Opere by Publio Ovidio Nasone, a cura di Nino Scivoletto

By Publio Ovidio Nasone, a cura di Nino Scivoletto

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The land is to be used for procreation and harvest, not hibernation and greed. Thus, in many respects, Macon remains invisible to the land, to the community, to his family, and finally, to the culture that commands him to perform, not just to listen secretively. In the conflict between Macon and Pilate over the land, over history, and over Milkman, Pilate wins because she has shown Milkman a way out of the hibernation advocated by Macon’s inertia. In this way, too, Milkman’s struggle enlarges the orbit of geography for Afro-American identity and cultural performance beyond the cave of hibernation promoted in Ellison’s Invisible Man.

Flight and aviation as the exercise of creativity, the fulfillment of perfect control, hold both Sula and Ajax in its cobalt blue glow. Yet the moment that Sula falls in love with Ajax and discovers possessiveness, both she and Ajax are more grounded than either desires. Ajax escapes this confinement by losing interest in Sula, but she remains trapped, totally overwhelmed by feeling human and vulnerable. When she takes Ajax through her newly cleaned house—“the spotless bathroom where dust had been swept from underneath the claw-foot tub”—she shows him her nest, a space for her hibernation, nurture, and fulfillment of sexual desire.

He wanted no conversation, no witness, only to listen and perhaps to see the three of them, the source of that music that made him think of fields and wild turkey and calico. (29) As Macon peers unseen into the lives of these women, he becomes a version of Wright’s man who lived underground or of Ellison’s invisible man. Lacking Daniels’s cynicism, Macon secretly yearns to come out of hibernation and to accept fully the family he had denied in his “drive for wealth” (28): “Near the window, hidden by the dark, he felt the irritability of the day drain from him and relished the effortless beauty of the women singing in the candlelight....

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