Postcolonialism & Autobiography.
Michelle Cliff, David Dabydeen, Opal Palmer Adisa.
HORNUNG, Alfred and Ernstpeter RUHE (Eds.)
Amsterdam/Atlanta, GA, 1998, VIII, 264 pp.
Textxet. Studies in Comparative Literature 19
The two volumes on Postcolonialism and Autobiography examine the affinity of postcolonial writing to the genre of autobiography. The contributions of specialists from Northern Africa, Europe and the United States focus on two areas in which the interrelation of postcolonialism and autobiography is very prominent and fertile: the Maghreb and the Anglophone and Francophone Caribbean. The colonial background of these regions provides the stimulus for writers to launch a program for emancipation in an effort to constitute a decolonized subject in autobiographical practice. While the French volume addresses issues of the autobiographical genre in the postcolonial conditions of the Maghreb and the Caribbean with reference to France, the English volume analyzes the autobiographical writings of David Dabydeen (Guyana), Michelle Cliff, Opal Palmer Adisa, George Lamming, Wilson Harris (Jamaica), and Jamaica Kincaid (Antigua) who have maintained their cultural Caribbean origin while living in England or the United States. Critics such as William Boelhower, Leigh Gilmore, Sidonie Smith, and Gayatri Spivak reveal the many layers of different cultures (Indian, African, European, American) that are covered over by the colonial powers. The homeland, exile, the experience of migration and hybridity condition the postcolonial existence of writers and critics. The incorporation of excerpts from the writers' works is meant to show the great variety and riches of a hybrid imagination and to engage in an interactive dialogue with critics.
Contents: Alfred HORNUNG, Ernstpeter RUHE: Preface. Gayatri CHAKRAVORTY SPIVAK: Three Women's Texts and Circumfession. MICHELLE CLIFF. Michelle CLIFF: Reading: "Transactions". Sidonie SMITH: Memory, Narrative, and the Discourses of Identity in Abeng and No Telephone to Heaven. Carmen BIRKLE: Colonial Mother and Postcolonial Daughter: Pocahontas and Clare Savage in Michelle Cliff's No Telephone to Heaven. Belinda EDMONDSON: The Black Mother and Michelle Cliff's Project of Racial Recovery. Alfred HORNUNG: The Burning Landscape of Jamaica: Michelle Cliff's Vision of the Caribbean. Ewart C. SKINNER/Nicole WALLER: Auto-bio-historiography: Gang Gang Sara's Shadow in Michelle Cliff's Free Enterprise. DAVID DABYDEEN. David DABYDEEN: Reading: The Counting House. William BOELHOWER: Enchanted Sites: Remembering the Caribbean as Autobiographical Tactics. Wolfgang BINDER: Finding the Right Words: The Invention of Selfhood in David Dabydeen's Work. Tobias DÖRING: The Passage of the Eye/I: David Dabydeen, V. S.-Naipaul and the Tombstones of Parabiography. Martina GHOSH-SCHELLHORN: Transitional Identity and Its Indentured Emplacement. OPAL PALMER ADISA. Opal PALMER ADISA: Reading: "Call Me Female," "What's in a Name Ask Maroon Nannie," "Maroon Nannie Knows de Name" "My First Lesson in Sex". Opal PALMER ADISA: How to Write the Poem of the Pebble: A Hybrid Caribbean Identity. Leigh GILMORE: Endless Autobiography? Jamaica Kincaid and Serial Autobiography. Diane SIMMONS: Loving Too Much: Jamaica Kincaid and the Dilemma of Constructing a Postcolonial Identity. Thomas Michael STEIN: Fictional Autobiography in the Caribbean: George Lamming's In the Castle of My Skin and Wilson Harris's The Infinite Rehearsal. Index. Participants (Symposium Würzburg 1996).