Literature as the locus of questioning and evolution in French Caribbean writings.
41st Anniversary Convention, Northeast Modern Language Association (NeMLA)
April 7-11, 2010
Montreal, Quebec - Hilton Bonaventure
In contrast with Creolity and traditional West Indian writers, Maryse Condé articulates a conception of literature that frees itself and the writer to enable him/her to express his/her creativity, imagination and to tackle important questions that occupy him/her today. In “Order, Disorder, Freedom, and the West Indian Writer,” Condé quotes Maurice Blanchot who, throughout his writings, seems to convey a conception of literature and fiction which Condé holds for true. In The Book to come, he states that “[t]he essence of literature is to escape any fundamental determination, any assertion which could stabilize it or even fix it. It is never already there, it is always to be found or invented again.” By situating herself outside of the literary currents that appeared in the Caribbean, Condé embodies a vision of literature that allows for the inscription of difference, of the evolution of the individual and the world in which he/she evolves. It seems to us that this conception of literature is necessary for its survival. Literature is indeed the locus of questioning and evolution. It cannot follow strict prescriptions nor have a definite and clear readership in mind when it is created. Questions stay unanswered and it is the role of literature to keep conveying questions, to question. It is the key to its existence and perpetuation.
This panel welcomes analyses that explore how the writings of Condé and other French Caribbean authors incarnate their perspective on literature and writing. Please submit a 250-300 word abstract to Emmanuelle Vanborre email@example.com
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