The Repeating Island: The Caribbean and the Postmodern Perspective / Edition 2

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Overview

In this second edition of The Repeating Island, Antonio Benítez-Rojo, a master of the historical novel, short story, and critical essay, continues to confront the legacy and myths of colonialism. This co-winner of the 1993 MLA Katherine Singer Kovacs Prize has been expanded to include three entirely new chapters that add a Lacanian perspective and a view of the carnivalesque to an already brilliant interpretive study of Caribbean culture. As he did in the first edition, Benítez-Rojo redefines the Caribbean by drawing on history, economics, sociology, cultural anthropology, psychoanalysis, literary theory, and nonlinear mathematics. His point of departure is chaos theory, which holds that order and disorder are not the antithesis of each other in nature but function as mutually generative phenomena. Benítez-Rojo argues that within the apparent disorder of the Caribbean—the area’s discontinuous landmasses, its different colonial histories, ethnic groups, languages, traditions, and politics—there emerges an “island” of paradoxes that repeats itself and gives shape to an unexpected and complex sociocultural archipelago. Benítez-Rojo illustrates this unique form of identity with powerful readings of texts by Las Casas, Guillén, Carpentier, García Márquez, Walcott, Harris, Buitrago, and Rodríguez Juliá.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Chaos theory claims that within the disorder represented by nature, there are repeating regularities. Cuban writer Benitez-Rojo uses this premise to argue that, despite the Caribbean's disorder of geography, language, and politics, a repeating order exists. As a historian and literary critic, the author examines the writings of Bartolome de las Casas, Nicolas Guillen, Fernando Ortiz, Alejo Carpentier, and others. The result is a redefinition of the Caribbean culture. Benitez-Rojo (Romance languages, Amherst) is the author of numerous works of fiction and criticism. Recommended for scholars.-- Joanne Snapp, Virginia Commonwealth Univ., Richmond
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780822318651
  • Publisher: Duke University Press
  • Publication date: 1/28/1997
  • Series: Post-Contemporary Interventions Series
  • Edition description: Second Edition
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 350
  • Sales rank: 728,206
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

Antonio Benítez-Rojo is the Thomas B. Walton, Jr., Memorial Professor at Amherst College.

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments to the Second Edition
Acknowledgments
Introduction: The repeating island 1
1 From the plantation to the Plantation 33
2 Bartolome de Las Casas: between fiction and the inferno 85
3 Nicolas Guillen: sugar mill and poetry 112
4 Fernando Ortiz: the Caribbean and postmodernity 150
5 Carpentier and Harris: explorers of El Dorado 177
6 Los panamanes, or the memory of the skin 199
7 Viaje a la semilla, or the text as spectacle 218
8 Nino Aviles, or history's libido 242
9 Naming the Father, naming the Mother 265
10 Private reflections on Garcia Marquez's Erendira 276
11 Carnival 294
Epilogue 313
Notes 317
Index 339
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