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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

Series:

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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Memories, Myths and Metissage as Meansof Negotiating Identity in Helene Savoie'sLes terres de la demi-lune 181

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Memories, Myths and Metissage as Means of Negotiating Identity in Helene Savoie's Les terres de la demi-lune Karin SPEEDY Macquarie University The concept of "crossings" is central to New Caledonian writer Helene Savoie's approach to negotiating identity in Les terres de la demi-lune. Concerned with establishing a distinctly Pacific Francophone voice, Savoie incorporates themes of physical (sea), biological and cultural crossings into her narrative. These crossings form part of the collective experience and memories of the descendants of the European immigrants (free and forced) who settled in New Caledonia in the 19th century. More importantly, through the depiction of spiritual and metaphysical crossings in which she draws on the mythologies of both Kanak and European cultures, Savoie demonstrates the extent to which Caledonien identity for her is hybrid and inextricably linked to its post- colonial Oceanic context. Imbued with the history, memories, myths and legends of New Cale- donia's peoples, Helene Savoie's stories in Les terres de la demi-lune attest to her Pacific identity and as such are necessarily hybrid.' Savoie uses memories (individual, familial, collective and shared) to write stories that are personal and yet, in many ways, universal to the Franco- Helene Savoie, descendant of Clovis Savoie, New Caledonia's first historian, was born in Noumea. Savoie graduated with a PhD from the University of Geneva, writ- ing a doctoral thesis on the "imaginary" in Kanak mythology. She subsequently stud- ied at the prestigious Ecole Nationale Superieure des Bibliotheques and qualified as a Chief Librarian. In New Caledonia, Savoie...

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