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Rise and Fall of an Empire

A Progressive Caribbean

Jerome Teelucksingh

Rise and Fall of an Empire: A Progressive Caribbean emphasizes the significance of literature, media, history, slavery, culture and ideology which helped shape the Caribbean. This interdisciplinary work includes lesser known events, individuals and organizations that have emerged from colonialism and contributed to the foundations of a Caribbean Empire. Furthermore, these personalities and groups made valid contributions to the improvement and betterment of Caribbean societies. There are obvious contradictions within the Caribbean region that denote noteworthy progress whilst other indicators reflect a regression. Undoubtedly, these are features of a dynamic people and stable region that should be considered an Empire.

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9 Shortcomings in A New World Order


Shortcomings in A New World Order

Caryl Phillips is not well-known among most avid readers of Caribbean novels. Nevertheless, his seminal collection of essays in A New World Order dissected the challenges to the status quo embedded in the mediums of activism, song, literature, ideology and film. Phillips, based outside the Caribbean, views the world through postcolonial lenses. On the novel’s cover there is a blurb indicating that Phillips believed in a new order, “… of cultural plurality, one which is being promoted by the increasingly central role of the migrant and refugee in the modern world.” This is admirable but there are a number of challenges to overcome before a new world order is attained.

The collection of essays closely conform to an observation by Taiwo Adetunji Osinubi that a comparison of Phillips’s novels reveal, “… a shift from a concern with the plight of black peoples to an interest in displacement as an existential condition that cuts across categories such as race, class, gender and nationality.”1BénédicteLedent is accurate in identifying displacement as one of the common themes in Phillips’s writings.2 However, the displacement is not a unique phenomenon but affects any immigrant who has been uprooted from his ←165 | 166→or her homeland. All diasporas initially undergo a “divorce syndrome” as children whose parents have been divorced and they have decided to spend time with one of their parents. The immigrant will feel a sense of loyalty, affection and gratitude to both “parents...

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