Clear Word and Third Sight: Folk Groundings and Diasporic Consciousness in African Caribbean Writing

Clear Word and Third Sight: Folk Groundings and Diasporic Consciousness in African Caribbean Writing

by Catherine A. John
     
 

Clear Word and Third Sight examines the strands of a collective African diasporic consciousness represented in the work of a number of Black Caribbean writers. Catherine A. John shows how a shared consciousness, or “third sight,” is rooted in both pre- and postcolonial cultural practices and disseminated through a rich oral tradition. This

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Overview

Clear Word and Third Sight examines the strands of a collective African diasporic consciousness represented in the work of a number of Black Caribbean writers. Catherine A. John shows how a shared consciousness, or “third sight,” is rooted in both pre- and postcolonial cultural practices and disseminated through a rich oral tradition. This consciousness has served diasporic communities by creating an alternate philosophical “worldsense” linking those of African descent across space and time.

Contesting popular discourses about what constitutes culture and maintaining that neglected strains in negritude discourse provide a crucial philosophical perspective on the connections between folk practices, cultural memory, and collective consciousness, John examines the diasporic principles in the work of the negritude writers Léon Damas, Aimé Césaire, and Léopold Senghor. She traces the manifestations and reworkings of their ideas in Afro-Caribbean writing from the eastern and French Caribbean, as well as the Caribbean diaspora in the United States. The authors she discusses include Jamaica Kincaid, Earl Lovelace, Simone Schwarz-Bart, Audre Lorde, Paule Marshall, and Edouard Glissant, among others. John argues that by incorporating what she calls folk groundings—such as poems, folktales, proverbs, and songs—into their work, Afro-Caribbean writers invoke a psychospiritual consciousness which combines old and new strategies for addressing the ongoing postcolonial struggle.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780822332220
Publisher:
Duke University Press
Publication date:
11/01/2003
Series:
New Americanists Series
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
248
Product dimensions:
5.50(w) x 8.40(h) x 0.70(d)

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
Introduction: Alternate Consciousness in the Diaspora1
1Paris in 1956: Negritude and Cultural Discourse21
2Colonial Legacies, Gender Identity, and Black Female Writing in the Diaspora43
3Negritude and Negativity: Alienation and "Voice" in Eastern Caribbean Literature74
4Diaspora Philosophy, French Caribbean Literature, and Simone Schwarz-Bart's Plurie et vent sur Telumee Miracle114
5The Spoken World and Spirit Consciousness: Audre Lorde and Paule Marshall's Diasporic Voice158
Afterword203
Notes211
Bibliography227
Index237

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