Text: Ronald Gottesman, “ ‘Hop-Frog’ and the American Nightmare,” Masques, Mysteries and Mastodons: A Poe Miscellany (2006), pp. 133-144 (This material is protected by copyright)


[page 133, unnumbered:]


Ronald Gottesman

The danger of a conflict between the white and black inhabitants perpetually haunts the imagination of the Americans, like a painful dream.

— Alexis de Tocqueville

The custom of calling women Mrs. John This and Mrs. Tom That, and colored men Sambo and Zip Coon is founded on the principle that white men are lords of all.

— Elizabeth Cady Stanton

What is the real nature of this violence? We have seen that it is the intuition of the colonized masses that their liberation must, and can only, be achieved by force.

— Frantz Fanon

Africanism is the vehicle by which the American self knows itself as not enslaved, but free; not repulsive, but desirable; not helpless, but licensed and powerful; not history-less, but historical; not damned, but innocent; not a blind accident of evolution, but a progressive fulfillment of destiny.

— Toni Morrison

In several annual volumes of American Literary Scholarship, Professors Benjamin F. Fisher and Kent P. Ljungquist have both noted a division in Poe studies between scholars and critics, historicists and theoreticians, and they are no doubt right in having done so. Nonetheless, I want to suggest — indeed, to demonstrate — that it is possible to integrate these ostensibly opposed methods, approaches or dispositions. I hope to show that a paper on Poe, even a short one, can attend to social, historical, and political contexts, can also be mindful that texts are written by real individuals, at particular times and under concrete material and cultural circumstances, and, finally, can be aware that writers draw on all sorts of literary, extra-literary, and sub-literary sources.

I want to insist, moreover, that just as Poe was not only partly an empirical prefect but also partly an intuitive detective, so a critic may be both. Indeed, as a critic, Poe was quite right to insist that we must read with “kindred art,” that we should feel obliged to pay attention to the contribution each word makes to that larger design we call meaning, and especially that we need to be ever-conscious that tales, like essays, may have “a strong undercurrent of suggestion [running] continuously beneath the upper stream of the tranquil thesis.”(1) I would add to these critical dicta that while it is true that sometimes a cigar is only a cigar, meditation and meerschaum often are wedded and an author, especially [page 134:] one given obsessively to word play and hoaxes, may send up “curling eddies of smoke” to obscure our vision. To put it another way, D.H. Lawrence was correct to urge us to trust the tale rather than the author — or the narrator. As I proceed with my examination, in this case of “Hop-Frog,” I shall try to keep in mind Dupin’s caveat that “There is such a thing as being too profound,” but I will also be aware that it is invariably helpful to “look at a star by glances — to view it in a side-long way.. . .” (M 2:545)

Before moving on to that full examination I wish to take note of certain important developments in the continuing reassessment of Poe’s career. What I have in mind may be perhaps best suggested by referring to two fairly recent summary accounts of Poe — the one by Robert D. Jacobs in The History of Southern Literature (1985), the other by G.R. Thompson in the Columbia Literary History of the United States (1988). Both of these brief critical biographies are first-rate, both insist (the latter rather more than the former) on Poe as a professional man of letters with international rather than regional or national ambitions, and both play down Poe’s Southernness. Jacobs says in part:

Poe’s politics, what he had, were Southern Whig, but except for occasional thrusts against Jacksonian democracy, his writings showed little concern for political affairs. Reviewing Poe in the context of Southern Literature, one may say correctly that he wrote on topics common to Southern poets, but with a tone and a range of symbolic reference all his own. His insistent lyricism was congenial to the Southern temperament, but probably his penchanct for the brief lyric derived from the early German romantics rather than the Cavalier tradition so honored in the South.(2)

Thompson makes the case even more strongly, suggesting that Poe’s “‘Southernness’ is suspect,” and offers the following observations on Poe’s political and literary relationship to Southern issues and themes:

In marked contrast to the ideas of Simms. . .Poe’s conception of letters is virtually devoid of regionalist sentiment. Only once in nearly one thousand reviews, articles, columns, and critical notices written over a fifteen-year period does Poe let the issue of Southernness get the better of a purely literary judgement; and the brief flash of Southern temper is revealing — in its very singularity — of Poe’s conception of [page 135:] the profession of letters. Moreover, this review of James Russell Lowell’s A Fable for Critics (1849) is the only instance of Poe’s taking any kind of stand on the issue of slavery. (The notorious review of two books defending slavery in the Messenger in 1836, upon which some interpretations of Poe’s Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym have been based, was written not by Poe but in all likelihood by Beverly Tucker.) With this single exception, aside from an occasional comment that something promises better days for Southern letters, Poe does not campaign for a Southern literature. It is American literature on the world stage that is important to him.(3)

