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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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A Multicultural Future (Destin Commun) for New Caledonia?

A Multicultural Future (Destin Commun) for New Caledonia?

From Métissage to Hybridities

(p.307) 9 A Multicultural Future (Destin Commun) for New Caledonia?
The Literatures of the French Pacific

Raylene Ramsay

Liverpool University Press

Until recently, New Caledonian writers have depicted mixed-race relations and cultural métissage less as a sign of inclusion than as a threat of cultural disintegration. Despite this resilient localism, the array of forms of mixing in these literary texts and their increasing intertextuality and interculturality, calls for a consideration of the ways in which terms such as métissage, syncretism, multiculturalism and hybridity interface and an analysis of the pertinence of the many theoretical formulations (and critiques) of hybridity. These include Bhabha's ‘upfront syncretism to unsettle the inheritances of Europe’, Gilroy's journeys beyond ethnic essentialism, Canclini's ‘mutual transformation’ as well as Rosello's ‘amnesiac creolity’ or reinvention of forms of belonging and Brah and Coombes’ tiempos mistos, the complex articulation of tradition and modernities. The literatures of Kanaky-New Caledonia provide a new location from which to interrogate the subversive potential of hybridity at the same time as they modify and extend this notion to formulate their own singular responses to the proposal of a multicultural future.

Keywords:   Destin Commun, Multiculturalism, Syncretism, Métissage, Hybridity theory, Interculturalism, Bhabha, Gilroy, Canclini, Rosello

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