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In: The ‘Air of Liberty’
Michelle Cliff, David Dabydeen, Opal Palmer Adisa
The two volumes on Postcolonialism and Autobiography examine the affinity of postcolonial writing to the genre of autobiography. The contributions of specialists from Northern Africa, Europe and the United States focus on two areas in which the interrelation of postcolonialism and autobiography is very prominent and fertile: the Maghreb and the Anglophone and Francophone Caribbean. The colonial background of these regions provides the stimulus for writers to launch a program for emancipation in an effort to constitute a decolonized subject in autobiographical practice. While the French volume addresses issues of the autobiographical genre in the postcolonial conditions of the Maghreb and the Caribbean with reference to France, the English volume analyzes the autobiographical writings of David Dabydeen (Guyana), Michelle Cliff, Opal Palmer Adisa, George Lamming, Wilson Harris (Jamaica), and Jamaica Kincaid (Antigua) who have maintained their cultural Caribbean origin while living in England or the United States. Critics such as William Boelhower, Leigh Gilmore, Sidonie Smith, and Gayatri Spivak reveal the many layers of different cultures (Indian, African, European, American) that are covered over by the colonial powers. The homeland, exile, the experience of migration and hybridity condition the postcolonial existence of writers and critics. The incorporation of excerpts from the writers' works is meant to show the great variety and riches of a hybrid imagination and to engage in an interactive dialogue with critics.
Narratives of the South Atlantic Past
The Caribbean imagination as framed within a Dutch historical setting has deep Portuguese-African roots. The Seven Provinces were the first European power, in the first half of the 17th century, to challenge the Iberian countries directly for a share in the slave trade. This book analyzes the philosophy underlying this transoceanic link, when contacts with Africa started to be developed.
The ambiguous morality of the ‘air of liberty’ governing the Afro-Portuguese past had its impact on the creole cultures (white, black, Jewish) of the Dutch territories of Suriname and Curaçao. Although this influence is gradually disappearing, it is astonishing to witness the engagement with which writers and visual artists have interpreted this heritage in their different ways. Recent narratives from Angola and Brazil offer an appropriate starting-point for an examination of strategies of self-representation and national consolidation in works by authors from the Dutch Caribbean. In order to reveal this complex historical pattern, the (formerly) Dutch-related port communities are conceived of as cultural agents whose ‘lettered cities’ (Ángel Rama) have engaged in critical dialogue with the heritage of the South Atlantic trade in human lives.
Artists and writers discussed include (colonial period): Caspar Barlaeus, David Nassy, Frans Post, and John Gabriel Stedman; (modern period): Frank Martinus Arion, Cola Debrot, Gabriel García Márquez, Albert Helman, Francisco Herrera Luque, Boeli van Leeuwen, Tip Marugg, Alberto Mussa, Pepetela, Julio Perrenal, and Mário Pinto de Andrade.

anecdote about the moment he bought a copy of War and Peace for his “personal library” when he was sixteen (i.e. sometime in 1956). This was Aylmer Maude’s translation first published by Oxford University Press in 1922–23: Aylmer Maude’s War and Peace , in its original maroon and cream wrapper, has

In: Journal of World Literature