Interesting thoughts, Sterling.
I guess I didnīt think about where the narratorīs youth was spent, just assumed it was in the South. The university he goes to is definately in Alabama, right? Wasnīt it named as the Tuskegee Institute?
I agree the naming of Ellison does suggest some learning in his parents. I suppose itīs possible they had just heard of Emerson spoken of as a great thinker.
I also agree about there being a longish lull in the story. Most books of any length have some lull, and I didnīt find this one too bad. I will say that even though it picks up again as you say, the first part of the book is much more memorable. Once I started reading, I remember scenes to come, up to around the time of the bogus recommendation letter. After that, I was quite curious to meet Ras the exorter. Somewhere I read that Bloom considers him a remarkable creation or something like that, but I had no recollection of him. I did find him interesting when I found him though.
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