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Title:An expression of Guyanité: the writings of Serge Patient and Elie Stéphenson in the (re-) creation of a national literary allegory
Author(s):Hamilton, Todd
Director of Research:Murdoch, H. Adlai
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Murdoch, H. Adlai
Doctoral Committee Member(s):Kuntz, Jane; Mall, Laurence; Fresco, Alain D.; Hassan, Wail S.
Department / Program:French
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):French Guiana
French Guianese Literature
Postcolonial literature
Abstract:In an academic sense, the history and literature of French Guiana remains largely obscure, overlooked, and unexplored. In the study that follows, an exploration of the history, demographics, and literary production, and the legacies of colonial discourse as they pertain specifically to the French département are presented. The objective of the study is to present and evaluate the effectiveness of postcolonial reactions to legacies handed down from the “official” colonial record, and from one text, Frédéric Bouyer's La Guyane française: Notes et souvenirs d’un voyage exécuté en 1862-1863, in particular. Following an introduction and analysis of Bouyer's travel chronicle as a prototypical representation of colonial discourse, subsequent explorations of Serge Patient's novella, Le Nègre du gouverneur, and Elie Stéphenson's plays, La Nouvelle légende de D'Chimbo and Massak, are investigated as voices of resistance and as a means of rehabilitation of the history and the culture of French Guiana. With the historical D’Chimbo Affair as the focal point of the four primary texts studied, the extent to which the texts of Patient and Stéphenson participate in the formation of a “national literature” or as a part of a “national literary allegory” is examined. With the limitations and particularities that such definitions encompass duly noted, it is concluded that the texts of Patient and Stéphenson do indeed participate in both the formation of a national literature as well as in the making of a national literary allegory.
Issue Date:2012-05-22
Rights Information:Copyright 2012 Todd Hamilton
Date Available in IDEALS:2012-05-22
Date Deposited:2012-05

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