Analyze How Ishmael Reed Is A Prophet And Oracle

Essay by cobeloveyouUniversity, Bachelor'sA+, March 2004

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The speaker Ishmael Reed's title, "Poet As Prophet and Oracle" for his lecture on Sunday sounds interesting for students who like literature. Ishmael Reed is considered as a prophet as oracle because his writing demonstrates that he is a great improviser. He has the ability to divergent materials into forms of surprise, revelation, and frequent hilarity. However, people who focus primarily on how funny or unfunny his works are missing the point of his humor as a weapon in the very serious enterprise of exposing human excesses. As the same time, his work is to remind us the dangers of taking our cherished opinions too seriously.

A little background of Ishmael Reed careers include working as a correspondent for the Empire Star Weekly, a black community newspaper. He taught at the University of California at Berkeley since the late 1960s. He also has held visiting appointments at many other academic institutions, including Yale, Harvard, Dartmouth, Washington University in St. Louis, and Buffalo.

In addition to winning several awards for his writing, he has been nominated for the Pulitzer Prize. He was also won finalist for the National Book Award two times: once in poetry and once in fiction.

During the lectured Ishmael Reed mentioned many poems that are written like a story. Although he is not using acronyms for his writings due to changing the living environment, his works are not any worse than the ones with acronyms. Over the past couple of years, his reputation has suffer not because of his work but because he has steadfastly refused to toe any party line with regard to African American authenticity, aspiration, and achievement. Moreover, as the title of his 1993 essay collection, Airing Dirty Laundry, indicates, Ishmael Reed believes in "outing" what others wish to keep closeted. Rather...