Books and Movies Reviews

The Visible Man

The Visible Man "Ralph Ellison"
There have been many great writers who have had impact upon the world in
which we live. Among the best of them, in my opinion, is Ralph Ellison.
Ralph Waldo Ellison was born March 1, 1914, in Oklahoma City, OK to Lewis
Alfred (a construction worker and tradesman) and Ida (Millsap) Ellison. Ellison was
raised in a cultural atmosphere that encouraged self-fulfillment.After studying jazz and
classical music from 1933 to 1936 at Tuskegee Institute, Ellison traveled to New York
City, where he met author Richard Wright and became involved in the Federal Writers’
Project.Encouraged to write a book review for New Challenge, Ellison began
composing essays and stories that focused on the strength of the human spirit and the
need for racial pride. From 1938 to 1944, Ellison published a number of short stories and
contributed essays to journals such as New Masses . In an essay in Black World, Ernest
Kaiser called the earliest stories and the essays in New Masses “the healthiest” of
Ellison’s career. The critic praised the economic theories that inform the early fiction,
and he found Ellison’s language pure, emotional, and effective. Lamenting a change he
attributed to Ellison’s concern with literary technique, Kaiser charged the later stories,
essays, and novels with being no longer concerned with people’s problems and with being
“unemotional.” Other critics, like Marcus Klein in After Alienation: American Novels in
Mid-Century, saw the early work as a progressive preparation for Ellison’s mature fiction
and theory. In the earliest of these stories, “Slick Gonna Learn,” Ellison drew a character
shaped largely by an ideological, naturalistic conception of existence, the very type of
character he later deserted. From this imitation of proletarian fiction, Ellison’s work
moved towards psychological and finally metaphysical explorations of the human


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