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Dangerous Creole Liaisons$
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Jacqueline Couti

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9781781383018

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: January 2017

DOI: 10.5949/liverpool/9781781383018.001.0001

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date: 25 November 2017

Colonial Democracy and Fin-de-Siècle Martinique: The Third Republic and White Creole Dissent

Colonial Democracy and Fin-de-Siècle Martinique: The Third Republic and White Creole Dissent

Chapter:
(p.169) Chapter 4 Colonial Democracy and Fin-de-Siècle Martinique: The Third Republic and White Creole Dissent
Source:
Dangerous Creole Liaisons
Author(s):

Jacqueline Couti

Publisher:
Liverpool University Press
DOI:10.5949/liverpool/9781781383018.003.0006

Chapter 4 again focuses on fin-de-siècle Martinique, but this time through the lens of the white Creole René Bonneville’s episodic Le triomphe d’Églantine. Initially published in the Martinican newspaper L’Opinion, this serialized novel depicts the rise of a mulâtresse discarded by her béké lover. This is the first piece of literature surveyed here that addresses a contemporary Martinican audience while praising the virtue of a regime still in existence: the Third Republic. Influenced by Manet, Bonneville writes a story of failed love set in Martinique. However, contrary to Manet, he allows his woman of color to find her own autonomy and agency within what he considers the loving bosom of the Third Republic. Bonneville manipulates the notion of failed national romance to promote his own dissident political convictions and to mock the béké class for its conservatism, hypocrisy, and color prejudice. Bonneville’s serials, which tightly interconnect politics, sexuality, and the question of race, caused an uproar in Saint-Pierre, the capital of Martinique at the time. As a result, a war of words erupted between two of the city’s main newspapers (one supportive of the white oligarchy while the other was against it).

Keywords:   Third Republic, sexuality, newspaper, female agency, race, gender, Bonneville, single motherhood, psolitics

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