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Home :: Archive :: 2001 :: February ::
Richard Wright
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 12.0430  Thursday, 22 February 2001

From:           Jack Heller <
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Date:           Wednesday, 21 Feb 2001 19:15:58 -0500
Subject:        Richard Wright

I have just read Richard Wright's short story "Long Black Song." In this
story of a black couple in the rural south, Silas, the husband, finds in
his bed the handkerchief of a white man who cuckolded him. The story is
ambiguous on whether or not Sarah, his wife, was raped. (My students
were divided on that issue.) Silas kicks Sarah out of their house, and
he shoots several white men--the one who cuckolded him and several who
came to avenge the first one's death.

The language of this story does not seem borrowed, but I detect hints of
Othello here. I haven't been able to find such a link between Wright and
Shakespeare in the criticism, but I have limited research resources. Has
such a link been established?

Jack Heller

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