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Going to the Territory

4.17  ·  Rating Details ·  69 Ratings  ·  5 Reviews
The work of one of the most formidable figures in American intellectual life."

-- Washington Post Book World

The seventeen essays collected in this volume prove that Ralph Ellison was not only one of America's most dazzlingly innovative novelists but perhaps also our most perceptive and iconoclastic commentator on matters of literature, culture, and race. In Going to the Ter
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Paperback, 352 pages
Published March 14th 1995 by Vintage (first published 1986)
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Ken Moten


This book is a very nice conclusion of Ellison's observations of speech and culture in the second-half of the 20th century (1960s-1980s). I was very impress by Ralph Ellison's now iconic approach and wit & the maturity and hindsight that age had brought him. My favorite story is probably his recount of seeing Erskine Caldwell's Tobacco Road for the first time on Broadway.
Michael Bryson
Apr 08, 2013 Michael Bryson rated it really liked it
Shelves: lit-crit
Hospital waiting rooms aren't good for much, but they are places to pick up miscellaneous magazines.

And so it happened that in April 2012 past I acquired a copy of the January 12, 2012 New York Times Magazine, which includes an article by Garth Risk Hallberg titled "Why Write Novels at All?"

The past few weeks I'd also been reading Ralph Ellison's essay collection, Going to the Territory, and the recent issue (#84) of Canadian Notes & Queries, which contains much of interest, but the essay I'
...more
Ben Siems
Aug 22, 2010 Ben Siems rated it really liked it
I concluded my summer of re-acquainting myself with the life and writings of Ralph Ellison by reading his last published book. As a collection of essays like SHADOW AND ACT, GOING TO THE TERRITORY is not that second novel that so many waited for, but that Ellison would never in the end deliver. (Although, I have learned, there is now available a 2000-page collection of manuscripts that Ellison always hoped would become that novel, THREE DAYS BEFORE THE SHOOTING. I cannot decide whether I would w ...more
Phillip
Mar 01, 2012 Phillip rated it really liked it
I have mixed feelings about this collection of essays. I had high hopes when it came out. I had been an "Invisible Man" fan for awhile and was thrilled that the author had a new book. I was especially looking forward to it because I am an Oklahoman as was Ellison. The title refers to a moment of hope in our nation's history when African Americans went to Indian Territory (Oklahoma)after the Civil War, expecting to be treated with equality.

Unfortunately, there isn't that much to the title essay.
...more
R.K. Byers
Apr 23, 2012 R.K. Byers rated it really liked it
the part about the COLORED ONLY laughing barrels was so hilarious I'd have had to have stuck my head in one if I were in the deep south reading this during the time Ellison described.
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Ralph Ellison was a scholar and writer. He was born Ralph Waldo Ellison in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, named by his father after Ralph Waldo Emerson. Ellison was best known for his novel Invisible Man, which won the National Book Award in 1953. He also wrote Shadow and Act (1964), a collection of political, social and critical essays, and Going to the Territory (1986). For The New York Times , the b ...more
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