Adam's Amnesia: The Uses of Memory and Forgetting

Paul Breslin

in Nobody's Nation

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print December 2001 | ISBN: 9780226074269
Published online February 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226074283 | DOI:
Adam's Amnesia: The Uses of Memory and Forgetting

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This chapter traces the development of Walcott's preoccupation with Robinson Crusoe in relation to his Adamic poetics and rejection of “history,” from the early 1960s to the late 1970s. It considers Walcott's appropriation of the Crusoe myth in the three Crusoe poems of the 1960s, the 1965 lecture, some poems from Sea Grapes (1976), and the play Pantomime (1978). Walcott's merger of Adam and Robinson Crusoe is at once a classic instance of creolization and an implicit acknowledgment of the New World Adam's inevitable status as a second-comer.

Keywords: Derek Walcott; Robinson Crusoe; Adamic poetics; history; Sea Grapes; Pantomime; New World

Chapter.  10432 words. 

Subjects: Literary Studies (20th Century onwards)

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