Now I believe that these two authorities on Poe are correct in general on the issues of Poe’s lack of political engagement, his distant relationship to “Southernness,” and the nature of his literary ambition and practice. Still, I want to say that with respect to “Hop-Frog” specifically, these accounts of Poe deprive us of important means to understanding this troubling story and its author. To put the matter more positively (and perhaps more aggressively), individual critics must be willing to fly in the face of conventional wisdom — even when that conventional wisdom in general makes sense. Criticism, finally, is about particulars.

“Hop-Frog,” though fairly frequently anthologized, has not received much scholarly or critical attention. We do know that the story was finished in February 1849, the last year of Poe’s life. In a letter to Annie Richmond dated the 8th of that month Poe wrote:

The 5 prose pages I finished yesterday are called — what do you think? — I am sure you will never guess — “Hop-Frog!” Only think of your Eddy writing a story with such a name as “Hop-Frog!” You would never guess the subject (which is a terrible one) from the title, I am sure. It will be published in a weekly paper, of Boston,..not a very respectable journal, perhaps, in a literary point of view, but one that pays as high prices as most of the Magazines. [ i.e. $5.00] (O 427)

Poe went on to speak of his anxiety about getting out of his “pecuniary difficulties,” and, in the closing paragraph, to note that he and Mrs. Clemm could not make any plans about housing since, being poor, they were “the slaves of circumstances.” The story was published in The Flag of Our Union on 17 March 1849 under the title, “Hop-Frog: or the Eight Chained Ourang-Outangs.” [page 136:]

We also know, thanks to Arthur Hobson Quinn, that a likely source for some of the characters and events of this terrible subject was a piece published in the Broadway Journal for 1 February 1845 (shortly before Poe purchased one-third interest in that periodical).(4) Actually, the source was a double one, for during the course of reporting a horrible accident that had recently occurred at the Drury Lane Theater in London, the author recalls in a footnote a historical analogue to the accident, one recorded in Froissart’s vivid fourteenth century Chronicles of French court life. The Drury Lane accident involved Clara Webster, a dancer performing in the opera “The Revolt of the Harem,” whose gauze dress was ignited by the stage footlights. In spite of this horrifying (and fatal) incident, the show went on to its conclusion.

The Froissart story supplied much of the material Poe’s imagination needed — a court celebration, six noblemen dressed in garments made of pitch-covered linen adorned with flax so that “they seemed like wild savages full of hair from the top of the head to the sole of the foot,” and a horrifying denouement. In Froissart’s account five of these “wild savages” were chained together while the king, the sixth, was left free. Even though the danger of fire had been anticipated, the five joined “savages” were accidentally ignited and four of them burned to death. The king was covered with the train of the Duchess of Berry’s gown and thus saved from the hideous fate that befell the others (though how the train of a dress would have offered protection is not explained).

Before I return to the differences between these double sources and Poe’s use of them, I should like to review some of what has been written about this “terrible” story. The sensitivity to drink of it main character was early interpreted (by James H. Harrison, editor of the Virginia Edition of Poe) as an autobiographical reference to Poe’s low tolerance for alcohol (an interpretation unenthusiastically endorsed by Stuart and Susan Levine in their annotated edition of Poe’s short fiction and considerably extended and enriched by Ruth Clements in a paper delivered at the American Literature Association Meeting, 31 May 1990).(5)

Richard Wilbur has remarked, moreover, on some of the details of the furniture in the story (the encapsulating round ball-room and the chandelier chain which hangs from its domed ceiling),(6) and the story is often alluded to by scholars and critics in passing with respect to whatever theme, pattern of imagery, or symbolic action is otherwise [page 137:] being discussed. Hervey Allen, for example, suggested long ago that the narrative is a transparent allegory in which Hop-Frog represents, Imagination, Trippetta Fancy, and the King prosaic Reality which seeks to enslave them both.(7) Thus the story has been seen as an example of what Wilbur identifies as “Poe’s fundamental plot — the efforts of the poetic soul to escape all consciousness of the world in a dream (p 103).”

