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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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PRINTED FROM LIVERPOOL SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.liverpool.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Liverpool University Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in LSO for personal use.date: 06 July 2022

Literature of Reconstruction

Literature of Reconstruction

An Architextual Assessment of Post-Earthquake Haiti in Yanick Lahens’s Failles and Guillaume et Nathalie

(p.227) Chapter Five Literature of Reconstruction
Architextual Authenticity

Jason Herbeck

Liverpool University Press

Whereas, on the heels of a devastating hurricane’s passing, the final pages of Maximin’s L’Île et une nuit (Chapter 4) hint at both architectural and architextual (re)building in the wake of catastrophe, Chapter 5 examines two works by Haitian Yanick Lahens that directly address the task of (re)construction in the aftermath of large-scale destruction. The chapter begins with a discussion of so-called writings of disaster (Jenson) that have, from the early days of colonization to the present, cast Haiti in a negative, counter-productive light. To the contrary, as a creative counter-discourse to discourses of disaster, literary works from Haiti can be understood as literature of reconstruction. As a phenomenon that is by no means new to Haiti, literature of reconstruction is conceptualized not only as a blueprint or framework for reassessment and rebuilding in/of Haiti, but is demonstrated to constitute, in and of itself, an example of the very reconstruction of which it speaks. In this light, close readings of Lahens’s post-earthquake texts Failles (2010) and Guillaume et Nathalie (2013) illustrate the architextuality of Haitian literature and how, precisely, this vibrant body of works embodies both the path and potential for identity-building in the French Caribbean.

Keywords:   Yanick Lahens, Failles, Guillaume et Nathalie, 2010 Haiti earthquake, Architecture, Architexture, Identity, Reconstruction, French-Caribbean Literature

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