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Architextual AuthenticityConstructing Literature and Literary Identity in the French Caribbean$
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Jason Herbeck

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9781786940391

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: September 2018

DOI: 10.5949/liverpool/9781786940391.001.0001

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Gouverneurs de la … Mangrove

Gouverneurs de la … Mangrove

Architextual Authenticity in Maryse Condé’s Traversée de la Mangrove

(p.109) Chapter Three Gouverneurs de la … Mangrove
Architextual Authenticity

Jason Herbeck

Liverpool University Press

As a means of illustrating the central albeit conflicted place that issues of authenticity occupy in the French Caribbean, Chapter 3 examines Guadeloupean Maryse Condé’s canonical novel, Traversée de la Mangrove (1989). Consideration of the somewhat heated discussion of Caribbean authenticity prompted by Patrick Chamoiseau’s public reading of Condé’s novel, in evidencing the authors’ stark differences of opinion on the matter, also serves to further inform the fundamentally identitarian dilemmas surrounding the construction of French-Caribbean expression. Subsequent close textual analysis of Traversée de la Mangrove on two distinct architextual and architectural levels illustrates how issues of authenticity are divulged and addressed in the text. Additional consideration of the novel’s architextual properties—in particular with respect to Haitian Jacques Roumain’s Gouverneurs de la Rosée (1944)—leads, in conclusion, to an examination of the architectural significance of the house that Condé’s main character inhabits and in which he undertakes the (metatextual) project of writing a novel entitled Traversée de la Mangrove.

Keywords:   Maryse Condé, Traversée de la Mangrove, Patrick Chamoiseau, Identity, Authenticity, French-Caribbean Literature, Architecture, Architexture, Jacques Roumain, Gouverneurs de la rosée

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