In 1976, James W. Gargano explicated this story and several others in terms of Poe’s “masquerade vision,” a vision in which “mankind’s hubris and insignificance” are exposed.(8) More recently, J. Gerald Kennedy concludes a brief discussion of the story with this observation: “In ‘Hop-Frog’ Poe effaced the psychic complications of violence to articulate a fantasy of revenge [accomplished] with impunity. But the happily-ever-after ending betrays the fairy tale; only in a purely imaginary world, Poe seems to acknowledge, can one silence an enemy and escape the consequences.” In the actual world, Kennedy writes, such “tales of adversarial relationship” are really about self-murder, Poe’s central subject, which in turn “spring[s] from the need to destroy the counterpart who incarnates our human frailty.” More recently still, Kenneth Silverman refers to “Hop-Frog” as a “briskly-narrated tale of revenge” which dramatizes Poe’s own grievances against “a small army of people by whom he had come to feel abused and misled. . .,” thus reintroducing psycho-biographical elements that the Levines had warned against.(9) As interesting and even helpful in certain ways as such observations and interpretations are, they miss, I believe, the more obvious — and thus perhaps more elusive — significance of the narrative. Certainly, as far as this story goes, they don’t account for enough of its puzzling details, its nervous ambience, and its horrifying conclusion. Indeed, as the Levines are compelled to ask: “why. . .is the vengence so hideous?” Rather lamely, it seems to me, they answer: “Probably because Poe believed that every tale should create a strong effect, bizarre, grotesque, outré’”(Levine p. 252). I believe that better answers are possible, and I will offer one below.

The only extended analysis of the story I have been able to locate appears in Marie Bonaparte’s notorious and massive psychoanalytic interpretation of the life and works of Poe. Dismissing Hervey Allen’s interpretation as “too detached, abstract and allegorical to explain the interest this strange story still continues to excite,” Bonaparte offers her own: [page 138:]

First and foremost, Hop-Frog is a typical OEdipus story in which the son triumphantly compensates his infirmity, doubtless symbolic of the author’s impotence for, as we saw, the crippled dwarf has stronger arms than any. Thus, he can climb so high above the assembled guests that he is able to kill the king and escape with his beloved. Hop-Frog is a typical OEdipus tale, moreover, in that the son triumphantly gratifies the two great wishes which inspire the OEdipus complex: first, by burning to death the king to requite him for his guilty penis-urethral erotism (his ourang-outang’s livery was the murderer’s in another tale), and, then, by burning his seven ministers, all doubles of the cardinal royal figure. In addition, he escapes unharmed with Trippetta, the dancer, his protectress and abettor — who represents Poe’s mother — “to their own country; for neither was seen again.”(10)

Whether in thus making the interpretation involved, concrete, and personal, Bonaparte compels even partial consent is not my purpose to argue. I do think, though, that her hobby-horse at least bobs in the right direction. Indeed, what I want to argue is that the story does yield important meanings if we see it as a projection of psychic distress, but of anxiety and guilty identification which have their source in post-infantile social experience rather than in infantile sexual traumata. “Hop-Frog,” I wish to suggest, provides access to Poe’s consciousness and unconscious, to his state of mind and state of soul in the last years of his life.

Before offering my own reading, I should like to call on Harry Levin who can help us to understand how for Poe historical facts, literary sources, and personal experiences were imaginatively and unconsciously transmuted and shaped into a vivid fictional nightmare that at the same time refracts everyday social reality. Some readers will recall Levin’s claim in The Power of Blackness that “whereas, for Hawthorne, black and white more or less conventionally symbolize theological and moral values, for Poe, whose symbols claim to be actualities, they are charged with basic associations which are psychological and social.”(11) We should keep this observation in mind as we return to the matter of the differences between Poe’s story and Froissart’s chronicle.

The essential transformations of the source have to do with character, motive, and plot. In Poe’s adaptation, Hop-Frog and Trippetta are invented and developed in some detail. In Poe’s [page 139:] adaptation, Hop-Frog and Trippetta accomplish a more or less justified revenge on an obese King and his obtuse counselors. He who lives for the joke, dies by it. The story, as Terence Martin proposed many years ago,(12) is an instance of Poe’s wayward imagination forcing the grotesque into the cruel. The crude and naked aggression of the corpulent master is definitively repaid by the cleverly masked counter-cruelty of the crippled dwarf-slave. The horrible fate in Poe’s imagined court is by no means accidental; it includes, moreover, the king. No one in power escapes the dwarf’s definitive revenge.

