1 | 2015
Percival Everett

Ce volume recueille les communications présentées lors du colloque international « Percival Everett » organisé par l’équipe, à l’initiative d’Agathe Berland et d’Anne-Laure Tissut, en mars 2013 à la Maison de l’Université de Mont-Saint-Aignan.Textes recueillis par Agathe Berland et Anne-Laure Tissut, et mis en forme par Sarah Boulet.

This volume gathers the papers given at the international conference “Percival Everett” organised by the ERIAC research center and managed by Agathe Berland and Anne-Laure Tissut, that took place in March 2013 at the Maison de l’Université in Mont-Saint-Aignan.Texts collected by Agathe Berland and Anne-Laure Tissut, and finalized for publication by Sarah Boulet.

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1 | 2015

Encountering the Face of the Other: Levinasian Ethics and Its Limits in Percival Everett’s God’s Country

Keith B. Mitchell


At the center of Percival Everett’s oeuvre has been an interrogation of ethical dimensions that seek to put forth profound questions of identity and how human beings relate to one another on the basis of what we think we know about the other, primarily through visual cues based on race. Of course, race, ethics, and inter-human relationships in America have been at the forefront of the African American literary tradition—from Phillis Wheatley to the present. Everett’s 1994 novel God’s Country employs satire and parody of the American Western in order to interrogate past and present breaches of inter-human ethics, particularly white America’s unethical treatment of African Americans and Native Americans. This essay seeks to read Everett’s ethical stance through the theoretical lens of Emmanuel Levinas’ ideas surrounding encounters with “the face of the other” and our (potential) responsibility for the other. In God’s Country, I argue that the face-to-face encounter between Curt Marder, the white racist cowboy, and Bubba, the African American tracker whom Marder hires to find his kidnapped wife, Sadie, follows closely many of the ethico-philosophical ideas that Emmanuel Levinas theorizes and expounds in such important works as Alterity and Transcendence, Humanism of the Other, and Ethics and Infinity.

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Keith B. Mitchell, « Encountering the Face of the Other: Levinasian Ethics and Its Limits in Percival Everett’s God’s Country » dans « Percival Everett », « Lectures du monde anglophone », n° 1, 2015 Licence Creative Commons
Ce(tte) œuvre est mise à disposition selon les termes de la Licence Creative Commons Attribution - Pas d’Utilisation Commerciale - Partage dans les Mêmes Conditions 4.0 International. Polygraphiques - Collection numérique de l'ERIAC EA 4705

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Quelques mots à propos de :  Keith B. Mitchell

University of Masschussetts Lowell
Keith Mitchell is an Associate Professor of English at the University of Massachusetts Lowell. He is the coeditor, along with Professor Robin Vander, of the recently published essay collection Perspectives on Percival Everett (University Press of Mississippi, 2013). This is the first collection of essays published in the United States on Everett’s work. A second collection of essay on Percival Everett titled Percival Everett Writing Other / Wise and also co-edited with Professor Robin Vander will be published by the Xavier Review Press in the fall of 2013. He is also the coeditor of Afterthe Pain: Critical Essays on Gayl Jones (2006), the first collection of essays published on this important African-American writer. He is also coeditor ofXavier Review. Special Issue. “Reading the Intersections of Sex and Spirit in the Creative Arts” (2007), and book chapters, articles, and reviews in Obsidian III: Literature in the African Disapora, The Oxford Companion to African American Literature, Southern Writers: A New Biographical Dictionary, The Bryn Mawr Review of Comparative Literature, Oyster Boy Review, and other publications.