metanarrative, postmodernism, african american history, oral history, written history, legitimation, Jean-François Lyotard


This essay explores the intersection of postmodernism and multiculturalism in Toni Morrison's novel, Song of Solomon. It delves into the destabilization of historical metanarratives by postmodernism through the theories of Jean-François Lyotard, which challenges the notion of a singular truth and questions who constructs popular historical narratives. The essay discusses the role of the victors, particularly white males, in shaping history and the process of legitimation through which historical facts are determined. It examines how Morrison's novel offers an alternative history that highlights African American perspectives and challenges the dominant white narrative. Additionally, the essay explores the tension between multiculturalism and postmodernism in the novel, as well as the significance of oral history and its subversion of written history. It compares Morrison's reimagining of history to William Faulkner's Absalom, Absalom! and analyzes the dialectic between patriarchy and matriarchy in Song of Solomon as a conflict between written and oral history. Overall, the essay argues that Morrison's novel embodies both multicultural and postmodern elements, presenting alternative narratives and challenging the authority of white, male historical metanarratives.

Issue and Volume

Volume 16, Issue 2



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