But the new narrative is more than a story of appalling retribution; it is not — at least in the sense the Levines specify — a story about “Moral Issues” (p. 251). To come to the point, I see “Hop-Frog” as a working out of Poe’s ambivalent response to the terrible realities of slavery as he and most Americans experienced them in the North as well as in the South. At one level of his consciousness, as Harry Levin claims, Poe held the Negro in profound contempt and supported the institution of slavery.

His letters and article reveal him as an unyielding upholder of slavery, and as no great admirer of the Negro. The Negroes in his stories are comic stereotypes, among whom the servant Jupiter in “The Gold Bug” is a relatively favorable example. For Northerners who sympathized with the slaves, Poe’s hatred was so intense that he could not review James Russell Lowell’s poems without launching into a diatribe against Abolitionism . . . .In the troubled depths of Poe’s unconscious, there must have been not only the fantasy of a lost heritage, but a resentment and a racial phobia (pp. 120-121).

The complication I want to insist on, however, is that in “the troubled depths of Poe’s unconscious” he also identified with the objects of his racial phobia. In short, Poe was profoundly ambivalent about Blacks and the institution of slavery. He believed himself intellectually and morally superior to the mass of men — black and white — and had an aristocratic contempt for the world, but another part of this painfully divided man identified with the wretched of the earth out of the anguish of his own experience as outsider and bottom-dog. If with his public mind Poe could conclude in the guise of Arthur Gordon Pym that the black Tsalalians — black even to their teeth — were “the most wicked, hypocritical, vindictive, blood thirsty, and altogether fiendish race of men upon the face of the globe,” (P 1: 201) as a [page 140:] survivior of their treachery he watches with a helpless and horrified intensity that amounts to a barely suppressed relish the assault, stripping, and torching of the Jane Guy, the ship that had carried him south into the heart of darkness. The Tsalian women, “straight, tall, and well-formed and with a grace of freedom of carriage not to be found in civilized society” were “most obliging in every respect,” but their compliant nature masked a lust for destruction (P 1: 174). The fury of the rape of the Jane Guy, I propose, is a vivid depiction of the nightmare of a slave revolt observed with the curious if not perverse pleasure that comes from the recognition of a certain kind of justice as the colonized, despised and powerless have their day.

“Hop-Frog” takes place in another country, however, and in this story the wench is not a whore. What is stressed in this narrative is not Black perfidy but the dialectic of omnipotence and helplessness, oppression and revolt, injury and retribution. And even more clearly in this story than in Pym, Poe identifies with the indentured victims, with Hop-Frog and his mother-lover Trippetta. If, as Levin suggests, in the simians of such tales as “Murders,” “Marie Roget,” and “The System of Dr. Tarr and Professor Fether” there is a hint of “an old Southern bugbear, the fear of exposing a mother or a sister to the suspected brutality of a darker race (p. 141),” in “Hop-Frog” the repressed rage of a race whose women are freely “petted” by white masters and whose men are forced to stand by as impotent witnesses is given terrible release.

Hop-Frog, it will be remembered, comes to the court “from some barbarous region,” and both he and Trippetta had been “forcibly carried off from their respective homes in adjoining provinces” (M 3: 1346). Like a slave’s, Hop-Frog’s name was “not given to the dwarf by his sponsors at baptism, but it was conferred on him, by general consent of the seven ministers,” the white power structure, his masters. Poe (who was described by contemporaries as having a “jerky gait” and bandy legs), was amused by stage stereotypes of shuffling blacks and Hop-Frog’s “interjectional gait” is reminiscent of the demeaningly comic shamble of the “house-nigger.” Like Pym’s half-breed alter ego Dirk Peters, however, Hop-Frog has “prodigious muscular power” (p. 1346) in his arms and another and more terrible kind of power in the imagination that conceives perfect revenge in the cataclysmic inversion of power relationships.

In spite of this physical strength, Hop-Frog cannot be much use to Trippetta, “but she, on account of her grace and exquisite beauty [page 141:] (although a dwarf) was universally admired and petted: so she possessed much influence; and never failed to use it, whenever she could, for the benefit of Hop-Frog” (M 3: 1346). Her sexual attractiveness, in short, gives her the kind of leverage her symbolically castrated mate, for all of his wit, can never have. She can help him, but, disabled from the waist down, he “had it not in his power to render Trippetta many services,” (p. 1346) a theme explored in scores of nineteenth- and twentieth-century narratives by and about African-Americans.

