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The Caribbean Novel since 1945Cultural Practice, Form, and the Nation-State$
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Michael Niblett

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9781617032479

Published to University Press of Mississippi: March 2014

DOI: 10.14325/mississippi/9781617032479.001.0001

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“The people living a life every man for himself”: Problems in the Postindependence Body (Politic)

“The people living a life every man for himself”: Problems in the Postindependence Body (Politic)

Chapter:
(p.61) 2 “The people living a life every man for himself”: Problems in the Postindependence Body (Politic)
Source:
The Caribbean Novel since 1945
Author(s):

Michael Niblett

Publisher:
University Press of Mississippi
DOI:10.14325/mississippi/9781617032479.003.0003

Caribbean texts from the 1950s both articulated the promise of an independent nation-state and foreshadowed the potential problems it might encounter. This chapter explores the materialization of those problems. Focusing in particular on Wilson Harris’ The Secret Ladder (1963) and Earl Lovelace’s The Wine of Astonishment (1982), it considers how the transformations and difficulties experienced by the body politic are not only registered in these works through the image of the physical body but also shown to be connected materially to its dispositions and inculcated behaviors. The chapter argues that the crisis of political representation finds its literary corollary in a crisis of aesthetic representation, figured most notably through the malfunctioning of the topos of the tragic sacrifice.

Keywords:   nation-state, independence, Caribbean texts, Wilson Harris, Earl Lovelace, political representation, aesthetic representation

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