Erasure – Book Report/Review Example
Erasure Response “My journal is a private affair, but as I cannot know the time of my coming death and since I am not disposed, however unfortunately……”
Erasure is novella about an African-American writer who successfully comes over the pursuit of intellectual tendency to “write white” and finishes up penning a parody about a ghetto fiction that marked huge success, both in commerce as well as in literature. Erasure is a book within a book and it provides the writer with the pleasure of reading two books within a single frame.
Thelonius “Monk” Ellison, the protagonist of the novel is a professor of literature and a writer at the same time. He received marginal success with his previous novels but all of a sudden he could not manage publisher for his new book because he does not write “black enough”. While visiting his mother and sister, Ellison comes across one of his own previous writing at the section of “African and American Studies” while the book was all about Greek tragedy. He gets mortified to a great extent. More disappointment was waiting in his way and he suddenly found a book named “We’s Lives in Da Ghetto”. He writes with a pseudo name of Stag. R. Leigh for success and money and ultimately with his utter dissatisfaction, ends up writing a “true gritty black novel”. For the rest of his life, Monk is left into an endless struggle between artistic ethics and comforts of wealth. Monk and Everett are paradoxically erasing their individuality through rejection of their books as not black enough. In an interview, Everett says that “Monk’s experience is very much my own, though he of course, is not me at all. Yes, I have been hit with the ‘not black enough’ complaint, but always from white editors and critics”.
Erasure is an awesome multifaceted satire on New Black Literature Scene. Vanessa Bush rightly comments that Erasure is a scathingly funny look at racism and the book business: editors, readers and writers alike. Everett’s talent is multifaceted and that is once again proved by Erasure.
Why did Everett choose to write a novel within a novel?
Was there any special reason for using the concept of pseudo name in the novel?
Why Does Everett displays a surrender of artistic ethics in the hands of wealth and comfort? Does this failure have any other significance?
Amazon, “Editorial Reviews”. 04 December, 2009. Erasure. 2001.