Journal of Caribbean Literatures

Articles

Vol. 7, No. 1, Fall

Letter from the Editor
I am pleased to finally get this issue to our subscribers, and I want to thank you for your patience during this period of absent issues. This issue of 7.1 will be followed closely by 7.2, which is now being readied for publication. Most of our subscribers...
Read preview Overview
Introduction
The Caribbean is arguably one of the most complex and diverse groupings of peoples in the world. Even our name for the Caribbean is based not on the islands themselves but the waters that divide them, implying by the physical separation a cultural...
Read preview Overview
Kanaima and the Oral Tradition in Pauline Melville's the Ventriloquist's Tale
In his 1970 essay, "History, Fable and Myth in the Caribbean and Guianas," Guyanese writer and cultural theorist Wilson Harris argues that religious and cultural practices associated with the colonized peoples of the Caribbean, such as Haitian vodun,...
Read preview Overview
Metaphors and the Reclamation of Blackness in Derek Walcott's Dream on Monkey Mountain
Dream on Monkey Mountain is designed to be sequenced as one might imagine a dream to be sequenced; it is illogical, contradictory, and does not follow typical aspects of spatial and temporal awareness. In order to overcome the loss of reality that...
Read preview Overview
Parallel Performances?-Color, Gender, and Class in Emily Cartwright of Cambridge and Harriet Amron of the Chosen Place, the Timeless People
She was a lady, I was a woman, and this distinction for her was important ... it was an accurate description of herself more so than she could have wanted it to be, for it is true that a lady is a combination of elaborate fabrications, a collection...
Read preview Overview
The Madwoman Speaks: Madness and Motherhood in Angie Cruz's Soledad
The madwoman has been the subject of numerous literary texts, first made famous by Sandra Gilbert and Susan Gubar's landmark study, The Madwoman in the Attic (1979). Written over thirty years ago, this work continues to be the foremost analysis of...
Read preview Overview
Jamaican Signatures: An Archetypal Analysis of Marlon James' John Crow's Devil
Twenty-first century Jamaican authors have a rich cultural heritage to draw upon. Their literary heritage has been influenced by the many peoples who have lived on the Caribbean island of Jamaica. The first of these, the Arawakan people who have become...
Read preview Overview
Analyzing the Problematic Mother-Daughter Relationship in Edwidge Danticat's Breath, Eyes, Memory
Introduction In this study, Danticat's novel Breath, Eyes, Memory is examined through the lens of abjection theory of psychoanalysis. Applying the aforementioned theory through the perspective of Julia Kristeva in the text, the researcher seeks...
Read preview Overview
Between Nostalgia and Exile: Picturing the Island in Cristina Garcia's Fiction
Often found together, both "nostalgia" and "exile" share common traits less because they can be interchangeable than because they complete each other. As Noel Valis reminds us, "we think of the experience of exile as steeped in feelings of nostalgia"...
Read preview Overview
Caribbean Biota: Taming the Beasts and Tending the Gardens
In his Colonial Encounters: Europe and the Native Caribbean 1492-1797, Peter Hulme details the geographic, meteorological, discursive strategies, and racial history that forged a sixteenth-century colonial Caribbean identity that has been slow to disappear....
Read preview Overview
History, (Re)memory and Cultural Self-Presencing: The Politics of Postcolonial Becoming in the Caribbean Novel
... it is not true that the Caribbean people have no history, it is true that they are alienated from their history ... what is needed is not a unitary History, but instead a reconciliation to and with the multiple fragments and histories of Caribbean...
Read preview Overview
In-Between States: Twilight Horror in Jean Rhys' after Leaving Mr. Mackenzie & Djuna Barnes' Nightwood
"Sometimes one meets a woman who is beast turning human." Djuna Barnes, Nightwood 33 The twilight zone, both literally and figuratively, can be a valuable trope in literary analysis. Not only does it denote a temporality hinging on the borderline...
Read preview Overview
The West Indian Child as Subject/object: Interrogating Notions of Power in Annie John
This paper proposes to examine the literary criticism of Annie John in relation to children's literature theory which argues that the child is always at the mercy of adult power and authority. This, I believe, can bring an interesting perspective to...
Read preview Overview
The Construction of Afro-Caribbean Cultural Identity in the Poetry of Linton Kwesi Johnson
The redefinition of black identity and the issue of racism in Britain during the 1970s and the 1980s become major preoccupations of black British poetry. Demonstrating clearly what it is to be black in a contemporary British society, black British...
Read preview Overview
Review of Afro-Cuban Tales
Translated for the first time in English, Lydia Cabrera's Afro-Cuban Tales provides accessibility to rich stories whose origins began in pre-colonial Africa and were transformed and (re)invented in the Caribbean. Afro-Cuban Tales was first published...
Read preview Overview
Review of Carel De Haseth's Slave and Master
Olga Rojer and Joseph Aimone's second installment of Founding Fictions of the Dutch Caribbean brings us Carel de Haseth's Katibu di Shon [Slave and Master] (1988), a short historical fiction of the unsuccessful slave revolt led by Tula in Curacao in...
Read preview Overview
Review of Jamaica Kincaid and Caribbean Double Crossings
In Jamaica Kincaid and Caribbean Double Crossings, each author presents an argument which positions Kincaid's text at the center of comparative readings of her works; likewise, the authors complexly weave together Kincaid's works employing themes,...
Read preview Overview
Awakened, Bridging Beginnings: Review of Intersections
Similarly to a poetry reading, word of a significant writer publishing a new work should always be a joyful, newsworthy occasion. It has been nine years since the Jamaica Observer published Frances-Marie Coke's first book of poetry, The Balm of Lilies....
Read preview Overview
Review of the Holy Tortilla and a Pot of Beans
San Antonio, Texas native Carmen Tafolla is the author of books of poetry, nonfiction, short stories, scholarly works and award-winning books for children and young adults. Her poems and stories have been widely anthologized, and half of the sixteen...
Read preview Overview

