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Unexplained Presence

4.53  ·  Rating details ·  91 ratings  ·  8 reviews
Fiction. Literary Nonfiction. African American Studies. By remixing stories from novels and films to zoom in on the black presences within them, Tisa Bryant's UNEXPLAINED PRESENCE ruminates on the sublime power of history to shape culture in the subconscious of both the artist and the reader/viewer. Moving from interrogations of Fran�ois Ozon's 8 Femmes and Virginia Woolf' ...more
Paperback, 159 pages
Published December 1st 2008 by Leon Works (first published 2008)
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Dec 06, 2020 rated it really liked it
Bryant also employs various voices and points of view appropriate to her object of study. She uses a broad second person through “Looking a Mad Dog in the Eyes” in order to familiarize the reader with the Marta’s world and experience. She uses a more specific second person voice, speaking to and questioning Dido’s (132-133) and Miss Samuel’s (148) actions. Never do we get Bryant’s singular voice; we only hear her in the collective “we,” such as in her discussion of Woolf’s Orlando (116). We also ...more
Apr 26, 2020 added it
I like the writer to be writing to their smartest audience, but this book felt indifferent as to whether or not I followed its train of thought. Aggressive towards its subjects, indifferent to its reader; I wrestled with this book but ultimately gave up the fight.
Jan 19, 2008 rated it it was amazing
I loved the interconnections and genre crossing of this book. I think it created new neural pathways in my brain, crossovers that could bolster new amalgamations... its at once theory, cultural criticism, autobiographical, fictional... tisa has really woven a mini masterpiece here.
Jul 02, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: poetry
Bryant crosses several layers of invisibility negotiating the gaze of the viewer (reader) so that a new way of seeing begins to develop as a photographs of the same scene set to different levels of exposure.
Steven Felicelli
Sep 30, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Roland Barthes meets Claudia Rankine meets Laura Marks - meditations on race, gender, representation and unrepresentation powered by electric prose/poetry - Bryant is that rare combination in the Anglophone world at present: a fantastic writer with something to say

Feb 26, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Kate Schatz
Jan 29, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Tisa is a brilliant lady. This book is like nothing else.
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Tisa Bryant’s work often traverses the boundaries of genre, culture and history, creating multi-layered texts that demand new forms.

Her first book, Unexplained Presence (Leon Works, 2007), is a collection of original, hybrid essays that remix narratives from Eurocentric film, literature and visual arts and zoom in on the black presences operating within them. In her introduction to Bryant’s rece

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