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Modernity and the novel in the expanded Caribbean : Wilson Harris, Patrick Chamoiseau and Carlos Fuentes

By Kerstin Dagmar Oloff


My thesis examines how the form of the novel is transformed in the\ud postcolonial/neo-imperial context of the 20th century Expanded Caribbean. I focus\ud on works written in Spanish, English and French and thus privilege a regional\ud approach over a linguistic one. While the fragmentation of the region has been\ud furthered historically through the educational system, neo-imperialism, economics\ud and global politics, the region is united by the common experience of colonialism, of\ud plantation slavery and/or the encomienda system, and of anti-imperial resistance. By\ud focusing on the form of the novel that has originated in Europe, I set out to examine\ud the impact of geo-politics and economics on aesthetics.\ud Furthermore, Carlos Fuentes, Wilson Harris and Patrick Chamoiseau can\ud arguably be seen as representative for the academic fields of Latin Americanism,\ud Postcolonial Studies and Francophone Literature respectively, given their canonical\ud status within them. One of the aims of this thesis is to examine how the novels from\ud the Expanded Caribbean speak back to certain developments within the 'central'\ud academies over the last few decades and what the canonization of certain writers to\ud the exclusion of others, and the promotion of certain ways of reading texts, tell us\ud about the latter. For this reason, most of the novels examined in this thesis have been\ud published during the last quarter of the century that, on the political, economic and\ud social level, has witnessed dramatic global changes that have had a devastating\ud impact on the achievements of the 'boom' period of the sixties

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