American Creoles: The Francophone Caribbean and the American by Martin Munro

By Martin Munro

The Francophone Caribbean and the yank South are websites born of the plantation, the typical matrix for the various international locations and territories of the circum-Caribbean. This ebook takes as its premise that the fundamental configuration of the plantation, when it comes to its actual structure and the social family it created, was once mostly an identical within the Caribbean and the yankee South. Essays written by way of best specialists within the box study the cultural, social, and old affinities among the Francophone Caribbean and the yank South, together with Louisiana, which one of the Southern states has had a relatively specific attachment to France and the Francophone international. The essays concentrate on problems with heritage, language, politics and tradition in quite a few kinds, particularly literature, tune and theatre. contemplating figures as varied as Barack Obama, Frantz Fanon, Miles Davis, James Brown, Edouard Glissant, William Faulkner, Maryse Condé and Lafcadio Hearn, the essays discover in leading edge methods the notions of creole tradition and creolization, phrases rooted in and indicative of touch among ecu and African humans and cultures within the Americas, and that are promoted the following as the most efficient methods for conceiving of the circum-Caribbean as a cultural and historic entity.

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As Adolphe and Marie are about to die under the guillotine in Paris, he briefly cheers Marie up by telling her they will relive ‘nos délicieuses soirées à St. Domingue’ (IV. v. 10) [our delightful evenings in Saint-Domingue] in heaven soon after their death. This last mention of Saint-Domingue confirms how the island is, for both Marie the refugee and Adolphe the Frenchman, if not altogether forgotten, at least no longer in existence. Like the colonial memories about the island, references to the Saint-Domingue revolution barely enter the text and are even more elliptic.

Yesterday evening, the first time for ten years, I heard again that sweetest of all dialects, the Creole of the Antilles. I had first heard it spoken in England by the children of an English family from Trinidad, who were visiting relatives in the mother country and I could never forget its melody. In Martinique and elsewhere it has almost become a written dialect; the schoolchildren used to study the Creole catechism and priests used to preach to their congregations in Creole. (Starr, 2001: 16) Caribbean Creole is characterized as intrinsically ‘poetic and musical’: ‘the most liquid, mellow, languid language in the world, especially a language for love-making’ (Starr, 2001: 16).

Indd 38 13/04/2012 11:09:52 Lafcadio Hearn’s American Writings and the Creole Continuum 39 —. 2009. American Writings. Edited by Christopher Benfey. New York: Library of America. Lemoine, Bernadette. 2006. ‘Lafcadio Hearn as an Ambassador of French Literature in the United States and in Japan’. Revue de littérature comparée. July–September: 299–317. Pratt, Mary Louise. 1986. ‘Fieldwork in Common Places’. In James Clifford and George E. Marcus (eds), Writing Culture: The Poetics and Politics of Ethnography.

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