Introduction: The Inch and Ells of Psalm 68:31

Roy Kay

in The Ethiopian Prophecy in Black American Letters

Published by University Press of Florida

Published in print October 2011 | ISBN: 9780813037325
Published online January 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780813041582 | DOI:
Introduction: The Inch and Ells of Psalm 68:31

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This chapter provides the methodological framework for the book. It argues that reading, particularly figural reading as articulated by Benjamin in the Passagen-Werk, is a material practice which situates the reader in the world as a historical subject, deictically anchored in time and space, who links and ripostes phrases. Hence, instead of the reader being a subject before reading, he or she emerges as a subject in reading. The material nature of writing, reading, and subjectivity are explained historically through the Greek words grámmata, lógos, and kléos, and through the figure of pederasty. The story of Frederick Douglass learning how to read frames the chapter and provides an articulation of material reading and historical subjectivity. Douglass's story is an analogy of the material reading practices that will be mapped in this book.

Keywords: articulation; Benjamin; deixis; Douglass; figural reading; materiality; pederasty; phrase; reading; riposte

Chapter.  8347 words. 

Subjects: Literature

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