<i>Another Life:</i> West Indian Experience and the Problems of Narration

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:
Another Life: West Indian Experience and the Problems of Narration

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This chapter analyzes Walcott's first epic-length poem, Another Life. The poem is not so much an epic as an autobiography, albeit of an atypical kind. Undertaking a long poem for the first time, Walcott confronted the problems of narration posed by what Glissant would call a “non-history.” Yet at first glance, the poem seems more straightforward than its Anglo–American modernist counterparts. In its unhurried pace, it recalls nineteenth-century examples such as The Prelude, In Memoriam, or The Ring and The Book. It is almost Victorian in its expansiveness and unapologetic delight in elevated rhetoric, extended painterly description, and digressive metaphors.

Keywords: Derek Walcott; rhetoric; epic; autobiography

Chapter.  14032 words. 

Subjects: Literary Studies (20th Century onwards)

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