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Writing on the Fault LineHaitian Literature and the Earthquake of 2010$
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Martin Munro

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9781781381465

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: September 2015

DOI: 10.5949/liverpool/9781781381465.001.0001

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Writing the “Haitian Soul”

Writing the “Haitian Soul”

Post-earthquake Poetry

(p.194) Chapter Five Writing the “Haitian Soul”
Writing on the Fault Line

Martin Munro

Liverpool University Press

The chapter begins by arguing that in many post-earthquake novels characters’ lives are lived primarily in and through the body. The post-earthquake novel’s focus on material being and the body has the effect of making narrative itself a form of matter. In this chapter, I argue that the notion of the “Haitian soul” has long been a preoccupation of Haitian poets, and that this interest has been reworked and revived in poetry since 2010, which largely concerns itself with the soul from a broadly humanistic perspective, in contrast to the primacy of the body in many novels. The chapter shows that poetry has undergone something of a renaissance since the earthquake, and analyzes works by Saint-Éloi, Raymond Chassagne, James Noël, Georges Castera, and Makenzy Orcel to demonstrate that poetry is often related to the human, the soul, and a timeless notion of the relationship between humankind and the world, a relationship that is currently destabilized and that is reimagined by contemporary poets.

Keywords:   post earthquake novels, Haitian soul, Haitian poets, Saint Eloi, Raymond Chassagne, James Noel, Georges Castera, Makenzy Orcel

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