Venus from A to Z in Beryl Gilroy’s Inkle and Yarico

In: Exploring the Black Venus Figure in Aesthetic Practices

Abstract

Željka Švrljuga’s reading of Beryl Gilroy’s Inkle and Yarico explores how the novel’s intersectionality of race, gender and class, and the grammar of desire are deployed in the rewriting of the semantics of the Venus figure. With a starting point in a seventeenth-century footnote in Caribbean history, the novel uses the travel motif as its thematic impulse: from the “discovery” of the New World to its colonization. This, the chapter argues, is reflected on many levels – geographic, historical, narrative – and in the re-figuring of the Venus figure through metonymic displacements, metaphoric replacements, and supplementation. Also, by drawing on the Venus and Adonis myth and William Blake’s engraving Europe Supported by Africa and America, Švrljuga’s analysis opens for a thorough exploration of the relationships between critique, narration, aesthetics, and genre.…