Mrs. Norval… hoped…Lola might be now all black or all white, no matter which, only not with those ugly white spots. - Who Would Have Thought It? 1872 (78) But these snowy, equable and smooth spots … sometimes occur amongst our own people. I have myself had the opportunity of observing two instances of this kind… The skin of each was brownish, studded here and there with very white spots of different sizes. - “Mulattos” The Anthropological Treatises of Johann Friedrich Blumenbach, 1865 (220) As illustrated by these two excerpts, the “mixed blood” provoked in Johann Friedrich Blumenbach, as it does in Marfa Amparo Ruiz de Burton's Mrs. Norval, a kind of tension, a sometimes explicit, often insidious fear of racial unreadability and its implications for white domination.
Reader Expectation and the Ethnic Rhetorics: The Problem of the Passing Subaltern in Who Would Have Thought It?
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Pascha A. Stevenson; Reader Expectation and the Ethnic Rhetorics: The Problem of the Passing Subaltern in Who Would Have Thought It?. Ethnic Studies Review 1 January 2005; 28 (2): 61–74. doi: https://doi.org/10.1525/esr.2005.28.2.61
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