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Introduction to a Poetics of Diversityby Édouard Glissant$
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Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9781789620979

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: January 2021

DOI: 10.3828/liverpool/9781789620979.001.0001

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The Chaos-world: Towards an Aesthetic of Relation

The Chaos-world: Towards an Aesthetic of Relation

(p.53) 4 The Chaos-world: Towards an Aesthetic of Relation
Introduction to a Poetics of Diversity
Celia Britton
Liverpool University Press

Chaos theory is applied to processes of cultural mixing in which cultures retain their differences, and which used to occur over large expanses of time but now happen at great speed. The notion of an erratic deterministic system allows us to understand the unpredictability that is seen as a major feature of contemporary cultures. Such a system is sensitive to its initial conditions, so that the present-day cultures of the Caribbean and the Americas, and Africa, cannot be understood without reference to the slave trade. The unpredictability of the erratic deterministic system allows us to distinguish between hybridity, which is predictable, and creolization, which is not. It is poetics that enables us to live with unpredictability. Measure and immeasurability combine in different relationships to characterize different periods in world literature.

Keywords:   chaos theory, unpredictability, measure, immeasurability

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