Reading Invisible Man (2007-01-28/02-19)

"My belated appreciation of the crude joke that had kept me running, was not enough."--Ralph Ellison, Invisible Man

The narrator in Ralph Ellison's Invisible Man lives through a seemingly surreal sequence of events. The nightmarish quality of the plot may have been ordinary for a black man in the United States before Rosa Parks refused to relinquish her seat. (The book's copyright is 1947.)

Invisible Man illustrates the power of society to define reality, "running" its members without their awareness. This cynical thesis has no relief in the pages of the story, as the narrator finds no escape other than to hibernate. "A hibernation is a covert preparation for an overt action."

The book club for which I read Invisible Man has suggested Catch-22 for their next meeting March 26. In the meantime, I have several books to read to meet the goal of blogging 50 books this year, especially since I read Invisible Man slowly, alternating with other media.

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