In this story, the seeds of the terrible denouement are planted in the vivid scene in which the king, punningly, demands that Hop-Frog and Trippetta supply them with “character,” identities which they can display at the imminent masquerade ball. During this scene, the ill-humored king forces Hop-Frog to drink a goblet of wine; the immediate result is to make him think sadly of his “absent friends.” The king is enraged by Hop-Frog’s apparent sulkiness and orders him to drink down another goblet. At this point Trippetta intercedes on his behalf. In “evident wonder at her audacity” (read uppityness) the king, “purple with rage,” hesitates “for some moments” before pushing her away violently and throwing the “contents of the brimming goblet in her face (1348, 1349).” (One wonders what went on in those moments.) Forced to witness this degrading treatment of Trippetta, Hop-Frog can only grate his teeth menacingly. But when the king demands to know why he is making that noise, Hop-Frog “looking fixedly but quietly into the tyrant’s face, merely ejaculated; “‘I — I? How could it have been me?’” The sound is explained away (in a marvelously compact allusion) as only that of a parrot “whetting his bill upon his cage-wires (p. 1349).” Hop-Frog here, as African-American characters in so many other nineteenth-and twentieth-century American texts do, behaves deceptively.

After draining another bumper of wine, Hop-Frog explains that (just after the king had mistreated Trippetta and while the parrot was making the odd noise), there came to his mind “a capital diversion” — a frolic often enacted in his country but one unknown in the king’s. The diversion, the beauty of which “lies in the fright it occasions among the women,” (p. 1350) is called, of course, “the Eight Chained Ourang-Outangs.” Delighted with this suggestion, the King excitedly promises Hop-Frog: “I will make a man of you (p. 1350).” Hop-Frog devises the costumes for this masquerade, dressing the king and his counselors in stockinet shirts and drawers, then saturating them with tar. As the [page 142:] narrator observes, “At this stage of the process, some one of the party suggested feathers; but the suggestion was at once overruled by the dwarf (M 3:1350-51).” Abolitionists might be tarred and feathered, but not slaves. For as Hop-Frog works out his joke, we clearly understand that the eight unwitting victims have been reduced to the condition of a chain-gang of slaves, chained, we are told, “after the fashion adopted at the present day, by those who capture chimpanzees, or other large apes, in Borneo (p. 1351).” What more exactly appropriate and complete retribution than to transform the victimizer into the victim, to arrange for the lyncher to anticipate with relish and dress for his own lynching?

As soon as the clock ceases striking midnight, the eight “ourang-outangs” roll and stumble (like a collective Hop-Frog) into the room. In the ensuring tumult, during which “there was much real danger from the pressure of the excited crowd,” p. 1352) the chandelier is lowered to within three feet of the floor. Hop-Frog hooks the king and the counselors to it, grabs a flambeau, “leaps” with the agility of a monkey on the king’s head, and has this gruesome cargo hauled thirty feet into the air. Then, to the accompaniment of his fiercely grinding “fang-like teeth,” he sets fire to the king. In a few moments, “the work of vengeance was complete. The eight corpses swung in their chains, a fetid, blackened, hideous and indistinguishable mass p. 1354).” In the words of Billie Holiday’s devastating lyric, they become strange fruit.

Thus in “Hop-Frog” does Poe project the fear of slave revolts that openly gripped Virginia and the rest of the South during the first half of the 1800s. Of course, similar fears gripped the North in Poe’s lifetime and continue to do so in our time, though most Americans bring these anxieties to full consciousness mainly when they erupt as “racial tensions” in the form of “disturbances” and “riots,” most especially when such “disturbances” threaten to interfere with Superbowl games or the building of Chamber of Commerce inter-racial harmony in Los Angeles (and other American cities). That he was able sympathetically, yet with a shock of horror, to project this nightmare inspired by Gabriel Prosser, Denmark Vesey, Nat Turner and other African-American leaders of slave rebellions,(13) would seem to be the measure, in his last desperate year, both of Poe’s endorsement of slavery and of his half-conscious sense of a fate shared with these slaves.

