Derek Walcott: Politics and Poetics

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University Press of Florida, 2000 - Literary Collections - 380 pages
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"A long-overdue critical assessment of Walcott's varied and extensive oeuvre. Its insightful readings and detailed historical and cultural context make it a must-read for students of contemporary Caribbean literature and culture."-- Lizabeth Paravisini-Gebert, Vassar College

Paula Burnett offers a new interpretation of the life's work of acclaimed St. Lucian poet, playwright, and Nobel Prize winner Derek Walcott. Often regarded as the radical voice of the Third World, his drama and poetry together form a coherent project designed to create a legacy for modern Caribbean society. Illuminating his ideology and the technique that informs his writing, Burnett discusses his unique approach to myth, identity, and aesthetics.

In addition to his poetry, the book draws extensively on Walcott's essays, plays, broadcasts, private interviews, and public appearances, some previously unpublished or unrecorded. What emerges is the picture of an epic poet with remarkable gifts working to impart the distinctive wisdom of Caribbean culture--a politically aware writer celebrating his people, place, and language. Burnett also reveals an artist with a message to the world: that a positive sense of identity can be built out of negative circumstances like injustice and exploitation, if only creativity is mobilized.

The book serves as a critical study for more experienced scholars and as a solid introductory text for students of Walcott's work. Its readable and well-organized style also makes it appealing to anyone with a general interest in poetry.

 

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User Review  - HadriantheBlind - LibraryThing

A brief overview of the psychology of destructive leaders and their followers, who seek refuge in them. Good introduction to the subject. Don't buy this, as it's $100 on Amazon right now. Read full review

Contents

Introduction
1
Modeling the Caribbean Subject
13
The Gift of Place
29
Where Else to Row but Backward? Dealing with History
63
Manipulating Myth
91
Part n Craft
125
The Arrivants Last Carnival
244
The American Epic
263
Metamorphosis of the Homeric
281
Conclusion
313
Notes
325
Bibliography
361
Index
375
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About the author (2000)

Paula Burnett, lecturer in English at Brunel University in London, is the editor of Caribbean Verse in English (1986). She is the author of numerous articles on Caribbean and other postcolonial literatures in publications such as Ariel and the Journal of Commonwealth Literature and is well known in the United Kingdom as a literary journalist.

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