Orginal Publication Date
Explorations in Ethnic Studies
There is always something final, of having said much of what appears to need saying, when we deal with opposites, when we discuss anything in terms of antipodes. Linda Buck Myers's article, "Perception and Power through Naming: Characters in Search of a Self in the Fiction of Toni Morrison," gives me this feeling; and, having considered the matter, she has not "said everything,'' but she has pointed the way and perceptively located what should become a main vein in the study of Toni Morrison. Language has always been the very stuff of literature, and Myers is correct in highlighting Morrison's clear desire to name anew, to baptize, as it were, the words we prosaically use in order to tum the language into a tool to provide readers with new ways of looking at black Americans. Semiotics has taught us that language does and does not designate, that it names in naming and not naming; and, having thus named, that our very words decree the interpretation of everything we see.
Copyright, ©EES, The National Association for Ethnic Studies, 1984