Latin America

An Intellectual History of the Caribbean (New Directions in by S. Torres-Saillant

By S. Torres-Saillant

The 1st highbrow background of the Caribbean written by way of a most sensible Caribbean stories student, this publication examines either writings penned by way of natives of the area in addition to a physique of texts interpretive of the sector produced by way of Western authors. Stressing the experiential and cultural particularity of the Caribbean, the research considers 4 significant questions: What paintings, literature or suggestion can come from the minds of people that have passed through a catastrophic background? What makes the conceptual paradigms formed via the Western highbrow in a position to illuminating the designated adventure of Antilleans, yet no longer vice versa? Do Antilleans lack the highbrow historical past required for the translation of tradition, even if of their area or in different places on this planet? Why is the specificity of Caribbean humanity such that it can't be used as a paradigm for humanity as an entire?

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The latter not only predominate in the country’s overall geography, but they have conventionally provided the cultural and social models for conceptual constructions of the Colombian nation. The historian Alfonso Múnera Cavadía’s El fracaso de la nación (1998) has engagingly examined the ideological stumbling block that the sociocultural difference of Colombia’s Caribbean coast posed to the discourse of the patricians who in the nineteenth century set out to define the nation. That the linkages of Colombia with the Caribbean transcends even the country’s own Atlantic coast is suggested by the commerce of the Cauca and the Chocó regions with Jamaica and Cuba, apart from Cartagena, as we gather from María, the 1867 novel by Jorge Isaacs.

Jamaica: fragment of bomb blast, catastrophe of geological history . . has somehow miraculously—some say triumphantly—survived,” says Kamau Brathwaite, adding, emphatically, thus: “How we did it is still a mystery and perhaps it should remain so. But at least, we can say this: that the secret and expression of that survival lies glittering and vibrating in our music” (cited in López de Jesús 2003:88). That same fundamental confidence in the decisive vitality of musical expression as an existential tool capable of ensuring that the community will endure informs Brenda F.

As illustration of the magnitude of the enterprise, suffice it to mention two ground-breaking scholarly instruments that have set out to organize the state of knowledge about the Caribbean in the fields of literature and history. The first, A History of Literature in the Caribbean, a three-volume compendium edited by A. James Arnold, took 15 years to complete, from a first editorial colloquium at the University of Virginia in 1986 to the issuing of the last of the volumes by John Benjamins Publishing Company in 2001.

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