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Patrick Chamoiseau

A Critical Introduction

Wendy Knepper

Publication Year: 2012

Published by: University Press of Mississippi

Title Page, Copyright, Dedication

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pp. vii

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pp. ix-x

This project has been supported by a Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada postdoctoral fellowship, which enabled me to research and write an early draft of this book in affiliation with New York University and...


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pp. xi-xiv


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pp. xv

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1. Contexts and Intertexts

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pp. 3-31

In Caribbean culture and literature, the storyteller has long been a figure who encodes the mysteries of community. Wilson Harris describes the Caribbean artist as a masquerading figure, a trickster, and a truth-teller who stands at the gateway “at the heart of the lie of community...

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2. Insurgent Performance Works

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pp. 32-58

Patrick Chamoiseau has described his early writing as his rebel phase. He sees the rebel as someone who revolts in tactical rather than strategic ways: “dépendant de l’oppression dont il est victime—il est dépendant de l’agresseur, il réagit à l’attaque...

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3. Vernacular Forms and Wandering Genres

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pp. 59-94

Throughout the Caribbean, the anxiety of cultural influence, the quest for vernacular forms, the reclamation of history, and the crisis of writing were significant issues during the 1970s and 1980s. Where writers in the anglophone Caribbean pursued...

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4. Créolité, Community, and the Word Scratcher

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pp. 95-129

Solibo Magnifique laments the death of the Creole storyteller, but gives birth to oraliture or orature, which is produced at the interfaces of the oral and written as well as through the interplay of languages. Similarly, the introduction of the...

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5. Autoethnographic Fictions of Childhood

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pp. 130-153

Chamoiseau has published three fictional texts on childhood, Antan d’enfance (1990), Chemin-d’école (1994), and À bout d’enfance (2005). Together these three works deal with different stages in the life of the child: pre-school experiences...

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6. Initiating the Warrior of the Imaginary

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pp. 154-184

Following Texaco, Chamoiseau embarks on a highly experimental phase of writing during which he articulates his theory of the émerveille (“marvel”) and introduces a new figure, the Warrior of the Imaginary.1 Through innovative poetic forms and narrative figures...

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7. Visual Texts and the Revolutionary Epic

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pp. 185-211

During the 1990s and first decade of the twenty-first century, Chamoiseau’s interest in issues of representation has been evidenced through the author’s numerous contributions to visual texts in the form of screenplays, books of photography...

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8. Activism and Tales of Initiation

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pp. 212-237

Chamoiseau’s role as an educator, investigative writer, and activist has come to shape not only his political writings but also, in a more diffuse way, his approach to narrative. Chamoiseau’s contributions to...


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pp. 239-259

Select Bibliography

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pp. 261-270


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pp. 271-274

E-ISBN-13: 9781617031557
E-ISBN-10: 1617031550
Print-ISBN-13: 9781617031540
Print-ISBN-10: 1617031542

Publication Year: 2012