Vol. 6, No. 3, Spring

Letter from the Editor
This short story issue of the Journal of Caribbean Literatures (JCLs) has been long in the making. Dr. Velma Pollard, the current guest editor, took on the project which we had not been able to complete previously for many reasons. I am indebted to...
Read preview Overview
Introduction
Kamau Brathwaite, as poet, describes the birth of the Caribbean islands in this way: The stone had skidded arc'd and bloomed into islands: Cuba and San Domingo Jamaica and Puerto Rico Grenada Guadeloupe Bonaire ... (473) The skidding...
Read preview Overview
"I Going Away. I Going Home": Austin Clarke's "Leaving This Island Place"
Austin Clarke's "Leaving This Island Place" is one of scores of Caribbean autobiographical works that focus on a bright, young, lower-class islander leaving his/her small island place and setting out on "Eldorado voyages." (1) The narrative of that...
Read preview Overview
The Baptism of Soil: Rooplall Monar and the Aesthetics of the Kala Pani Modern
I long to fertilize your womb begetter of many sons to baptize you with brown soil staining my hands in the hour of twilight, the hour of creation I long to sacrifice that clay god and shape you in the likeness of my own god...
Read preview Overview
Of Home Soil and Rainbows: Rooted Travelers in Curdela Forbes' A Permanent Freedom
The first story in Curdella Forbes' A Permanent Freedom begins on a hill-top, in the sort of dense terrain that Kingston-bound Jamaicans think of affectionately as "country bush," in an environment which, though not quite edenic, appears to validate...
Read preview Overview
The Haitian Short Story: An Overview
In a 1999 interview in Boutures, Yanick Lahens noted the Haitian writers' 'reluctance' toward the short-story. Indeed, the short story genre would have remained the best kept secret of Haitian literary history hadn't it been for Pierre-Raymond Dumas....
Read preview Overview
A Dog Eat Dog World: A Reading of Anthony C. Winkler's the Annihilation of Fish and Other Stories
The Jamaican writer Anthony C. Winkler has established himself primarily as a novelist (The Painted Canoe, (1) The Lunatic, (2) The Great Yacht Race, (3) The Duppy, (4) Dog War, (5) Crocodile, (6)) as well as a writer of autobiographical works (Going...
Read preview Overview
"Gruesome and Yet Fascinating": Hidden, Disgraced and Disregarded Cultural Forms in Jamaican Short Fiction 1938-50
The late 1930s and '40s in Jamaica saw the development and strengthening of concepts of cultural nationalism and the production of literary and visual cultures that sought to represent the majority African population of the island and indigenous or...
Read preview Overview
A Case of Naipaulexity: V.S. Naipaul's Visions of Africa in "In a Free State"
In his reading entitled "Dialogue" on March 20, 2008, at Makerere University in Uganda, V.S. Naipaul discussed his lengthy literary and personal connection to Africa and his intention to write his thirtieth book--a text on Africa's religions: I've...
Read preview Overview
The Cuban Short Story in the Twenty-First Century: Postmodern Perspectives
Since 1965 Cuba's Artists and Writers Union (UNEAC), through its annual literary competition, has provided the main space for exposing the work of new local authors. In the 2000 contest the Premio David for unpublished authors was won by the reclusive...
Read preview Overview

