Essays on a visitation of spirits

But Horace, in particular, is a child of his time. In a diner, Ruth has an argument with Ezekiel; Jimmy attempts to quell it but he remains unsuccessful, in spite of being a church minister. Intellectual, progressive, and homosexual, Horace does not quite fit into any of the established roles typical for a man of his station, reaching a point where he even refuses to force a fit, unlike family members of earlier generations, such as James.

It is a novel of American experience, and should be read as such. But it is better I believe to write from the other side of the passion and the doubt, where the feelings are no less fervent, but the prose is under much Essays on a visitation of spirits control.

Plot introduction[ edit ] Horace Cross, a gay black teenager from North Carolinawants to turn himself into a bird after he experiences discrimination from his community.

At the same time, Kenan and his characters do not lose sight of what they owe to the millions of anonymous men and women who toiled and suffered and fought to give them the opportunities they are now beginning to enjoy. Although the church has served a spiritual and cultural wellspring for the family, not to mention others, for sometime, the work positions it as an institution that is not amenable to all of its congregates, especially ones coming of age in a new South.

Instead of turning him into a bird, the demons make him to be a ghost and situate him back to the stations of his life: His season for existing, it would seem, was for the salvation of his people.

Even if they are told with astonishing shallowness, the stories of twentieth-century African-American life are here, however: First, he loved men; a simple, normal deviation, but a deviation this community would never accept.

There was a problem adding your email address. In school he befriends with a sissy boy whom he later jilts fir a group of well-to-do white jocks in an effort to dismantle his bookish image and assimilate.

That the norms cannot provide an answer to Horace makes it all the more ironic for demons to deliver a way of life that is not condoned.

He suspected that his family might object to his action. As much as family can engender sorrow and despair, it is also proves here to be a source of faith and joy, emanating from the spirits of community.

The narrative intermingles the stories of four members of the Cross family, all of whom represent different generations of the storied clan, but the real narrative thrust of the work lies in the plot line of the family member of the most recent generation, Horace Cross, who is unable to reconcile his sexuality with his destiny as the black male heir apparent to one of the most important African American families in the town.

Why did he ever return to Tims Creek? But there is no insightful interior talk, no reflection in the main actor, and far-too-rare passages offering perspective, sequence, purpose to the story. James Greene is the norm by which Horace Cross is raised; but in fulfilling the hopes of family, choked and haunted by the ghost of his unfaithful wife, he is also denied of his promise.

He was a son of the community, more than most. Some have felt it is unnecessarily obscure because it moves backward and forward in time and shifts points of view unexpectedly.

From top to bottom, uniformly, they condemned him.

A Visitation of Spirits Critical Essays

Through the practice of sorcery he summons a demon that will spirit him away from his family and achieve metamorphosis.

And underlying all his remembered traumas is the unalterable fact of his homosexuality, an unthinkable abomination among his righteous kin. The problem for me: An ""apprentice sorcerer"" about to become a ""true mystic,"" he taps into the dark side of the world ""preached to him from the cradle on""--a realm full of ""archangels and prophets and folk rising from the dead.

Kenan is an important writer because he is able to show how younger African Americans in the New South are becoming radically different from their forebears. When his ritual for this transformation fails, he is apparently possessed by a demon.

Kenan is a Baldwin scholar. Shares the same struggle but from a different root is Reverend James Greene, who lives the tradition and expectation that Horace feels he has betrayed. Remarkable for its very ambiguities, this stylistically daring novel steers wide of the literature of oppression and uplift, and shares even less with tales of coming-out, in short, an original.

A professional male black actor is what convinces Horace that his mind has lied to his heart."A Visitation of Spirits" is a novel of troubled youth, of sexual awakening, of powerlessness, and of communal failure.

A Visitation of Spirits Summary

It This is a fascinatingly complex novel that explores the experience of adolescence in the rural south as an individual who is both black and queer/5. Find helpful customer reviews and review ratings for A Visitation of Spirits: A Novel at Read honest and unbiased product reviews from our users.

Kenan is famous for writing A Visitation of Spirits, Let the Dead Bury Their Dead, and Walking on Water: Black American Lives at the Turn of the Twentieth Century. All of his work is based on the same philosophy.

First-novelist Kenan conjures up a modern book of revelations, full of spirits seen and unseen, past and present, who haunt a few young inhabitants of Tims Creek, a black community built among the pine trees and tobacco fields of backwoods North Carolina.5/5. A Visitation of Spirits is divided into five major sections, each including April,and December,narratives.

The story is told predominantly from a limited-omniscient perspective; the center of consciousness shifts within these sections among Horace, Jimmy, Zeke, and Ruth. "A Visitation of Spirits" is a portrait of Horace Cross, an adolscent both black and gay.

This is an angry, often confrontational, novel dealing with the psychological ramifications wrought by religious condemnation, gross hypocrisy and clergy that myopically perverts scripture by preaching hate and intolerance/5(8).

Essays on a visitation of spirits
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