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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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Reflections on Interior Design

Reflections on Interior Design

Daniel Maximin’s L’Île et une nuit

(p.157) Chapter Four Reflections on Interior Design
Architextual Authenticity

Jason Herbeck

Liverpool University Press

Chapter 4 considers issues of identity in the context of hurricane Hugo’s gale force winds and rain battering a house and its solitary inhabitant in Guadeloupe, as recounted in the third and final novel of Daniel Maximin’s Caribbean trilogy, L’Île et une nuits (1995). The chapter focuses initially on both implicit and explicit architextual elements of the novel, including Les Mille et une nuits and Traversée de la Mangrove, as well as the contractual assumptions involved in so far as the novel’s role as the trilogy’s final installment. Subsequently, it is argued that the necessarily conditional resistance to external forces exhibited over the course of the storm by the protagonist’s house, Les Flamboyants, can be interpreted as a Caribbean architectural archetype akin to identity-building in the region. This dual architextual-architectural reading leads, in conclusion, to reflections on the outcomes of insularity and the assertion that Les Flamboyants’s survival, destruction and potential reconstruction reveal, on a larger scale, the complex and ongoing negotiations of identity at stake in the French Caribbean.

Keywords:   Daniel Maximin, L’Île et une nuit, Les Mille et une nuits, Traversée de la Mangrove, French-Caribbean Literature, Architecture, Architexture, Intertextuality, Identity

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