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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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Marie Chauvet and the Writer’s Exile from the Postcolonial Public Sphere

Marie Chauvet and the Writer’s Exile from the Postcolonial Public Sphere

(p.194) Marie Chauvet and the Writer’s Exile from the Postcolonial Public Sphere
Beyond Windrush

Raphael Dalleo

University Press of Mississippi

This chapter challenges the British-oriented approach to postwar Anglophone Caribbean literature by illustrating that across the Caribbean, the 1950s was a moment in which anticolonial optimism collided with postcolonial crisis and in which writers came to doubt the power of their words to challenge oppression and effect liberation. To illustrate, this chapter examines the oeuvre of the Haitian novelist Marie Chauvet, arguing that her 1957 novel, La danse sur le volcan imagines a powerful, if difficult role, for the artist by looking to the Haitian revolution as inspiration and analogue for the social transformations of the 1950s, just as Lamming’s Pleasures of Exiles (1960), James’s Black Jacobins (1938/1963), and Walcott’s Henri Christophe (1949) do. However, her later work Amour, Colère, Folie shows this position increasingly challenged. In this, Chauvet, like her Anglophone counterparts, reflects a regional anxiety surrounding the shifting place and function of the committed intellectual and writer.

Keywords:   Haitian Revolution, Writer’s role, Committed intellectual, George Lamming, Pleasures of Exile

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