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Crossroads Poetics: Édouard Glissant and Ethnography
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Languages, Department of Modern Languages.
2013 (English)In: Callaloo (Print), ISSN 0161-2492, E-ISSN 1080-6512, Vol. 36, no 4, 968-982 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Édouard Glissant’s work seems to actualize the metaphor used by French ethnographer and writer Michel Leiris to capture the Caribbean: it is a poetics of the crossroads between several discourses and forms of expression. But the intersection between history, sociology, philosophy, poetry, and other areas often occurs without the author fully explaining the mechanisms behind his appropriations of discourses that usually lie outside the realm of literature. Ethnography, for example, appears with such inconsistency in his writings that it is even difficult to speak of it in terms of one single discourse.1 In the same book he condemns ethnography only to dream of a “Caribbean ethnography” to come a few pages later. Ethnography is sometimes treated as a science and sometimes characterized as part of literature’s “movement towards the other.” Clearly, not only does Glissant’s appropriation of other discourses remain unarticulated; it is often also highly ambiguous. What can we make of this? First of all, if ethnography is problematic, why then not simply do away with it? What is the appeal of ethnography? Second, to what kind of ethnography is he referring? How is the notion of ethnography transformed and distorted in his writings?

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Baltimore, 2013. Vol. 36, no 4, 968-982 p.
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Research subject
Literature; Romance Languages
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-210978ISI: 000326903700023OAI: diva2:664920
Available from: 2013-11-18 Created: 2013-11-18 Last updated: 2015-04-23Bibliographically approved

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