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Beyond WindrushRethinking Postwar Anglophone Caribbean Literature$
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J. Dillon Brown and Leah Reade Rosenberg

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9781628464757

Published to University Press of Mississippi: January 2017

DOI: 10.14325/mississippi/9781628464757.001.0001

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date: 16 December 2017

The BBC’s Caribbean Voices and Its “Critics’ Circle”: Radio Criticism and the Development of Anglophone Caribbean Literature

The BBC’s Caribbean Voices and Its “Critics’ Circle”: Radio Criticism and the Development of Anglophone Caribbean Literature

Chapter:
(p.129) The BBC’s Caribbean Voices and Its “Critics’ Circle”: Radio Criticism and the Development of Anglophone Caribbean Literature
Source:
Beyond Windrush
Author(s):

Glyne A. Griffith

Publisher:
University Press of Mississippi
DOI:10.14325/mississippi/9781628464757.003.0008

This chapter examines the BBC Program Caribbean Voices, one of the most important influences on the development of literature in the Anglophone Caribbean focusing on the role of Henry Swanzy, the program’s editor (1946-1954) and of the “Critics’ Circle,” a group of Caribbean writers (John Figueroa, Gordon Bell, and Ulric Cross) and English writers (Roy Fuller, and Arthur Calder-Marshall) who evaluated works the program broadcast. It argues that Caribbean Voices wielded significant power in shaping postwar literary aesthetics and politics by promoting social realist literature that focused on “local color” and by limiting literary criticism to formal concerns. The program thus dissuaded writers from submitting more obviously ideological writingand highlighted specific national cultures rather than a shared notion of Caribbeanness. As a result, the program fostered an aesthetics and politics that undermined British policy: Independence for the region in the form of the West Indian Federation rather than individual nationalisms.

Keywords:   Caribbean Voices (BBC radio program), “local color”, Literary criticism, Federation, Nationalism

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