Power, Eros, and Genocide

Donna Aza Weir-Soley

in Eroticism, Spirituality, and Resistance in Black Women’s Writings

Published by University Press of Florida

Published in print September 2009 | ISBN: 9780813033778
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780813039008 | DOI:
Power, Eros, and Genocide

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This chapter discusses Edwidge Danticat's representation of subject formation within the Haitian migrant community in the Dominican Republic during the 1930s. It explores Danticat's treatment of the concomitant destabilization of Haitian identity in the wake of the 1937 Haitian Massacre enacted under the former Dominican dictator General Rafael Trujillo. The interdependent relationship between the material and the spiritual is carefully introduced in this narrative as Danticat attempts to demonstrate that human beings need to have both realms in balance if they are to be fully functional. The discussion proposes that Danticat purposefully downplays Voudoun as a leitmotif in this novel to force the reader to engage with the historical realities she is fictionalizing. Like the preceding chapters, this chapter also examines the healing potential of the erotic.

Keywords: Dominican Republic; erotic; Edwidge Danticat; Haitian identity; Rafael Trujillo; Voudoun; capitalism; female subjectivity; material; spiritual

Chapter.  17195 words. 

Subjects: Literature

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