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Tropics of HaitiRace and the Literary History of the Haitian Revolution in the Atlantic World, 1789-1865$
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Marlene L. Daut

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9781781381847

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: May 2016

DOI: 10.5949/liverpool/9781781381847.001.0001

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Between the Family and the Nation: Lamartine, Toussaint Louverture, and the “Interracial” Family Romance of the Haitian Revolution

Between the Family and the Nation: Lamartine, Toussaint Louverture, and the “Interracial” Family Romance of the Haitian Revolution

Chapter:
(p.373) Chapter Eight Between the Family and the Nation: Lamartine, Toussaint Louverture, and the “Interracial” Family Romance of the Haitian Revolution
Source:
Tropics of Haiti
Author(s):

Marlene L. Daut

Publisher:
Liverpool University Press
DOI:10.5949/liverpool/9781781381847.003.0009

This chapter considers the French abolitionist Alphonse de Lamartine’s verse drama, Toussaint Louverture (1850), showing how writing that narrates the life of Louverture as not simply a ‘colonial family romance,’ but as an “interracial” family romance further demonstrates anxieties about the psychological effects of the plantation system. Attempts to explain Louverture’s life using a grammar beholden to the “mulatto/a” vengeance narrative, and especially that of the tragic “mulatto/a,” suggests that the epistemological problems created by slavery and revolution engendered an Oedipal tendency in people of color who, in the revolutionary hour, might either symbolically or literally occasion the death of their parents and vice versa when faced with a choice between their family and the nation.

Keywords:   Nation, Interracial Family, Toussaint Louverture, Infanticide, Fratricide, Patricide, Lamartine, Isaac Louverture, Placide Louverture, Leclerc, Lamartine

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