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Atout Coeur Design Group

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18. See Jean Fagan Yellin, "Written by Herself: Harriet Jacobs's Slave Narrative." Yellin explains the confusion over Incidents's literary status as follows: "It is no accident that many critics mistook Jacobs's narrative for fiction. Its confessional account of sexual error and guilt, like the passages in which Linda Brent presents herself to be judged by her reader, link Incidents to a popular genre, the seduction novel" (Introduction to Incidents, xxix-xxx). The text's relationship to fiction continues to be clarified. Jacqueline Goldsby and P. Gabrielle Foreman have both argued against reading Jacobs's text in a purely factual way. Goldsby states that Incidents should be examined in terms of how "it engages and resists the closure implied by historical documentation" ("'I Disguised My Hand'," 15). Concerned with how the "implicit demands for referentiality" force critics to "interpret the principal script as if [Jacobs] had not loaded it with narrative explosions, with subversive scriptmines, so to speak," Foreman critiques the "politics of transparency" that often informs readings of black women's sentimental writing ("Manifest in Signs," 77).



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