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All Friends Now?: Critical Conversations, West Indian Literature, and the “Quarrel with History”


In this essay Alison Donnell returns to the material object of Edward Baugh’s essay, published in the pages of the Trinidadian little magazine Tapia in 1977, in order to re-read the force of its arguments in the context of its own politicocultural history and to assess the significance of its publication venue. Donnell attends to Baugh’s own standing in the highly charged field of Caribbean literary criticism as a critic of both Walcott and Naipaul, and acknowledges his creative contribution to this field as a poet. She also considers how, in the years between the original publication of Baugh’s article and its republication, the questions of historical invisibility have entered newly disputed territories that demand attention to how gender, indigeneity, spirituality, and sexuality shape ideas of historical and literary legitimacy, in addition to those foundational questions around a politics of race and class.

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