Friday Reads: Of Souls, and Lack of Them

Today’s Friday Reads are all about class-assigned readings. I’ve built leisure time into my schedule each day, but thanks to doing nothing but reading for school, I’ve spent most of my leisure time racking up hours on that new No Man’s Sky update. (That update is … wow.) Interestingly enough, my readings — for African-American Literature, especially — really seem to line up with some relevance to current issues. But isn’t that always the way?

Don’t forget, most of my class-assigned readings are from textbooks, so reading along with me will be more expensive than usual, at least until the second week of December. I do have some new books though, and a couple of TRDs lined up in future weeks for actual novels. I think you’re going to like those, and they’re much easier on the wallet.

And now, #fridayreads.

  • Dracula. We’re still reading through the novel, but this week’s assigned readings place the novel in cultural context, discussing influences like the issue of Irish Home Rule, J. Sheridan Le Fanu’s Carmilla, and bloody Indian-English conflicts.
  • Works of W. E. B. Du Bois. In the anthology The Norton Anthology of African-American Literature, Vol. 1we’ve had to read excerpts from several of Du Bois’ works, and I’m more than a little embarrassed and angry about the works I haven’t read by black American writers. Currently, I’m reading an extended excerpt from Du Bois’ The Souls of Black Folk, and it has been such phenomenal, enlightening reading, I’m definitely going to look for the complete work and read it in its entirety. I’m amazed at how many references he makes that I don’t understand, simply because I was never taught his writings and never taught about his contemporaries or his influences. If you’re at all aligning yourself with anti-racist activism and ideology, I’d say this is definitely a book you need to read. (I’d say especially if you are white and want to be a better ally. I’m not sure Du Bois is saying anything modern black Americans don’t know and feel intimately already.)

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