S-Space Researcher Institutes (연구소) American Studies Institute (미국학연구소) 미국학 미국학 Volume 38 Number 1/2 (2015)
William Grimes' Salable Book and Redeemed Self: Life of William Grimes, the Runaway Slave and Uncanonical Slave Narrative
- Woo, Jewon
- Issue Date
- 서울대학교 미국학연구소
- 미국학, Vol.38 No.2, pp. 1-32
- Slave narratives; William Grimes; self-publication; authorship; and working-class blacks in the antebellum period
- Famous slave narratives of the 1830s and 1840s, which were edited, outlined, and advertised by abolitionists, typify romantic and nationalistic ideals as if they were epitomized in the runaway slave as symbol of black humanity triumphant over corrupt institutions. However, a few slave narratives, not only written by but also published by their authors without the abolitionist aids, provide us with an important aspect of the slave narrative genre beyond it canons. This essay analyzes William Grimes’s Life of William Grimes, the Runaway Slave (1825, 1855), which was designed explicitly to raise money for its author, who had become penniless as a result of a series of legal fights for his freedom and civil rights. Grimes’s narrative exemplifies self-published slave narratives in the U.S. that do not subscribe the abolitionist framing of what the slave narrative should be, but establish African American authorship by redeeming the materialized blackness in the print market.