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In Search of SoulHip-Hop, Literature, and Religion$
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Alejandro Nava

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780520293533

Published to California Scholarship Online: January 2018

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520293533.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM CALIFORNIA SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.california.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of California Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CALSO for personal use.date: 03 July 2022

In Search of Soul

In Search of Soul

(p.15) 1 In Search of Soul
In Search of Soul

Alejandro Nava

University of California Press

This chapter follows Virginia Woolf's assessment of soul in Russian fiction, applying it instead to African American and Latin American traditions as its guiding spirits. It operates with an assumption that there is something wildly quixotic about its endurance in the modern world and something surprisingly revelatory in this foolish passion for the soul, something that can school the modern intelligence on the matters of the human spirit. The chapter suggests that we look at these themes and refrains on the soul in two major ways: first, with biblical and theological traditions in mind, and second, in the spirit of the profane, in which “soul” becomes synonymous with exuberant styles, cultures, literatures, and, above all, the powerful currents of music.

Keywords:   Virginia Woolf, modern world, human spirit, African American traditions, Latin American traditions, profanity, African American soul, Latin American soul

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