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Translating Caribbean thresholds of pain from without: Hispaniola out of bounds, Hispaniola unbound?

Abstract : This paper focuses on The Farming of Bones, a fictitious testimonio in which Haitian author Edwidge Danticat relates the 1937 genocide perpetrated against Haitians along the River Massacre in Hispaniola and The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, a postmodern tale revisiting Trujillo’s dictatorship by Dominican author Junot Díaz. In the context of the Parsley Massacre, as the genocide came to be known, language served as an instrument of repression and death. Yet, as will be argued, a counter-poiesis of non-assimilative, multilingual translation can be observed in both novels and will be examined as a locus of re-generation. The sites of original and repeated trauma, marked by various silences, breaks, and blanks in both narratives will turn into sites of recovery, insofar as the two novels privilege acts of (re)telling and (re)membering that escape the confines of repressive, monolinguistic tendencies and promote strategies of “assertive nontranslation” instead (Ch’ien). Díaz’s postmodern techniques, aimed at debunking Dominican myths whilst subverting traditional modes of writing and reading, will be studied alongside Danticat’s re-enactments of the Shibboleth to discuss how their decentring strategies may help build a transcultural Caribbean memory.
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https://hal.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-02361331
Contributor : Laëtitia Saint-Loubert <>
Submitted on : Wednesday, November 13, 2019 - 8:17:14 PM
Last modification on : Friday, November 15, 2019 - 4:13:24 PM

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Laëtitia Saint-Loubert. Translating Caribbean thresholds of pain from without: Hispaniola out of bounds, Hispaniola unbound?. Miranda : Revue pluridisciplinaire sur le monde anglophone. Multidisciplinary peer-reviewed journal on the English-speaking world , Laboratoire CAS (Cultures anglo-saxonnes), 2019, ⟨10.4000/miranda.16164⟩. ⟨hal-02361331⟩

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