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Haiti’s Revisionary Haunting of Charles Chesnutt’s “Careful” History in Paul Marchand, F.M.C.

Haiti’s Revisionary Haunting of Charles Chesnutt’s “Careful” History in Paul Marchand, F.M.C.

Chapter:
(p.110) (p.111) 5 Haiti’s Revisionary Haunting of Charles Chesnutt’s “Careful” History in Paul Marchand, F.M.C.
Source:
Haiti and the Americas
Author(s):
Bethany Aery Clerico
Publisher:
University Press of Mississippi
DOI:10.14325/mississippi/9781617037573.003.0006

This chapter presents a reading of Charles Chesnutt’s Paul Marchand, F.M.C., a historical novel about a quadroon man living in 1820s New Orleans who discovers that he is legally white. It argues that the novel offers much more than a glimpse into how literature responds to a grim moment in U.S. history. In fact, the novel becomes paradigmatic for how the literary imagination can contribute to the work of repossessing future space within the U.S. historical narrative for the Haitian Revolution. Such a shift in vision counters claims that Marchand is pessimistic and anachronistic; rather, we come to see it as a revisionary evisceration of the histories of postrevolution New Orleans.

Keywords:   New Orleans, Haiti, U.S. history, Haitian Revolution

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