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Dangerous Creole Liaisons$
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Jacqueline Couti

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9781781383018

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: January 2017

DOI: 10.5949/liverpool/9781781383018.001.0001

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Falling from Grace: Creole Gothic, Flawed Femininity, and the Collapse of Civilization

Falling from Grace: Creole Gothic, Flawed Femininity, and the Collapse of Civilization

(p.63) Chapter 2 Falling from Grace: Creole Gothic, Flawed Femininity, and the Collapse of Civilization
Dangerous Creole Liaisons

Jacqueline Couti

Liverpool University Press

This chapter examines how two fictional texts revisit Traversay’s rhetoric of victimization while stressing national dissension and the problematic place of the French Caribbean colonies in a changing France. Both novels are intricately intertextual, being woven together from literary, historical, and political sources. These stories juxtapose representations of sexuality and discussions about abolition, particularly the British abolitionist discourse of the 1830s. In Jules Levilloux’s Les créoles, the plot unfolds mainly during the French revolutionary period in Guadeloupe and Martinique and concentrates on a mulatto man’s forbidden love for a white Creole woman who is unaware of his true identity. Although they become engaged, the lovers die before they can marry. Their deaths prevent the fabrication of a true French Caribbean national romance—an interracial one at that—and highlight the limits of French revolutionary concepts of nationhood. In Louis de Maynard de Queilhe’s Outre-mer, the narrative depicts the collapse of white Creole hegemony through the portrayal of unbridled sexuality and license. This somber story mostly takes place during the 1830 July Revolution and portrays the doomed relationships between the mulâtre Marius and three Caribbean women from different ethno-classes, all of whom die.

Keywords:   Gothic, ethno-class, Haitian Revolution, interracial love, miscegenation, female body, female allegory, abjection, femininity, métissage

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