Vol. 6, No. 2, Fall

Letter from the Editor
This journal issue has been several years in the making, and it introduces topics that the JCLs has long been addressing. Much of the discussion has to do in part with definitions, i.e., what is Spanish Caribbean; how do we define it; how do we write...
Read preview Overview
Introduction
The present issue is a vortex in the research on Spanish Caribbean Literatures. My aim has not only been to describe what the Caribbean literatures in Spanish have been and are but also to project some new ways to understand and study this topic from...
Read preview Overview
Spanish Caribbean Literature: A Linguist's View
Introduction Area Studies is certainly a growing field of research in the humanities. The old, all-encompassing approaches seem to be vanishing from the academic stage. They are not at all disappearing from the international scene, though, as this...
Read preview Overview
What Is Spanish Caribbeanness? A Cognitive Approach
How Can Geography Activate Our Mind? From the discipline of geography, we learn that the term "Caribbean" is a collective name designating an area which includes the Caribbean Sea, the group of surrounding islands, and their adjoining coasts. The...
Read preview Overview
Cultural Foregrounding and Translating: Julia Alvarez's "Yo" in Spanish
Introduction One of the main characteristics of Caribbean literature is the fact that it is written in the different languages of four hegemonic cultures. By virtue of colonization and cultural domination, we find--as in other areas of the globe--peripheral...
Read preview Overview
Cognition and Sociocultural Situatedness: Cross-Culture-Specific Caribbean Self-Celebration of Imagination in Jose Lezama Lima and Wilson Harris
... we are hunted, we are pursued by repetitive catastrophes, repetitive Nemesis, and our insight into Beauty--which we may gain at the heart of terror--deepens the trial of creation to bridge chasms in itself ... or else we will continue to perpetuate...
Read preview Overview
Political Authority Figures as Distant Memories of a Forgotten Past: Julia Alvarez's in the Time of the Butterflies and in the Name of Salome and Cristina Garcia's the Aguero Sisters
At the end of one century and the beginning of another, Caribbean women are writing about their experiences--about the distant and ever-present past--while using the mainstream language of the often-hostile host country where they now reside. They...
Read preview Overview
Self-Actualization Is Paradise in la Nada Cotidiana by Zoe Valdes
An acknowledgment of Western civilization's proclivity for understanding the world in dualistic and hierarchical terms has prompted such critics as Helene Cixous to question how this worldview has affected the West's culture and art. Who can overlook...
Read preview Overview
Narrating from the Ruins: Cubagua and la Galera De Tiberio by Enrique Bernardo Nunez
Only ruins mark the passing of all the different dominations. (Nunez, Cubagua 58) This is how one pictures the angel of history. His face is turned toward the past. Where we perceive a chain of events, he sees one single catastrophe which keeps...
Read preview Overview
Copia and the Discourse of Abundance in Cross-Cultural Exchange
Representing a formative moment in the history of travel writing, the journals of Christopher Columbus initiate discussions of the discursive currents and rhetorical strategies used in cross-cultural exchanges. Columbus's writings and subsequent New...
Read preview Overview
Leopold Sedar Senghor and Nicolas Guillen: Two Poets of Hybridization
In the last few decades, Negrismo and Negritude have become increasingly important to researchers who are attempting to understand and better define Afro-Hispanic, Afro-Caribbean, and black Francophone writing. Both movements have been researched separately...
Read preview Overview

