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Exile and Post-1946 Haitian LiteratureAlexis, Depestre, Ollivier, Laferriere, Danticat$
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Martin Munro

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9781846310799

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: June 2013

DOI: 10.5949/UPO9781846313080

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PRINTED FROM LIVERPOOL SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.liverpool.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Liverpool University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in LSO for personal use.date: 17 September 2021

René Depestre Internal Exiles and Exotic Longings

René Depestre Internal Exiles and Exotic Longings

Chapter:
(p.80) Chapter Two René Depestre Internal Exiles and Exotic Longings
Source:
Exile and Post-1946 Haitian Literature
Publisher:
Liverpool University Press
DOI:10.5949/UPO9781846313080.003

This chapter examines the work of René Depestre. In the history of Haitian exiled writing, Depestre's work is unique in that it chronicles sixty years of wandering, expulsions, exiles within exiles, across myriad different countries. Depestre's novels are compared with those of Alexis, and it is argued that while the latter's works are informed and shaped by his unrelenting determination to end exile and to return to Haiti, Depestre's novels have arisen out of an apparently unending, initially forced, but finally willful exile. Exile and displacement in Depestre's Le Mât de cocagne are, as in Alexis' first two novels, largely related to internal alienation — the character Postel exists in a ‘zombified’ condition, exiled from a lost ‘authentic’, benevolent Haitian culture. The chapter contextualizes Postel by analyzing other novels of internal exile: Marie Chauvet's Amour; Frankétienne's spiral Ultravocal, Pierre Clitandre's Cathédrale du mois d'août, Lahens' Dans la maison du père and Lyonel Trouillot's Bicentenaire.

Keywords:   Haitian culture, exile writing, Le Mât de cocagne, internal alienation

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