Shadow and Act - Part 1, The Seer and the Seen, Section 3 Summary & Analysis

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"Change the Joke and Slip the Yoke" (published 1958). In a preface to this essay, the author indicates that it began as a letter to a friend and colleague, Stanley Edgar Hyman, and evolved into a debate in essay form, adding that the second part of the essay appeared in another publication in 1963. The essay itself begins with the author offering the perspective that Hyman's emphasis on folk tradition and archetype, when considering the presence of the Negro in fiction, is relevant but shallow, and therefore flawed. He (the author) refers specifically to Hyman's perception that the stereotype of the Negro (in popular culture as well as in fiction) is a manifestation of the trickster archetype, and contradicts the theory by suggesting that Hyman's definition of the archetype, in Negro terms, is...

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