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Modernism, the Visual, and Caribbean Literature
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  • 13 b/w illus.
  • Page extent: 304 pages
  • Size: 228 x 152 mm
  • Weight: 0.62 kg

Library of Congress

  • Dewey number: 820.997290904
  • Dewey version: 22
  • LC Classification: PR9205 .E44 2007
  • LC Subject headings:
    • Caribbean literature (English)--History and criticism
    • Modernism (Literature)
    • Visual perception in literature

Library of Congress Record


 (ISBN-13: 9780521872133)

Vision is a recurring obsession in the work of twentieth-century Caribbean writers. This ambitious study offers a comprehensive analysis of the visual in authors from the Anglophone Caribbean as they intersect with mainstream Modernism. While sound cultures have received more attention in studies of the Caribbean, this is the first to analyse acts of seeing, inner vision, and reflections on visual art. Mary Lou Emery analyses the art, theatre, and literature of the early twentieth century, including works by Edna Manley and Una Marson, then turns to George Lamming, C. L. R. James, Derek Walcott, Wilson Harris, and a younger generation including Jamaica Kincaid and David Dabydeen. She argues that their preoccupation with vision directly addresses philosophies of sensory perception developed at the height of the slave trade and emerges in conditions of diaspora continuing into the present. This study is an original and important contribution to transatlantic and postcolonial studies.

• Identifies a transatlantic modernism shaped by writers from the Caribbean • An original study of the visual in Caribbean literature • Examinations of Jean Rhys, Jamaica Kincaid, Derek Walcott and many other authors


List of illustrations; Acknowledgements; 1. Transfigurations; 2. Exhibitions/modernisms 1900–1939; 3. Exile/Caribbean eyes 1928–1963; 4. Ekphrasis/diasporic Caribbean imaginations 1960–2000; Conclusion; Notes; Bibliography; Index.

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