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The Poetics of Ethnography in Martinican Narratives: Exploring the Self and the Environment

Literary essay


by
Christina Kullberg

Book Details

Format: EPUB

Page count: 256 pages

File size: 402 KB

Protection: DRM

Language: English

Drawing on narratives from Martinique by Aime Cesaire, Edouard Glissant, Ina Cesaire, and Patrick Chamoiseau, among others, Christina Kullberg shows how these writers turn to ethnography-even as they critique it-as an exploration and expression of the self. They acknowledge its tradition as a colonial discourse and a study of others, but they also argue for ethnography’s advantage in connecting subjectivity to the outside world. Further, they find that ethnography offers the possibility of capturing within the hybrid culture of the Caribbean an emergent self that nonetheless remains attached to its collective history and environment. Rather than claiming to be able to represent the culture they also feel alienated from, these writers explore the relationships between themselves, the community, and the environment.

Although Kullberg’s focus is on Martinique, her work opens up possibilities for intertextual readings and comparative studies of writers from every linguistic region in the Caribbean-not only francophone but also Hispanic and anglophone. In addition, her interdisciplinary approach extends the reach of her work beyond postcolonial and literary studies to anthropology and ecocriticism.

Drawing on narratives from Martinique by Aime Cesaire, Edouard Glissant, Ina Cesaire, and Patrick Chamoiseau, among others, Christina Kullberg shows how these writers turn to ethnography-even as they critique it-as an exploration and expression of the self. They acknowledge its tradition as a colonial discourse and a study of others, but they also argue for ethnography’s advantage in connecting subjectivity to the outside world. Further, they find that ethnography… (more)

Drawing on narratives from Martinique by Aime Cesaire, Edouard Glissant, Ina Cesaire, and Patrick Chamoiseau, among others, Christina Kullberg shows how these writers turn to ethnography-even as they critique it-as an exploration and expression of the self. They acknowledge its tradition as a colonial discourse and a study of others, but they also argue for ethnography’s advantage in connecting subjectivity to the outside world. Further, they find that ethnography offers the possibility of capturing within the hybrid culture of the Caribbean an emergent self that nonetheless remains attached to its collective history and environment. Rather than claiming to be able to represent the culture they also feel alienated from, these writers explore the relationships between themselves, the community, and the environment.

Although Kullberg’s focus is on Martinique, her work opens up possibilities for intertextual readings and comparative studies of writers from every linguistic region in the Caribbean-not only francophone but also Hispanic and anglophone. In addition, her interdisciplinary approach extends the reach of her work beyond postcolonial and literary studies to anthropology and ecocriticism.

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