Creole Identity in the French Caribbean Novel by H. ADLAI MURDOCH

By H. ADLAI MURDOCH

Adlai Murdoch deals an in depth rereading of 5 significant modern French Caribbean writers--Glissant, Cond?, Maximin, Dracius-Pinalie, and Chamoiseau. Emphasizing the function of narrative in fashioning the cultural and political doubleness of Caribbean Creole identification, Murdoch indicates how those authors actively rewrite their very own colonially pushed heritage.

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He was calm, gentle, in command of the situation)” (49–50/ 56–57). By re-presenting Thaël’s pained rationalization of his acquiescence to the murder in FID, the narrative conveys both his sense of internal division and his simultaneous distance from the rest of the activists with whom he has thrown La Lézarde / 35 in his lot. This use of free indirect discourse, underlined by the presence of parentheses and the stark contrast of Pablo’s demeanor, signifies the fragmentation that is already ingrained in this liminal community, the uneven perspectives and positions at work in the society whose axes are symbolized by Mathieu, Thaël, and Garin.

By rearticulating the intrinsic ambivalence of both of these subjects and of the foundational framework in which they are forced to act, the narrative/dédoublement disperses the situational space, interrogating the dialectical assumptions underlying colonial practice and undermining the symbolic certitude of its signifying system. “Minutes of the last meeting; Mathieu under discussion. Pablo as recording secretary . . there is a discussion as to who is the leader. I don’t say a word. Mathieu is our leader and yet we have no leader: both things are true .

Validating and developing all the strategies crafted by our people in response to the requirements of their specific history” (SC 99–100). By mapping plural identities through pluralized discourses, the specificities of the Caribbean context inscribe their difference, part of an overall framework through 18 / Creole Identity in the French Caribbean Novel which these selected works forge new poetic paths and parameters for a discursive identitarianism that is both more than antillanité or créolité, yet neither simply the one nor the other.

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