Douglass: The Lost Autobiography

Douglass: The Lost Autobiography

Publication Information

Publication Date: March 2014
Publisher: Raw Dog Screaming Press
ISBN: 978-1-93-573856-5

$12.95 paperback
$4.99 kindle

152 pages
5 x 8 inches

@RDSPress
RDSP Publicity: Stephanie Wytovich
Cover Design: Matthew Revert

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© 2014 Raw Dog Screaming Press

Frederick Douglass stands as one of American history’s most extraordinary figures, overcoming the evils of slavery and racial construction by force of will and grit. As a fervent abolitionist, gifted orator, and sagacious editor and author, he became one of the most outspoken and influential social reformers of his time. During his life, he published three autobiographies chronicling his struggle from childhood to adulthood, from slave to free man, from ignorance to power-knowledge. And yet the full narrative of the life of Frederick Douglass, contrary to popular belief, has been incomplete . . . until now. Recently recovered on an archeological dig in Ireland, where Douglass lectured extensively in the 1840s, this heretofore “lost” autobiography marks the fourth and final work in the library of his selfhood. Tying together loose ends in the previous three autobiographies while exposing remarkable, often disturbing secrets about his private life, Douglass portrays himself not only as a man of words and character but as a kind of anachronistic hipster and proto-beatnik. There is a reason this volume never saw publication during his lifetime. A reason—and a method.

Reviews

"Once again, D. Harlan Wilson biographizes with a hammer. Beware." —WILLIAM CLARKE QUANTRILL, Professor of Religious Studies and Director of the Booker T. Washington Institute for African and African-American Research at Fostoria University

"This is not a book. It is an algorithm. D. Harlan Wilson’s trilogy of Hitler: The Terminal Biography, Freud: The Penultimate Biography and Douglass: The Lost Autobiography are Magrittesque artifacts. Certainly not biographies in the conventional sense of the genre, these titles may not be, strictly, books, whatever those are these days. They are experiments in deconstructing the supposedly cynical matrices of literature in the Internet age, where units are defined and shifted algorithmically, by guilty—sometimes arbitrary—associations with other books." —THE RUMPUS

"The Biographizer Trilogy is like a series of magic tricks that the magician painstakingly explains, but which nevertheless still dazzle the audience and retain an element of mystery. Meanwhile, as Wilson is explaining his tricks, he’s also stealing your wallet. He’s pulling moves we’re not even aware of until the aftermath." —WORD RIOT

"A guide to anti-writing that puts the roles of both authors and readers in question while problematizing the ways in which we process and make sense out of life experience." —3 A.M MAGAZINE

"This biographical non-biography is a fantastic (and here you can apply all the meanings of that word), funny, smart, self-referencing meta-narrative. It’s everything a book shouldn’t be, and it’s a great read because of it." —VERBICIDE MAGAZINE

"Wilson's The Biographizer Trilogy should interest writers—indie writers in particular—because of the way that it theorizes the production and sale of literary fiction in a digital world. The books evoke the metafictional ideas and themes of writers such as John Barth and Italo Calvino, but deploy them in order to examine the idea of the author and the text in a time when the value of art can be quantified by an author’s Amazon rank. Its representation of publishing is important and timely." —ENTROPY MAGAZINE