue des Colonies, a monthly periodical owned and sponsored by a "society of men of color" (O'Neill 14).2 A free man of color, a colonial mulatto, and a native of New Orleans, Séjour migrated to Paris to continue his education and to embark on a career of successful authorship, principally as a playwright, in an environment far less repressive than in the antebellum South (O'Neill 1). Frances Smith Foster, in noting Séjour's achievement as a playwright in France, sees this "as http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png The Southern Literary Journal University of North Carolina Press

Slavery Through the White-Tinted Lens of an Embedded Black Narrator: Séjour’s “The Mulatto” and Chesnutt’s “Dave’s Neckliss” as Intertexts

The Southern Literary Journal , Volume 44 (1) – Feb 17, 2011

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Publisher
University of North Carolina Press
Copyright
Copyright © 2008 the Southern Literary Journal and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Department of English .
ISSN
1534-1461
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Abstract

Slavery Through the White-Tinted Lens of an Embedded Black Narrator: Séjour's "The Mulatto" and Chesnutt's "Dave's Neckliss" as Intertexts By Edward J. Piacentino One of the familiar conventions of nineteenth-century southern plantation short fiction is the frame narrative, featuring retrospective accounts by slaves or former slaves. The origin of this form, Victor Séjour's "The Mulatto," is the first short story by a U.S.-born African American.1 Set in Saint Domingue (present-day Haiti), "The Mulatto" inaugurated the pattern of using an embedded slave or former slave narrator who recounts a harrowing tale of oppression, inhumanity, and psychological suffering under bondage. The story was written in French and published in the March 1837 issue of the Parisian antislavery journal La Revue des Colonies, a monthly periodical owned and sponsored by a "society of men of color" (O'Neill 14).2 A free man of color, a colonial mulatto, and a native of New Orleans, Séjour migrated to Paris to continue his education and to embark on a career of successful authorship, principally as a playwright, in an environment far less repressive than in the antebellum South (O'Neill 1). Frances Smith Foster, in noting Séjour's achievement as a playwright in France, sees this "as

Journal

The Southern Literary JournalUniversity of North Carolina Press

Published: Feb 17, 2011

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