Vol. 6, No. 1, Summer

Letter from the Editor
This summer begins the twelfth year of the journal's existence, and the subjects of postcolonialism, diaspora, Pan-Caribbean, Pan-Africanism, and other similar contexts are as prevalent and important as ever. With these subjects came the necessary...
Read preview Overview
Serving the Spirits: The Pan-Caribbean African-Derived Religion in Nalo Hopkinson's Brown Girl in the Ring
Set in the Caribbean-Canadian community of Toronto, Canada, Nalo Hopkinson's Brown Girl in the Ring reflects the unique ethnic and national identities of the Caribbean diaspora. Both literary scholars and Hopkinson herself note the ways in which Hopkinson...
Read preview Overview
Reading White Teeth to Improve Intercultural Communication
Zadie Smith's debut novel, White Teeth, tells the story of three different families: the Chalfens, Bowdens, and Iqbals. All have been placed into the multicultural setting of London, England where characters question their cultural practices and identities....
Read preview Overview
Writing the Landscape of Memory : Ina Cesaire's Memoires d'Isles
Ina Cesaire's first play, Memoires d'Isles: Maman N. et Maman F., (1) that premiered in 1983, has now been out of print for nearly a decade, and yet it continues to inspire scholars and students as a seminal work that strives to read and write the...
Read preview Overview
Postcolonial Discourse in Wide Sargasso Sea : Creole Discourse vs. European Discourse, Periphery vs. Center, and Marginalized People vs. White Supremacy
The gradual demise of colonial empires in the course of the twentieth century and the emerging cultural self-esteem of former colonies has resulted in a quantity of new literatures in recent years. These literatures seek to define the many voices of...
Read preview Overview
Whiteness and the "Magic of Money" in Olive Senior's "Ascot"
"'That Ascot goin go far,' Mama say, 'Mark my word,'" the narrator's mother informs us in the first sentence of Olive Senior's short story "Ascot." What makes the mother so sure of Ascot's impending success? As the reader learns soon after, it is Ascot's...
Read preview Overview
Kamau Brathwaite and the Poetics of (Re)possession
Repossession is the driving force of Brathwaite's poetry. It is part and parcel of the West Indian response to the idea that "Africans in the New World are doomed to conspire in their own futility and despair, unless they repossess themselves by repossessing...
Read preview Overview
"And the World Continues Our Private Fabrication": An Autobiography of "Shipwreck" and Disorder in V.S. Naipaul's the Mimic Men
Immigration and Return But even as I tried to put words to what I felt, I knew that my own journey, scarcely begun, had ended in that shipwreck which all my life I had sought to avoid. Near the end of his autobiography, when the exiled...
Read preview Overview
Juan Francisco Manzano and the Best of All Possible Worlds
Man is born free and everywhere is in chains. Rousseau, The Social Contract (1762) I won't drink the least drop of slavery in the land of liberty. Voltaire, Letter to Thierot (1726) In anticipation of the next in the endless series of corporal...
Read preview Overview
Lebert Joseph to the Rescue: A Positive Trickster in Paule Marshall's Praisesong for the Widow
Traditionally, a trickster is one who makes a practice of crafty underhanded ingenuity to deceive and mislead others. Over time, this deceptive character has appeared in various forms in the folklore and mythology of many cultures and has adopted several...
Read preview Overview
B' Rabby as a "True-True Bahamian": Rabbyism as Bahamian Ethos and World View in the Bahamas' Folk Tradition and the Works of Strachan and Glinton-Meicholas
Introduction Almost everyone who has visited the Bahamas will tell you the same thing about my people; Bahamians are very friendly, open and honest, always smiling and eager to please. Indeed, all of the travel guides depict Bahamians, to one degree...
Read preview Overview
Boeli Van Leeuwen's A Stranger on Earth: A Dutch Caribbean Novel
Introduction Willem Cornelis Jacobus (Boeli) van Leeuwen, born in Curacao in 1922, received his high school education in the Netherlands. He studied law at the University of Amsterdam, and obtained his PhD in law in 1950. On his return to Curacao,...
Read preview Overview
His Master's Voice
In overlooking, denying, evading his [man's] complexity--which is nothing more than the disquieting complexity of ourselves--we are diminished and we perish; only within this web of ambiguity, paradox, hunger, danger, darkness, can we find at once...
Read preview Overview

