Chapter

Caribbean Classics and the Postcolonial Canon

Emily Greenwood

in Afro-Greeks

Published in print January 2010 | ISBN: 9780199575244
Published online May 2010 | e-ISBN: 9780191722189 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199575244.003.0006

Series: Classical Presences

Caribbean Classics and the Postcolonial Canon

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This final chapter argues that the study of the reception of Classics in the anglophone Caribbean needs to focus not just on the dialogue with the literatures of Greece and Rome, but also on the dialogue between Caribbean authors themselves. To this end, discussion turns to the Jamaican poet Figueroa, who many critics have identified as an important precursor for the New World classicism in Walcott's poetry. Similarly, Kamau Brathwaite's revision of universal history in X/Self is seen to offer an important framework for Caribbean Classics in view of the poet's contention that the Caribbean's history of catastrophe presents a logical vantage point from which to survey the global succession of empires leading back to Rome and beyond. The book concludes with the suggestion that anglophone Caribbean writers have recalibrated the canon so that they are the natural successors of Horace, or Ovid, writing from the provinces and holding the cultural centre.

Keywords: Merle Hodge; Kamau Brathwaite; John Figueroa; X/Self; Caribbean classics; postcolonial classics; Helen of Troy; postcolonial canon; cosmopolitanism

Chapter.  10174 words. 

Subjects: Classical Literature

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