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Reading Caribbean writing : a cross-cultural approach to the work of Edward Kamau Braithwaite, V. S. Naipaul, Derek Walcott and Wilson Harris.

Beecroft, Simon (2003) Reading Caribbean writing : a cross-cultural approach to the work of Edward Kamau Braithwaite, V. S. Naipaul, Derek Walcott and Wilson Harris. PhD thesis, University of Sheffield.

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Abstract

This study is centrally concerned with the practice of reading Caribbean writing, and the representation of writers and readers, writing and reading in the work of four major Caribbean writers: Edward Kamau Brathwaite, V.S. Naipaul, Derek Walcott and Wilson Harris. In it I seek to overcome some of the difficulties of reading culturally different books by offering a cross-cultural approach to selected literary texts. Since the emergence of an identifiable body of Anglophone Caribbean writing in the 1950’s and 1960’s, the literature of and about the Caribbean has largely been read in terms of a search for identity. I wish to argue that a key aspect of this search for identity is manifested in a thematic, formal and stylistic preoccupation with writing and reading that is evident in the literary works of Brathwaite, Naipaul, Walcott and Harris. The work of Russian literary theorist and philosopher Mikhail Bakhtin is central to my development of a cross-cultural approach to Caribbean writing. It is my intention to suggest that Bakhtin’s work offers a valuable resource and response to the dilemma faced by the Western reader of Caribbean writing: a resource that not only provides a rich area of analysis in the field of cultural, linguistic and literary hybridisation, but that also implicitly offers a valuable theorisation of the practice of reading across cultures. The thesis comprises of six major chapters and a short conclusion. The opening chapter introduces issues relating to the reading of Caribbean writing, and establishes a theoretical connection between the work of Bakhtin and ideas central to Caribbean and postcolonial studies. Thereafter attention switches from Brathwaite to Naipaul, Walcott and Harris, to consider questions of language, authorship, history, reading and the tempero-spatial representation of the cross-cultural Caribbean.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Keywords: Literature
Academic Units: The University of Sheffield > Faculty of Arts and Humanities (Sheffield) > School of English (Sheffield)
Other academic unit: Department of English Literature
Identification Number/EthosID: uk.bl.ethos.275074
Depositing User: EThOS Import Sheffield
Date Deposited: 24 Dec 2019 09:07
Last Modified: 24 Dec 2019 09:07
URI: http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/25664

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