This article considers the intertextual use of "Jack and the Beanstalk" and "Whittington and His Cat" in Samuel Selvon's 1958 novel, Turn Again Tiger. These fictions fulfill a complex function in Selvon's work, operating as narratives that represent the legacy of slavery and colonization and as fictions that can play an affirmative role in a decolonized postcolonial Caribbean imaginary. Selvon's work helps us come to a sophisticated understanding of the functioning of English traditions in postcolonial contexts—an understanding that resists both the banal postmodernist assumption that such fictions can simply be reabsorbed and reutilized regardless of their history and the radical Afrocentrist argument that European narratives can have no constructive part to play in the establishment of an independent postcolonial Caribbean identity.


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pp. 199-218
Launched on MUSE
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