1. W. E. B. Du Bois, The Souls of Black Folk, in W. E. B. Du Bois: Writings
(New York: The Library of America, 1986), pp. 357-547, p. 447. Subsequent text
references are designated S.
2. Laura [Riding] Jackson, The Telling (New York: Harper and Row, 1972),
3. For a discussion of American authorship as an effort to define an American
"we," see Kenneth Dauber, The Idea ofAuthorship in America: Democratic Poetics
from Fr~nklinto Melville (Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 1990). Dauber
sees American authorship as an expression (and sometimes exploration) of demo-
cratic politics and a fashioning of "democratic poetics" of which Melville's" 'un-
readable' works" represent the extension (xx). I am indebted to Dauber's rhetorical
and cultural readings ofthe formulation of authorship as a concept in America.
4. In the "'symptomal' analysis" of, for example, Pierre Macherey, Louis
Althusser, and Fredric Jameson, literary works manifest the limitations of their
own production; silences and breaks mark choices not made-choices that could
not be made because of cultural conventions. As Althusser contends "art makes
us see ... the ideology from which it is born, in which it bathes, from which it
detaches itself as art, and to which it alludes." See Althusser, "A Letter on Art in
Reply to Andre Daspre," in Lenin and Philosophy and other Essays, trans. Ben
Brewster (New York: Monthly Review Press, 1971), pp. 221-27, p. 222. The
phrase" 'symptomal' analysis" is Jameson's. See Jameson, The Political Uncon-
scious: Narrative as a Socially Symbolic Act (Ithaca: Cornell University Press,
1981), p. 57. See also Macherey, A Theory ofLiterary Production, trans. Geoffrey
Wall (London: Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1978). Using evidence of untold sto-
ries to perform cultural analyses, the authors in this study interestingly anticipate
these ideological analyses.
For explorations of the relationship of such reading practices to "the femi-
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