The Talking Book

“Then I began to ask God in faithful and fervent prayer, as the Spirit of the Lord gave me utterance, begging earnestly of the Lord to give me the knowledge of his word, that I might be enabled to understand it in its pure light, and be able to speak it in the Dutch and English languages…”

Gates, Henry Louis. The Signifying Monkey: A Theory of African-American Literary Criticism (p. 160). Oxford University Press. Kindle Edition.

The “talking book” trope is one I thought I understood, but it’s not clear to me how it fits in to the signifying monkey trope.

Also, Gates emphasizes the “trickster” aspect of the signifying monkey, which I think of as sly talk that has more than one meaning. But then, more often than not, examples consist of trading insults in a contest of insults. How is that a trickster?

But I am still studying this, so it’s okay.

Bill Ectric King N00040574 Back to Zotero