ABSTRACT

“Set and Osiris in Ishmael Reed's Neo-HooDoo Aesthetic” examines Reed's early poems and novels through the lens of Deleuze and Guattari's “schizoanalysis” to show that Neo-HooDoo (Reed's name for his aesthetic) works like Mumbo Jumbo (1972) demonstrate a rejection of Richard Wright's realism as the only “authentic” form for African-American writers. Pushing the boundaries of narrative discourse through his use of Egyptian myth and avant-garde poetics in these works, Reed uses the god Osiris as a playful, yet political, creative engine that opposes centralized control and domination by largely white American powers that follow Osiris's brother and rival, Set.

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