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The Literatures of the French PacificReconfiguring Hybridity$
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Raylene Ramsay

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9781781380376

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: September 2014

DOI: 10.5949/liverpool/9781781380376.001.0001

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date: 20 October 2018

Writing Métissage in New Caledonian Non-Kanak Literatures

Writing Métissage in New Caledonian Non-Kanak Literatures

From Colonial to Postcolonial Hybridities

(p.265) 8 Writing Métissage in New Caledonian Non-Kanak Literatures
The Literatures of the French Pacific

Raylene Ramsay

Liverpool University Press

Writers embedded in the grand discourse of civilising mission and pioneer aesthetic also played roles as critic and conscience of the imperialist project. Baudoux showed a deep interest in the Kanak stories and customs his writing revived and Mariotti's in-between idealised legends of the hunter and his son, Poindi, introduced Kanak culture to a Parisian audience. Laubreaux's texts carried fiercely satirical portraits of a deeply stratified, rigid, and morally ambiguous colonial society fissuring the official discourse from within. Yet, the premise that racial or cultural Otherness was fatal to relationships and that society lacked the capacity to embrace diversity remained common to all of these texts. It was not until the 1970s that the focus moved to a greater openness to biological and cultural métissage. However, this postcolonial movement of self-identification with the ancient knowledge of the Other, the quest for inclusion, does not set up Bhabha's restless, disseminating movement to-and-fro between cultures. Rather, in the inter-cultural writing of Jacqueline Sénès, Claudine Jacques or Nicolas Kurtovitch, among others, which articulate both a greater acceptance of difference and a recognition of difference as irreducible, ‘each one continues to stay in his/her own place’, articulating a separate history of suffering.

Keywords:   Colonial writers, Georges Baudoux, Jean Mariotti, Alin Laubreaux, Métissage, Postcolonial writers, Claudine Jacques, Nicolas Kurtovitch, Post-colonial hybridity

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