Mumbo Jumbo Analysis

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Among Reed’s laudable body of works, it is Mumbo Jumbo (1972) that first achieved worldwide attentions for the author, and it is also cited by Harold Bloom as “one of the five hundred most significant books in the Western canon”.(wiki) That might be one reason which attracts me to choose Reed’s Mumbo Jumbo as the object of my study. Following the publication of Mumbo Jumbo in 1972, Reed proclaimed it “the best mystery novel of the year” (Shrovetide 132). Crossing western space. This statement however, seems inappropriate for that Mumbo Jumbo looks nothing like a conventional detective novel. It contains such oddities as paintings, academic quotations, newspaper bulletins, advertisement, radio reports and even a bibliography at the end of text. Despite its unique appearance, the central narrative in fact includes both a detective, PaPa Labas, and his classic search for both a murderer (although we do know who the guilty parties are from the start, but we do not know who is…show more content…
The researches about Reed and Mumbo Jumbo can be categorized into five kinds: feminism approach, African American criticism, comparative study with other novels, researches about Ishmael Reed 's writing technique, and postmodernism criticism. As early as 1970s, Barbara Smith in her article “Toward a Black Feminist Criticism” criticized Ishmael Reed as the nation 's “notorious misogynist writer... in perfect agreement with the values of a society that hate the black people, women and black women.” This has also been noted by Andrew Strombeck in his 2006 thesis “The Conspiracy of Masculinity in Ishmael Reed”, which pointed out the masculine unconscious at work in Mumbo Jumbo(1972) and Reckless Eyeballing (1986). However it is a pity that this type of criticism does not realize that Reed in many of his work deconstructs the Western culture and mono-culturalism as a whole which includes
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