Author(s): Aytemis DEPC?, B羹lent C. TANRITANIR

In Percival Everett’s novel Erasure Monk, the author- protagonist writes a novel to criticize stereotyping ‘the African-American novel’ as a genre and also to present a critical repetition of Wright’s novel Native Son which promotes the idea of violent and discriminated black identity performances but, it turns out to be a runaway bestseller which doesn’t serve its original satirical purpose. The readers and the publishing market are pleasured deeply with the book since it satisfies their pre-conceived beliefs on racial clichés and represents ‘the authentic’ experience of black life which pictures African-American ghettos as ‘savages’. Therefore, Monk deconstructs the language and questions the intentional meaning. Everett/Monk criticizes Foucault’s discursive practice that sees the author as a function and Barthes’ argument in the "the Death of the Author" that the author cannot claim any absolute authority over his text.

Monk’s parody which goes unnoticed by his readers leads to his adoption of the black identity performances that he has always resisted. This duality splits his identity in the process. He begins to talk with his alienated self in the mirror which is connected to Lacanian theory of mirror phase and suffers from an identity conflict.

This study attempts to explicate issues of racism and identity conflict in Percival Everett’s novel Erasure while demonstrating the compelling impacts of media and publishing industry regarding racial clichés and prejudices. Everett with Erasure questions the racist expectations of society based on skin color and critiques the publishing market and media which obliges African-American authors writing only race-related issues.


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