No Place Like Home
By way of a brief summary of Ulysses’ return from Troy to Ithaca in Homer’s The Odyssey, the Conclusion begins by juxtaposing the fundamentally different notions of the house as found in traditional epic narratives—the mythes fondateurs of which Édouard Glissant is so wary—and the literatures of the French Caribbean. The static, unchanging nature of Ulysses’ home, as well as the tree whose literal roots remain part of its construction, are what allow him to reclaim his identity and be duly recognized. Whereas the Caribbean house plays a no less integral role in the negotiation and construction of identity, the architectural and architextual analyses of previous chapters are revisited as a means of illustrating that such identity-building is, in the French Caribbean, a necessarily long and arduous process. In conclusion, the dual methodological lenses of architecture and architexture are demonstrated to be informative critical tools with which to gauge the dynamic notion of constructing identity—a near-cyclical processes of destruction and/or reassessment followed by subsequent (re)construction that, while by nature not absolute, is no less defining of a people’s perceptions and expressions of place and self.
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