As a young man he had complained bitterly to his foster-father, John Allan: “You suffer me to be subjected to the whims of caprice, not only of your white family, but the complete authority of your blacks” (O 8). As a broken older man struggling futilely to make ends [page 143:] meet in the context of an emerging capitalism controlled by Northern industrialists, Poe seems to have realized, however unconsciously, in a way that perhaps only he could have enjoyed, that the regional and racial jokes were on him. If this proposition seems far-fetched, perhaps we might recall the concluding sentence of Toni Morrison’s most recent book on American Africanism: “All of us, readers and writers, are bereft when criticism remains too polite and fearful to notice a disrupting darkness before its eyes.”(14) Or perhaps, finally, we might contemplate Nietszche’s designation of Poe as one of those “great poets” with “souls in which they must usually conceal some fracture; often taking revenge with their works for some inner contamination, often seeking with their high flights to escape forgetfulness from all-too-faithful memory; idealists from the vicinity of swamps.”(15)



1.  Edgar Allan Poe, Review of Nathaniel Hawthorne’s Twice-Told Tales [Graham’s Magazine 20 (May 1842) 299].

2.  Robert D. Jacobs, “Edgar Allan Poe,” The History of Southern Literature, gen. ed. Louis D. Rubin (Baton Rouge, 1985) p. 135.

3.  G. R. Thompson, “Edgar Allan Poe and the Writers of the Old South,” Columbia Literary History of the United States (New York, 1988) pp. 268-269.

4.  Arthur Hobson Quinn, Edgar Allan Poe: A Critical Biography (New York, 1941) p. 596. For a compelling account of another likely source — this one richly biographical — see Louis D. Rubin, Jr.’s perceptive discussion of the catastrophic fire that consumed Richmond, Virginia theater in December of 1811. It was in the same theater that Poe’s mother performed, eight days before her death, for the last time on 29 November 1811. Rubin speculates that the story dramatizes Poe’s resentment of Richmond’s “indifference to the plight of the Poe family, as well as for the later conduct of genteel Richmond toward a needy young poet-editor and his child bride.” Louis D. Rubin, Jr., The Edge of the Swamp: A Study in the Literature of the Old South (Baton Rouge and London, 1989) pp. 183-89. I am indebted to Benjamin Fisher for calling this item to my attention.

5.  James A. Harrison, The Complete Works of Edgar Allan Poe (New York, 1902). Stuart Levine and Susan Levine, eds., The Short Fictions of Edgar Allan Poe: An Annotated Edition (Urbana and Chicago, 1990) pp. 251-252. [page 144:]

6.  Richard Wilbur, “The House of Poe,” Robert Regan, ed., Poe: A Collection of Critical Essays (Engelwood Cliffs, 1967) pp. 112, 116.

7.  Hervey Allen, Israfel: The Life and Times of Edgar Allan Poe (New York, 1934) p. 513.

8.  James W. Gargano, The Masquerade Vision in Poe’s Short Stories (Baltimore, 1977) p. 6.

9.  J. Gerald Kennedy, Poe, Death and the Life of Writing (New Haven, 1987) pp. 143-144. Kenneth Silverman, Edgar A. Poe: A Mournful and Never-Ending Remembrance (New York, 1991) pp. 406-407. Levine and Levine pp. 251-252.

10.  Marie Bonaparte, The Life and Works of Edgar Allan Poe: A Psychoanalytic Interpretation, trans. John Rodker (1949) p. 513.

11.  Harry Levin, The Power of Blackness: Hawthorne, Poe, Melville (New York, 1960) p. 120. See also Silverman pp. 206-207. Further evidence of Poe’s attitudes towards blacks may be seen in “A Predicament,” “The Man That Was Used Up,” and “The Journal of Julius Rodman.”

12.  Terence Martin, “The Imagination at Play: Edgar Allan Poe,” Kenyon Review, 27 (1966) 194-209.

13.  See, for example, Herbert Aptheker, Negro Slave Revolts in the United States, 1526-1860 (New York, 1939) and Eugene D. Genovese, From Rebellion to Revolution: Afro-American Slave Revolts in the Making of the Modern World (Baton Rouge, 1979).

14.  Toni Morrison, Playing in the Dark: Whiteness and the Literary Imagination. (Cambridge, Mass. and London, 1992) p. 91.

15.  Quoted in Diane Johnson, “Dreams of Edgar Allan Poe,” New York Review of Books, 18 July 1991 p. 7.






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