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Article Dans Une Revue Textes & Contextes Année : 2022

Baldwin’s anachronisms: a problematic “rendezvous with history”


Throughout his essays, James Baldwin critiques a narrative of U.S. history vectorized by progress, and denounces the myths that such a narrative perpetuates. Baldwin taps into the provocative force of anachronisms to upend a fantasy of distance which a white majority relies on to disentangle itself from its past and from African Americans themselves. As he performs surprising and irreverent realignments of past and present, the author produces a vision of history as repetition that precisely makes clear all which remains at stake in the present moment. The temporal distortions which the author puts in place are essential to the prophetic authority which emanates from his essays, they call on his fellow citizens to reclaim their history. Their value, however, changes as of the second half of the 1960s, and this article will chart and question the ironic and melancholy charge which anachronisms gradually carry in Baldwin’s writing.


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hal-04402595 , version 1 (18-01-2024)



  • HAL Id : hal-04402595 , version 1


Hélène Cottet. Baldwin’s anachronisms: a problematic “rendezvous with history”. Textes & Contextes, 2022, 17 (1). ⟨hal-04402595⟩
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