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Cultural Crossings / À la croisée des cultures

Negotiating Identities in Francophone and Anglophone Pacific Literatures / De la négociation des identités dans les littératures francophones et anglophones du Pacifique


Edited By Raylene Ramsay

Hitherto undiscovered yet fundamental historical and literary texts from the Pacific provide the subject matter of this collection of essays which sets out to explore the new forms of writing and hybrid identities emerging from both past and contemporary cultural contact and exchange in the ‘South Seas’.
This is also a weaving of the connections between Francophone and Anglophone writers long separated by colonial history. Luis Cardoso, writing in Portuguese from East Timor offers further points of contrast. The places of encounter – the beaches of Tahiti, the retelling of the texts of oral tradition, indigenous mastery of writing and appropriation of Western technology, the construction of contemporary Pacific anthologies or emerging post-colonial writing and translation – are sites of interaction and mixing that also involve negotiations of mana or power. From Pierre Loti’s mythical and feminised Tahitians to Déwé Gorodé’s silenced women, the outcomes of such negotiations are dynamic and different syncretisms. Two chapters reexamine the theoretical concept of hybridity from these Pacific perspectives.
Les articles publiés dans le présent recueil explorent les nouvelles formes d’écriture et les identités hybrides issues du creuset des Mers du Sud. Relativement inconnus, les textes au cœur de ces articles n’en sont pas moins les œuvres fondatrices de la région du Pacifique Sud dont ils constituent la trame historique et littéraire.
Longtemps tenus à l’écart les uns des autres par l’histoire coloniale de la région, les textes d’auteurs francophones et anglophones s’enchevêtrent et se recoupent en de multiples domaines. La reprise des textes de tradition orale, l’appropriation autochtone des technologies occidentales, la création d’anthologies contemporaines et l’émergence d’une littérature postcoloniale, sont autant de sites d’interactions et de convergence qui exigent une négociation permanente entre les pouvoirs et mana en présence.
C’est une nouvelle facette du concept d’hybridité que nous proposent ces études de la région Pacifique.


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Preface 9


Preface This collection of refereed essays developed out of a conference that took place at the University of Auckland in November 2008, entitled "Negotiating Identities in the Literatures of the Francophone and Anglophone Pacific / De la negociation des identites dans les litteratures francophones et anglophones du Pacifique". The bi-lingual meeting, which brought researchers from France, New Caledonia, French Poly- nesia, Australia and New Zealand together across the English-French divide was held in conjunction with the annual meeting of the CERC, the comparative literature research group, based at the Universite of Paris 3, where Professor Jean Bessiere is the current director. "Negotiat- ing Identities" owes a particular debt to the regional research groups working an the Pacific and represented by a number of contributors, to indigenous scholars based in Aoteoroa/New Zealand who offered their work and to The French Pacific Fund/Le Fonds Pacifique for the finan- cial assistance that enabled us to welcome a number of our overseas colleagues to Auckland. The sixteen researchers represented here and their different, original, and yet extraordinarily coherent contributions to an understanding of the construction of contemporary Pacific identities provide the 'breadth' and the unique 'breath' of this book which makes an original and signif- icant contribution to the emerging field of Oceanian literary studies. Well-deserved acknowledgement must also go to our 'blind' and thus (with apologies) unnamed, readers and to our excellent editorial assis- tance. Trudy Agar ably edited the chapters in English and Kevin Mend- ousse served with meticulous care as final...

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