Talking Book

Hear ye! Hear ye!


Mr. Chestnutt, sir, as a northerner like yourself (from Yiddish-accented English-speaking New York City) who several decades ago relocated to North Carolina, like the characters John and Annie in your recent book THE CONJURE WOMAN, and as a professor, currently, of philology at the University of North Carolina in danger of perishing because he has yet to publish, I have the southern honor to inform you that I plan on publishing a scholarly critique (thereby gaining my tenure) of your use of colored “eye dialect” in THE CONJURE WOMAN.  Will I be challenging the veracity of your use of  “eye dialect” in the character Julius’s “lesson-to-be-learned” folktales?  That it up to you, sir, but you should know that my working title for my treatise is Y’ALL LISTEN NOW:  THE DIALECT MATERIALISM OF A CARPETBAGGING CONJURE MAN. Therefore, sir, please supply me at your convenience with irrefutable evidence of the factual, truthful, and rhythmically accurate basis for Julius’s oracular “lacks.”

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