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Working Paper

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In this paper I explore the particular use of dance and music observed in the writings of Maryse Condé, Ina Césaire, and Gerty Dambury. I examine how their use of orality, oral literature, and the body in movement create complex levels of textuality, meaning, and reading. I consider this process to reflect properties of Creolization and argue that the body performing in these texts remains the representation of a Creole microcosm in which exoticism is deconstructed to reveal politics of chaotic states of being. The body in movement presented in these Francophone literary texts uses Creole rhythms to do violence to lost memories (effects of deportation), neocolonial sufferings (effects of colonization), and paralyzing states that prevent the access to authentic liberation. By focusing on dance, music, oralité, the esthetic of oraliture and the corps et graphie/choreo-graphy, I analyze these polyphonic texts to reveal how these bodies of cultural productions rewrite and create their own history and historicity through inner and inter-zones of violence.


Originally published in:

Francis, Gladys M. "Creolization on the Move in Francophone Caribbean Literature." The Oxford Diasporas Programme. Oxford: The University of Oxford (2015): 1-15.,%20G,%202015%20Creolization%20on%20the%20Move-1.pdf

Posted with the permission of the Oxford Diasporas Programme.