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Title:To Dream a New World: "race", Reality and Surreality in Cesaire, Carpentier and Harris
Author(s):Scott, Daniel Marcellus, III
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Palencia-Roth, Michael
Department / Program:Comparative and World Literature
Discipline:Comparative and World Literature
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Literature, Comparative
Literature, Latin American
Black Studies
Literature, Caribbean
Abstract:This investigation of Cesaire, Carpentier, and Harris and their influences in the Caribbean establishes a framework for the examination of the specific influences of the surrealist movement on Negritude and magical realism and of the ways that other Caribbean writers have responded to and echoed the contentions of these movements. Focusing on Aime Cesaire, Alejo Carpentier, and Wilson Harris, this study presents, first, a history of Surrealism and its involvement with non-European writers and then an analysis of each of the three Caribbean writers' relation to and transformation of surrealist principles. Compromised by the very circumstances of colonialism, Cesaire's Negritude and its poetic expression structure the "Black" in opposition to the European "norm." Alejo Carpentier's hybrid solution, too, is an ambivalent rejection of Europe. Structuring its imaginative reality after the multiple histories and peoples of America, lo real-maravilloso americano extends Cesaire's definitions beyond the bounds of opposition and exclusion and asserts the immanent marvel of America. Wilson Harris subverts both Cesaire's oppositional construction of identity and Carpentier's valorization of American experience. Informed by a fundamental commitment to the diversity of history, tradition, and experience, Harris's syncretic vision points toward the future of the post-colonial condition of the Caribbean.
The surrealist with Cesaire, Carpentier, and Harris is a rapprochement with the limits of cultural encounter, the necessities of identity, and the possibilities of transcendence: how Surrealism approaches Caribbean writing, how Caribbean writers reflect and negotiate that approach. Each component of this meeting across space and time, from nineteenth-century Europe to present-day Guiana, is intimately involved in assessing the potentialities of "race," culture, and difference to confine and negate, to create and liberate. This is the experience of Cesaire, Carpentier, and Harris: to break out of confinement and negation not into another set of negations, but into the liberating presence of the representative voice.
Issue Date:1992
Description:205 p.
Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 1992.
Other Identifier(s):(UMI)AAI9305688
Date Available in IDEALS:2014-12-17
Date Deposited:1992

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