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Sacraments of MemoryCatholicism and Slavery in Contemporary African American Literature$
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Erin Michael Salius

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780813056890

Published to Florida Scholarship Online: January 2019

DOI: 10.5744/florida/9780813056890.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM FLORIDA SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.florida.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University Press of Florida, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in FLASO for personal use.date: 22 September 2021

Catholicism and Narrative Time, Continued

Catholicism and Narrative Time, Continued

Divine Prescience in Edward P. Jones’s The Known World

(p.160) 4 Catholicism and Narrative Time, Continued
Sacraments of Memory

Erin Michael Salius

University Press of Florida

Chapter 4 continues the discussion of temporal disjunction started in the previous chapter through an extended examination of Edward P. Jones’s use of the flash-forward technique in his highly acclaimed 2003 novel The Known World. Jones manipulates conceptions of the future, just as Perry and Johnson manipulate past and present time, to disrupt the linearity of the narrative. These narrative disruptions, the chapter contends, are similarly framed in terms of Augustinian theology. Specifically, the chapter argues that the flash-forward technique in The Known World is informed to a significant extent by the concept of divine prescience that Augustine of Hippo developed in his analysis of the biblical story of creation. Jones’s engagement with Augustine reveals itself throughout The Known World, especially with regard to how the novel represents art and artists. Moreover, the Augustinian subtext of Jones’s writing accounts for the surprising presence of Catholic characters and Catholic themes in the narrative.

Keywords:   Augustine of Hippo, Edward P. Jones, The Known World, Prescience, Flash-forward technique, Catholic, Narrative, Biblical creation

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