Download An Intellectual History of the Caribbean (New Directions in by S. Torres-Saillant PDF

By S. Torres-Saillant

The 1st highbrow background of the Caribbean written through a best Caribbean stories student, this ebook examines either writings penned through natives of the sector in addition to a physique of texts interpretive of the quarter produced by means of Western authors. Stressing the experiential and cultural particularity of the Caribbean, the learn considers 4 significant questions: What artwork, literature or proposal can come from the minds of people that have passed through a catastrophic historical past? What makes the conceptual paradigms shaped by way of the Western highbrow in a position to illuminating the specific event of Antilleans, yet now not vice versa? Do Antilleans lack the highbrow heritage required for the translation of tradition, no matter if of their sector or in different places on the planet? Why is the specificity of Caribbean humanity such that it can't be used as a paradigm for humanity as a complete?

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The question of language demands serious attention since it contributes to sustaining the region’s historical fragmentation more effectively than any other factor. Sometimes approaching a single country, say, Surinam, which harbors ethnic groups and religions galore, presents difficulty if one has mastery of one language only. The novelist, poet, and playwright Astrid Roemer has called attention to the importance of Winti, an “Afro-Surinamese religion” that she prefers to call “a survival strategy with a militant, political-revolutionary value,” but in tracing that “breath/spiritual force” to the interior of the country, “where the socalled ‘bush-negroes’ live,” she at the same time would seem to identify it with a setting that does not rely on Dutch for its means of verbal communication (Roemer 1996:42–43).

A veritable hallmark. And now, unleashed its force, its dynamism, its melody, its rhythm, imbibes us with added strength 32 AN INTELLECTUAL HISTORY OF THE CARIBBEAN hope, courage, vigor to battle on, to struggle on, to freedom. S. drummer and ethnomusicology professor Gage Averill, who has done extensive research on Haitian Konpa, the subject of several of his scholarly articles, concludes his short social history of the form affirming that studying “the evolution of popular music” involves not just an examination of changes in sound, nor is it strictly a case of representations about music, attributions of styles, or claims to ownership.

That same fundamental confidence in the decisive vitality of musical expression as an existential tool capable of ensuring that the community will endure informs Brenda F. Berrian’s study of Martinican and Guadeloupean popular songs. Berrian starts with an embrace of the view on art articulated by African American thinker Bell Hooks: “The arts remain one of the most powerful, if not the most powerful realms of cultural resistance, a space for awakening folks to critical consciousness and new vision” (Berrian 2000:1).

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