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Voicing Memory: History and Subjectivity in French Caribbean Literature (New World Studies)by Nick Nesbitt
Synopses & Reviews
In Voicing Memory Nick Nesbitt argues that the aesthetic practices of twentieth-century French Caribbean writers reconstruct a historical awareness that had been lost amid the repressive violence of slavery, the plantation system, and colonial exploitation. Drawing on the work of Aime Cesaire, Edouard Glissant, Daniel Maximin, Maryse Conde, and Edwidge Danticat, he shows how these writers use the critical force of the aesthetic imagination to transform the parameters of Antillean experience.<P>The author takes the aesthetic practices of the black Atlantic — Antillean poetry, literature, and theater, but also Haitian vodou and visual arts, American jazz, and West African musical traditions — to constitute the models informing this Caribbean vernacular historiography. At the same time, Nesbitt shows how concepts from Cesaire's "negritude" to Glissant's "relation" critically rework European theoretical influences to construct a black Atlantic historical self-consciousness. In so doing, Nesbitt points beyond the regionalism of Antillean exoticism to describe French Caribbean literature as a decisive intervention in the construction of a global modernity.
Book News Annotation:
In his lengthy introduction, Nesbitt (French, Miami U., Ohio) draws on the critical theory of Marx, Hegel, Kant, and Adorno, among others, to redefine the identity of black Caribbean writers and identify their myriad local influences. The seven chapters that follow consider the themes of history, identity, and influence in the works of writers that include Edouard Glissant, Daniel Maximin, Aim<'e> C<'e>saire, and Louis Delgr<'e>s. Annotation (c)2003 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
Includes bibliographical references (p. -252) and index.
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