The History of Literature in the Caribbean series

3 vols. set

ISBN 9789027234629 | EUR 382.00 | USD 573.00
A History of Literature in the Caribbean presents, in three volumes, the only comparative study yet attempted of the Caribbean as a literary region including all four major European languages (Dutch, English, French and Spanish). The Spanish- and French-language literatures are treated in volume one (1994) by specialists who worked under the Sub-Editors Julio Rodríguez-Luis (Spanish) and J. Michael Dash (French). Volume two (2001) was organized by Sub-Editors Ineke Phaf-Rheinberger (Dutch) and Vera Kutzinski (English). Identical analytical categories used for the four sub-sections reveal a parallel literary history that often produced similar phenomena at widely different moments in time, due to local variations in social development. The oft-repeated and seldom analyzed claim of Caribbean unity in diversity is exemplified here in painstaking detail. The historical range of these volumes begins with the earliest known literary efforts and traces development of the major genres down to the early 1980s. Considerable attention is paid to linguistic specificity as well.

In volume three (1997) the General Editor, A. James Arnold, presented Cross-Cultural Studies ranging from early cartographic writing and the history of Caribbean Creole-language literatures to contrastive analyses of two Caribbean theories of the postcolonial authored by Édouard Glissant and Antonio Benítez-Rojo. The problematics of literary historiography in the region extend to the difficulties of dealing with literature and popular culture. Carnivalization receives its due, as do questions of gender and identity. The cult of Caliban in regional literature is dissected and the status of the notion of Négritude across the region is addressed. Two Nobel laureates are accorded pride of place: Gabriel García Márquez and Derek Walcott.

These three volumes have called into question the efforts of scholars who have drawn upon one or two literatures within a short historical span in order to make claims for Caribbeanness. Overall this is the indispensable reference work on which to build future research in Caribbean studies, as it establishes the complex historical relationships in which contemporary literatures have taken root.

Publishing status: Available

Literature & Literary Studies

Comparative literature & literary studies

Main BIC Subject

DSB: Literary studies: general

Main BISAC Subject