Towards a ‘Brave New World’: Tracing the Emergence of Creolization in Maryse Condé’s Canonical Rewritings
Abstract

Abstract:

In this article I examine three of Maryse Condé’s novels, I, Tituba: Black Witch of Salem, Windward Heights (La Migration des cœurs) and La Belle Créole, rewritings of Arthur Miller’s The Crucible, Emily Brontë’s Wuthering Heights and D.H. Lawrence’s Lady Chatterley’s Lover respectively. The ideas on race that were created during the nineteenth-century colonial exploits remain in the collective memory of post-colonial societies, on both sides. Maryse Condé, a native of Guadeloupe, has in many ways in her prolific career challenged prevalent assumptions about race and postcolonial peoples. Her rewriting of Western literary tradition is an important endeavor that re-examines versions of Western history on slavery and colonial times, thus challenging Western conceptions of “blacks” and “non-whites.” I examine the way in which Condé deconstructs certain dualisms highly characteristic of Western thought and racial perceptions, principally the conception of white vs. black. What is significant about Condé’s process is that she does not attempt to replace one construction with another that is equally as contrived. Rather, in privileging a creolized notion of identity, Condé focuses on the reality that lies outside of dualistic, “either/or” thinking.