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Abstractionist AestheticsArtistic Form and Social Critique in African American Culture$
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Phillip Brian Harper

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9781479865437

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: September 2016

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9781479865437.001.0001

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The Literary Advantage

(p.161) Coda
Abstractionist Aesthetics

Phillip Brian Harper

NYU Press

The coda compares narrative strategies in Lee Daniels’s 2009 film Precious: Based on the Novel “Push” by Sapphire with those in the 1996 source work in order to show that abstractionist disruption is most critically effective in verbal versus nonverbal narrative modes, precisely because the latter are not subject to grammatical regulation. It finally reviews plays by Adrienne Kennedy and Suzan-Lori Parks to argue that, while abstractionism can be effective in theater, restrictions on public access to theatrical performance still make it less effective than print prose in engendering social critique.

Keywords:   Adrienne Kennedy, film, Lee Daniels, Precious, Push, Sapphire, social critique, Suzan-Lori Parks, theater

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