The Signifying Monkey: Theory of Afro-American Literary Criticism by Gates Henry Louis Jr.

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Henry Louis Gates, Jr.'s original, groundbreaking study explores the relationship between the African and African-American vernacular traditions and black literature, elaborating a new critical approach located within this tradition that allows the black voice to speak for itself. Examining the ancient poetry and myths found in African, Latin American, and Caribbean culture, and particularly the Yoruba trickster figure of Esu-Elegbara and the Signifying Monkey whose myths help articulate the black tradition's theory of its literature, Gates uncovers a unique system for interpretation and a powerful vernacular tradition that black slaves brought with them to the New World. 

Oxford University Press, 1990.
ISBN: 9780195060751. 320 pp.
Softcover. Near fine.