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Dirassat

Abstract

In the African-American literary tradition, the return to the past is an all-pervading organic strategy which is endowed with crucial but quite ambivalent meanings. African Americans experienced quite a unique condition that conflated geographical trauma with temporal nostalgia. Within this general framework, I will try to demonstrate how in Toni Morrison's highly acclaimed and Nobel Prize winning novel Beloved (1987), the multi-facetted strategies deployed to invoke the past occur on two levels: the inner-text's discursive and border-crossing interplay of the past and the present temporal/spatial settings, and the outer-text’s ambivalent free-floating interplay of four literary and geographical antecedents.

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