POSTCOLONIAL, FEMINIST AND TRANSATLANTIC STUDIES- A CONFLUENCE OF IDEAS IN JAMAICA KINCAID’S FICTION
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My essay will provide an overview of a variety of critical approaches to Jamaica Kincaid’s polyphonic fiction. Postcolonial as well as psychoanalytic theories have been the cognitive tools by means of which most critics tried to make sense of Kincaid’s complex narratives that are at once local and relational. There can be no doubt that psychoanalysis and post-colonialism are important framing and structural devices that account for the inner life and socio-cultural situation of Kincaid’s protagonists. The concern of my essay, however, will be how Jamaica Kincaid, an African Caribbean writer living in exile in the United States, addresses through her writing such issues as the relationship between the postcolonial theory and transatlantic slavery and the black Diaspora that it engendered, which have been the focus of a relatively new school of literary criticism - Paul Gilroy’s Black Atlantic.Kincaid’s trans-cultural experiences - her long residence in America as well as her obsessive preoccupation with her Antiguan past - make her texts a natural site of interplay between various cultural influences and critical paradigms. In my essay, I will try to demonstrate that Kincaid’s texts based on her Caribbean and American experience outline die relationship between postcolonial, transatlantic and feminist studies and create a plane on which these praxes are naturally conflated. I believe that using both postcolonial praxis and the Black Atlantic can produce sounder and more comprehensive readings of Jamaica Kincaid. It can also expand on Gilroy’s critical paradigm which so far has been mostly applied to texts by Afro- American males. Therefore my essay tries to achieve two interrelated goals. First of all, I propose a fresh reading of Kincaid’s storytelling through the lenses of the Black Atlantic. Secondly, I extend the range of Gilroy’s theory by using it to analyze texts by a West Indian female writer.
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