The Imaginary Caribbean and Caribbean Imaginary
By: Michele Praeger (author)Hardback
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The Imaginary is everywhere in representations of the Caribbean Islands and their people and has been ever since their "discoverers" dreamt themselves arriving, triumphant, in the Indies. This book poses a provocative question: When the Imaginary occupies the place of the Real, as in Caribbean culture and European projections of that culture, how does the Real position itself? Michele Praeger seeks an answer by bringing the Caribbean discourses of French traditional criticism and American social sciences, particularly history and psychoanalysis, into conversation with the imaginings of the Caribbean-in the form of fiction by Edouard Glissant, Patrick Chamoiseau, Raphael Confiant, Maryse Conde, Michele Lacrosil, and Suzanne Cesaire. Through careful analysis of historical and psychoanalytic work on the Caribbean, Praeger reveals both the biases of these disciplines, and the possibilities they hold when brought into dialogue with one another and with literature. She shows how Caribbean writers respond to these discourses in their re-creation of the daily experience, history or non-history, and gender differences of their culture.
She highlights in particular the aesthetics and ethics of these Caribbean writers. Like the fluid structures of Caribbean fiction, this work weaves back and forth between metropolitan France and the French Caribbean, between Caribbean men and women, between history and fiction, self and community, and between conflicting ideologies and aesthetic and ethic practices to form a web of complexities that begins to fathom the creativity specific to the Caribbean
Michele Praeger is an associate professor of French at the University of California, Davis.
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- ID: 9780803237391
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