Charles Johnson, Black American philosopher & novelist

Selected introductory sources & notes

Compiled by Ralph Dumain

Note: This very brief bibliography focuses on philosophically oriented nonfiction and basic critical sources. For more, see Charles R. Johnson - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

Selected nonfiction by Charles Johnson:

Being and Race: Black Writing Since 1970. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1988.

I Call Myself An Artist: Writings by and about Charles Johnson, edited by Rudolph P. Byrd. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1999.

Passing the Three Gates: Interviews with Charles Johnson, edited by Jim McWilliams. Seattle: University of Washington Press, 2004.

Philosophy: An Innovative Introduction: Fictive Narrative, Primary Texts, and Responsive Writing, by Michael Boylan and Charles Johnson. Boulder, CO: Westview Press, 2010.

Turning the Wheel: Essays on Buddhism and Writing. New York: Scribner, 2003.

The Words and Wisdom of Charles Johnson. Ann Arbor, MI: Dzanc Books, 2015.

This book is comprised of the contents of the web site E-Channel, a year-long series of responses to questions posed by Ethelbert Miller.

See also:

Watterson, Zachary. “Literary Mentors & Friends: An Interview with Charles Johnson,” Fiction Writers Review, April 09, 2010.

Boylan, Michael. Fictive Narrative Philosophy: How Fiction Can Act as Philosophy. New York: Taylor & Francis; London: Routledge, 2018.

Secondary sources:

Byrd, Rudolph P. Charles Johnson’s Novels: Writing the American Palimpsest. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2005.

1. Faith and the Good Thing: What Is the Nature of the Good?
2. Oxherding Tale: Slavery and the Wheel of Desire
3. Middle Passage: What Is the Nature of Freedom?
4. Dreamer: “If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted?”

Conner, Marc C.; Nash, William R.; eds. Charles Johnson: The Novelist as Philosopher. Jackson: University Press of Mississippi, 2007.

Introduction: Charles Johnson and Philosophical Black Fiction / Marc C. Conner and William R. Nash
The Genesis of Charles Johnson’s Philosophical Fiction / Linda Selzer
“In-Itself-for-Me”: Decomposition and Art in Charles Johnson’s Oxherding Tale / Gena Chandler
Bondage and Discipline: The Pedagogy of Discomfort in The Sorcerers Apprentice / Herman Beavers
To Utter the Holy: The Metaphysical Romance of Middle Passage / Marc C. Connor
“Go There”: The Critical Pragmatism of Charles Johnson / William Gleason
Pragmatic Ethics in Charles Johnson’s Fiction / Gary Storhoff
Invisible Threads: Charles Johnson and Feminine Civility / John Whalen-Bridge
“At the numinous heart of being”: Dreamer and Christian Theology / Marc C. Conner
The Application of an Ideal: Turning the Wheel as Ontological Program / William R. Nash
Works Cited

Ghosh, Nibir K.; Miller, E. Ethelbert; eds. Charles Johnson: Embracing the World. New Delhi: Authorspress, 2011.

Little, Jonathan. Charles Johnson’s Spiritual Imagination. Columbia, MO: University of Missouri Press, 1997.

Nash, William R. Charles Johnson’s Fiction. Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 2003.

Selzer, Linda F. Charles Johnson in Context. Amherst: University of Massachusetts Press, 2009.

Illustrations (ix-x)
Acknowledgments (xi)
1 From Philosophy to Black Philosophical Fiction (1-50)
2 From Marx to Marcuse in Faith and the Good Thing (51-104)
3 The Emergence of Black Dharma and Oxherding Tale (105-156)
4 The Rise of the New Black Intellectual and the Varieties of Cosmopolitanism in Middle Passage (157-210)
5 The Return of the King and the Logic of Conversion in Dreamer (211-254)
Notes (255-271)
Works Cited (273-291)
Index (293-306)

Storhoff, Gary. Understanding Charles Johnson. Columbia: University of South Carolina Press, 2004.

‘Philosophy’ and ‘Literature’: Relationships of Genres and the Frontiers of Thought
by R. Dumain

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