Traces de terre, traces d'encre... La rappresentazione dello spazio nella letteratura caraibica. (Francofona e Anglofona)

Lafratta, Antonia (2009) Traces de terre, traces d'encre... La rappresentazione dello spazio nella letteratura caraibica. (Francofona e Anglofona), [Dissertation thesis], Alma Mater Studiorum Università di Bologna. Dottorato di ricerca in Letterature francofone, 21 Ciclo. DOI 10.6092/unibo/amsdottorato/1584.
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This study concerns the representation of space in Caribbean literature, both francophone and Anglophone and, in particular, but not only, in the martinican literature, in the works of the authors born in the island. The analysis focus on the second half of the last century, a period in which the martinican production of novels and romances increased considerably, and where the representation and the rule of space had a relevant place. So, the thesis explores the literary modalities of this representation. The work is constituted of 5 chapters and the critical and methodological approaches are both of an analytical and comparative type. The first chapter “The caribbean space: geography, history and society” presents the geographic context, through an analysis of the historical and political major events occurred in the Caribbean archipelago, in particular of the French Antilles, from the first colonization until the départementalisation. The first paragraph “The colonized space: historical-political excursus” the explores the history of the European colonization that marked forever the theatre of the relationship between Europe, Africa and the New World. This social situation take a long and complex process of “Re-appropriation and renegotiation of the space”, (second paragraph) always the space of the Other, that interest both the Antillean society and the writers’ universe. So, a series of questions take place in the third paragraph “Landscape and identity”: what is the function of space in the process of identity construction? What are the literary forms and representations of space in the Caribbean context? Could the writing be a tool of cultural identity definition, both individual and collective? The second chapter “The literary representation of the Antillean space” is a methodological analysis of the notions of literary space and descriptive gender. The first paragraph “The literary space of and in the novel” is an excursus of the theory of such critics like Blanchot, Bachelard, Genette and Greimas, and in particular the recent innovation of the 20th century; the second one “Space of the Antilles, space of the writing” is an attempt to apply this theory to the Antillean literary space. Finally the last paragraph “Signs on the page: the symbolic places of the antillean novel landscape” presents an inventory of the most recurrent antillean places (mornes, ravines, traces, cachots, En-ville,…), symbols of the history and the past, described in literary works, but according to new modalities of representation. The third chapter, the core of the thesis, “Re-drawing the map of the French Antilles” focused the study of space representation on francophone literature, in particular on a selected works of four martinican writers, like Roland Brival, Édouard Glissant, Patrick Chamoiseau and Raphaël Confiant. Through this section, a spatial evolution comes out step by step, from the first to the second paragraph, whose titles are linked together “The novel space evolution: from the forest of the morne… to the jungle of the ville”. The virgin and uncontaminated space of the Antilles, prior to the colonisation, where the Indios lived in harmony with the nature, find a representation in both works of Brival (Le sang du roucou, Le dernier des Aloukous) and of Glissant (Le Quatrième siècle, Ormerod). The arrival of the European colonizer brings a violent and sudden metamorphosis of the originary space and landscape, together with the traditions and culture of the Caraïbes population. These radical changes are visible in the works of Chamoiseau (Chronique des sept misères, Texaco, L’esclave vieil homme et le molosse, Livret des villes du deuxième monde, Un dimanche au cachot) and Confiant (Le Nègre et l’Amiral, Eau de Café, Ravines du devant-jour, Nègre marron) that explore the urban space of the creole En-ville. The fourth chapter represents the “2nd step: the Anglophone novel space” in the exploration of literary representation of space, through an analytical study of the works of three Anglophone writers, the 19th century Lafcadio Hearn (A Midsummer Trip To the West Indies, Two Years in the French West Indies, Youma) and the contemporary authors Derek Walcott (Omeros, Map of the New World, What the Twilight says) and Edward Kamau Brathwaite (The Arrivants: A New World Trilogy). The Anglophone voice of the Caribbean archipelago brings a very interesting contribution to the critical idea of a spatial evolution in the literary representation of space, started with francophone production: “The spatial evolution goes on: from the Martiniques Sketches of Hearn… to the modern bards of Caribbean archipelago” is the new linked title of the two paragraphs. The fifth chapter “Extended look, space shared: the Caribbean archipelago” is a comparative analysis of the results achieved in the prior sections, through a dialogue between all the texts in the first paragraph “Francophone and Anglophone representation of space compared: differences and analogies”. The last paragraph instead is an attempt of re-negotiate the conventional notions of space and place, from a geographical and physical meaning, to the new concept of “commonplace”, not synonym of prejudice, but “common place” of sharing and dialogue. The question sets in the last paragraph “The “commonplaces” of the physical and mental map of the Caribbean archipelago: toward a non-place?” contains the critical idea of the entire thesis.

Tipologia del documento
Tesi di dottorato
Lafratta, Antonia
Dottorato di ricerca
Scuola di dottorato
Scienze umanistiche
Settore disciplinare
Settore concorsuale
Parole chiave
Rappresentazione spazio-letteratura caraibica-francofona-anglofona
Data di discussione
29 Maggio 2009

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