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Des Fils invisibles nous relient: Comparative memory in Caribbean life-writing

Cooper, S. L. (2016) Des Fils invisibles nous relient: Comparative memory in Caribbean life-writing. Francosphères, 5 (1). pp. 25-38. ISSN 2046-3820. E-ISSN 2046-3839. (doi:10.3828/franc.2016.3) (KAR id:63470)

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Abstract

This article contributes to debates on comparative approaches to the memory of the Holocaust and Atlantic slavery. It examines comparisons between colonial and Second World War histories in the récits d’enfance by three French-speaking Caribbean writers, Patrick Chamoiseau, Gisèle Pineau and Maryse Condé. It argues that because there are significant difficulties involved in approaching the Caribbean’s colonial history directly, these authors approach it obliquely through the more recent history of the Second World War. The comparative approaches of these literary texts anticipate events in the public sphere such as the 2001 recognition by the French government of slavery as a crime against humanity or Nicolas Sarkozy’s failed 2008 proposal that every French school child should be assigned one of the child victims of the Holocaust to remember. Attention to these comparative approaches is valuable because it points to connections between literature, collective memory and public policy and brings to light the multiple, intersecting histories at play in the French-speaking world. The article concludes by examining the ways in which literary language allows these authors to foreground the linguistic and imaginative processes which create links between separate historical events while maintaining a sense of their difference.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.3828/franc.2016.3
Uncontrolled keywords: childhood, memory, the Holocaust, slavery
Subjects: P Language and Literature
Divisions: Faculties > Humanities > School of European Culture and Languages
Faculties > Humanities > School of European Culture and Languages > French
Depositing User: Sara-Louise Cooper
Date Deposited: 18 Sep 2017 14:54 UTC
Last Modified: 29 May 2019 19:32 UTC
Resource URI: https://kar.kent.ac.uk/id/eprint/63470 (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
Cooper, S. L.: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-4293-6048
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