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‘The Realm of Maiden Beauty’: Spectres of Slavery, Rebellion, and Creolisation in the Landscape of Cable’s Louisiana

Willson, Nicole L. (2017) ‘The Realm of Maiden Beauty’: Spectres of Slavery, Rebellion, and Creolisation in the Landscape of Cable’s Louisiana. Comparative American Studies An International Journal, 15 (1-2). pp. 36-53. ISSN 1477-5700. E-ISSN 1741-2676. (doi:10.1080/14775700.2017.1406683)

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Abstract

Using a creative interdisciplinary method of enquiry, this article seeks to exorcise the spectres of revolutionary creolisation embedded in George Washington Cable’s 1880 novel The Grandissimes. It probes, in particular, the secreted traces of the Creole diaspora triggered by the Haitian Revolution of 1791–1804, and attempts to peel back the manifold layers of ideological occlusion embedded in the (ostensibly white, Anglo-American) narrative frame of Cable’s omniscient narrator and his protagonist Joseph Frowenfeld, which suppress the connections between inter-American identities across diverse, revolutionary, creolistic worlds in Louisiana and the Gulf South. Unlike other studies examining traces of the Haitian Revolution in The Grandissimes, which tend to focus on the parallels between fictional and historical figures in Cable’s southern romance, this article dissects the subtle allusions to the revolution and the attendant diaspora found in the plantation infrastructures and the urban landscape of Cable’s Louisiana. In so doing, it demonstrates how Saint-Domingan migrants affirmed and reinvigorated the cultural landscape of the ‘Creole’ South and ‘circumvented’ the ideological spread of ‘Americanness’ at the time of the Louisiana Purchase, and during successive moments thereafter.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.1080/14775700.2017.1406683
Uncontrolled keywords: Cable, Grandissimes, Saint-Domingue, Haitian Revolution, landscape, plantation, Creole, creolisation
Divisions: Faculties > Humanities > School of English > Centre for Studies in the Long Eighteenth Century
Faculties > Humanities > School of English
Depositing User: Nicole Willson
Date Deposited: 05 Jan 2018 11:31 UTC
Last Modified: 27 Jun 2019 23:00 UTC
Resource URI: https://kar.kent.ac.uk/id/eprint/65620 (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
Willson, Nicole L.: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-5935-9075
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