Vol. 5, No. 3, Fall

Letter from the Editor
This issue on Caribbean poetry is the first complete issue we have published on the genre. Like many of the special issues, the project has been in the works for years, and to bring it to realization took far longer than expected. I am indebted...
Read preview Overview
Introduction
Where are your monuments, your battles, martyrs? Where is your tribal memory? Sirs, in that gray vault. The sea. The sea has locked them up. The sea is History. --Derek Walcott "The Sea Is History" Geography and history inform much literature,...
Read preview Overview
Great Spaces
On occasion of the 40th anniversary of John F. Kennedy's assassination Voices drift, flakes of ice, on this wintry November morning and as we take off from the Great Plains, the pain and pride sets in of homesteader memories of churning butter...
Read preview Overview
Off Axis Angles: Scene One
Where do heroines go when their novels are over? ... She wonders, how long must I still play this part? --Julia Alvarez "Old Heroines" Homecoming "Aretha says this tour is her last" USA TODAY Monday, April 14, 2003 As we leave...
Read preview Overview

Vol. 5, No. 2, Spring

V.S. Naipaul: Childhood and Memory
But if to live here is to die clutching ashes the fist tight the skull dry I will sing songs of the skeleton. --Edward K.Brathwaite He [Naipaul] would sometimes walk in the rain in his school uniform. At first, I was...
Read preview Overview
Locating Naipaul: "Not English, Not Indian, Not Trinidadian"
Few writers even in the modern times of widespread migrancy could have inherited a sensibility so widely dislocated and so deeply disjointed as V.S. Naipaul. He was born in 1932 in Trinidad to parents whose own parents on both sides had emigrated...
Read preview Overview
"Trapdoors into a Bottomless Past": V.S. Naipaul's Early Ambivalent Vision of the Indo-Caribbean Experience
In his Nobel Prize acceptance speech, V.S. Naipaul identified himself as a British and an Indian writer. He who was born, educated, and spent his early years up to his eighteenth birthday in Trinidad skips over that he is (or was) Trinidadian (though...
Read preview Overview
Naipaul's Children: Representations of Humor and Ruin in Miguel Street
In October of 1917 an opinion piece ran in the Trinidad Guardian newspaper under the multi-part heading: Immigration And The Sugar Industry. THE MENACE OF THE FUTURE. ADVANTAGES OF OLD SYSTEM. Amended Reindentures Suggested. The piece...
Read preview Overview
The House and the Road: Two Modes of Autobiographical Fiction
"The Greek word for 'return' is nostos. Algos means 'suffering'. So nostalgia is the suffering caused by an unappeased yearning to return," explains Milan Kundera in his novel Ignorance (5). The word "nostalgia" was first used in English in the...
Read preview Overview
V.S. Naipaul: A Diasporic Vision
This essay refutes some of the dominant negative critiques of Naipaul's writing, in particular by West Indian writers and critics such as George Lamming, Derek Walcott, Selwyn Cudjoe, and Glyne Griffith, by offering an alternative reading of A House...
Read preview Overview
Mapping Memories
The Language of Paradox Edward Said's basic argument in his seminal text Orientalism is that the study of the Orient by Western scholars has made the multifarious East into an object frozen in time by the gaze of western percipients. This reduces...
Read preview Overview
"Strangers to Ourselves": Landscape, Memory, and Identity in V.S. Naipaul's A Way in the World
In a review of A Way in the World: A Sequence, Caryl Phillips describes V.S. Naipaul as a writer who, having "clung to displacement like a floating buoy," delivers "in the shadow of his life," and in new experimentations with the novel form, first,...
Read preview Overview
Landscapes of the Mind: Unraveling Naipaul's the Enigma of Arrival
The Enigma of Arrival is one of Naipaul's most highly acclaimed works combining his anguish as a colonial with his anguish as a writer. Placed on the autobiographical-fiction intersection, it is actually neither of the two. It carries within it...
Read preview Overview
Place and Order: On the Impossible Ontology of the Postcolonial Condition
I decided years ago that this landscape was not mine (Naipaul 51) In a society like ours, fragmented, inorganic, no link between man and the landscape, a society not held together by common interests, there was no true internal source of power....
Read preview Overview
Landscapes of Sea and Snow: V.S. Naipaul's the Mimic Men
In an interview conducted in 2002, V.S. Naipaul claims that his relationship with India and Indianness belongs to "the history of where I came from--the forgotten people" of indentured ancestry in the Caribbean islands. (1) A similar relationship...
Read preview Overview
Pessimism and Existentialism in V.S. Naipaul
The philosophic and thematic strands, along with the autobiographical strand in V.S. Naipaul, represent structures that deal directly with theme and ideas. They enrich the narratives with subtle meanings, thoughts and semantic direction. The autobiographical...
Read preview Overview
In Sir Vidia's Shadow
A writer is in the end not his books, but his myth. And that myth is in the keeping of others. (Naipaul, "Steinbeck in Monterey" 334) Writers do not make the world. Writers make those who make the world. The seeing comes before the doing. The...
Read preview Overview
V.S. Naipaul: The Man and His Mission
Beyond Belief, V.S. Naipaul's second excursion into five Islamic countries, was published in 1998. It's a book of discovery, a follow-up to Among the Believers, a book of stories garnered through travel in Iran, Pakistan, Indonesia, and Malaysia,...
Read preview Overview
A Second Translation: Translating V.S. Naipaul into Italian
Translating the works of V.S. Naipaul poses a great challenge for the Italian translator on both a linguistic and a cultural level. The translator must deal with a multifaceted universe, which Naipaul's prose--with its terse detachment--renders...
Read preview Overview
Letter from the Editor
It is almost impossible to write anything about Naipaul that has not been written before, or to discuss his influence on literature, without mentioning his so-called "love/hate" relationship with Trinidad, the country he left at eighteen to go to...
Read preview Overview

