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Language and Literary Form in French Caribbean Writing$
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Celia Britton

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9781781380369

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: September 2014

DOI: 10.5949/liverpool/9781781380369.001.0001

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Intertextual Connections

Intertextual Connections

The Jewish Holocaust in French Caribbean Novels

(p.61) 4 Intertextual Connections
Language and Literary Form in French Caribbean Writing

Celia Britton

Liverpool University Press

Caribbean novels about immigration to France in the 1950s and 1960s often portray the immigrants’ experience as exile and incarceration, and this is sometimes explicitly linked to the Jewish Holocaust. Drawing on Kristeva's theorization of intertextuality, this chapter analyses Gisèle Pineau's L’Exil selon Julia and André and Simone Schwarz-Bart's Un Plat de porc aux bananes vertes to show their extensive reference to the Jewish situation, while also arguing that their notion of the homeland is significantly different. Thus Pineau's autobiography is inspired by Anne Frank's diary, and the old people's home in Paris that is the setting for Un Plat de porc is compared to a concentration camp, invoking Elie Wiesel's Night and André Schwarz-Bart's own earlier novel Le Dernier des Justes. But both novels also display a marked ambivalence towards the Caribbean homeland, that contrasts with the idealized status of Zion in the European Jewish society of the period.

Keywords:   intertextuality, immigration, Holocaust, Gisèle Pineau, André Schwarz-Bart, Simone Schwarz-Bart

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