Zora Neale Hurston's experimentation with the narrative voice in her short stories
AuthorsFraile, Ana María
IdentifiersPermanent link (URI): http://hdl.handle.net/10017/4985
Universidad de Alcalá de Henares. Servicio de Publicaciones
REDEN : revista española de estudios norteamericanos, 1997, n. 13, p. -40. ISSN 1131-9674
Literary critics such as Henry Louis Gates and Barbara Johnson have already approached the issue of voice in Zora Neale Hurston's novels-especially in Their Eyes Were Watching God. However, little attention has been directed to her short stories, despite the fact that they constitute an excellent ground to study the evolution of her narrative technique when considered chronologically. This paper responds to the need to fill that gap. I will show that between 1921 and 1942 Hurston creates successive narrative voices whose differentiating trait is the gradual approach to and eventual identification with the language of the folk. In doing so Hurston demonstrated that it was viable for the Afro-American writer to acknowledge the folkloric oral tradition as the foundation of a genuine Afro-American written tradition.