Vol. 5, No. 1, Summer

Letter from the Editor
I am pleased to provide our readership with this important and breakthrough issue of the Dutch Caribbean, an issue which focuses on the native language of islands known as the Netherlands Antilles: Aruba, Bonaire, and Curacao, (the ABC Islands). Papiamentu,...
Read preview Overview
Introduction
Once a neglected corner of the map of postcolonial studies, the literature of the Dutch Caribbean (in this issue also called the Netherlands Antilles and Aruba, or the ABC Islands) is becoming of increasing interest to scholars in the U.S. and Europe....
Read preview Overview
Ideology and Writing in Papiamentu: A Bird's Eye View (1)
Hundreds of miles of Caribbean Sea separate the Dutch Windward islands (Bovenwindse eilanden)--Saba, St. Maarten, and St. Eustatius--and the Dutch Leeward islands (Beneden-windse eilanden)--Aruba, Bonaire, and Curacao. Together they form the remnants...
Read preview Overview
In a Recovery of Identity through Papiamentu: The Talents of Elis Juliana
Translation has a seemingly natural relation to migration in the sense that it transports words, ideas, and the expressions of life in an immediate awareness of other language, cultures, and societies. In the Caribbean Sea lie Aruba, Bonaire, and Curacao,...
Read preview Overview
Anansi as Classical Hero
Although the introduction of the term multi-cultural canon might give rise to all sorts of musings on the dynamics of cultural elements in literature, it is nevertheless clear that, in this particular setting, its aim is just to help us form a notion...
Read preview Overview
The Portuguese Language on Curacao and Its Role in the Formation of Papiamentu
Curacao, the largest island of the Netherlands Antilles, is home to a multilingual community. To varying degrees, many of its inhabitants have command of four languages: Papiamentu, the vernacular; Dutch, the official; and Spanish and English, the...
Read preview Overview
Slavery and the Development of Papiamentu
The creole language of Papiamentu enjoys a distinguished status among the creoles of the world. The native language of some 250,000 people on the southern Caribbean islands of Curacao, Aruba, and Bonaire (and their diaspora--largely in the Netherlands),...
Read preview Overview
Papiamentu, Cultural Resistance, and Socio-Cultural Challenges: The ABC Islands in a Nutshell
Introduction Since November 25, 1975, when Suriname became independent from the Dutch Kingdom, the tropical remains of the Netherlands (1) comprise six Caribbean islands. They are divided into the Leeward Dutch Antilles (Aruba, Bonaire, Curacao;...
Read preview Overview