Show Less

Transoceanic Dialogues

Coolitude in Caribbean and Indian Ocean Literatures


Veronique Bragard

At the point in time when the abolition of slavery was being celebrated, another system of servitude was underway: indentureship. Indenture labor resulted in the transportation of one million Indians – called coolies – into British and French colonies. Unable or unwilling to return, a great majority of them stayed in the countries they had been shipped to and participated in the creation of new, creole cultures.
This book offers a close reading of literary works in French and in English by women writers whose ancestors originally came to the Caribbean or across the Indian Ocean as indentured laborers. Positing a dynamic and open approach, the author adopts the concept of coolitude to examine how their works capture, on the one hand, the Indian element of the creolization process and, on the other hand, the creolization of the Indian diasporic inheritance.
Organized around the paradigm of the crossing – historical, geographical, gender-based, corporeal, identitary – this study offers insightful transoceanic, transregional and transcolonial dialogues between Caribbean and Indian Ocean literatures. Focusing on themes of displacement, entrapment, metamorphosis and marginalization, the author explores the entanglements and tensions that characterize creole pluricultural landscapes while she underscores Caribbean and Mauritian literature’s engagement with alterity.


Show Summary Details
Restricted access

CONCLUSION - Coolitude or the Crossing of Imaginaries 249


CONCLUSION Coolitude or the Crossing of Imaginaries Following the Mgritude movement, which sought to recover and as- sert the richness of black cultural values, Antillanite attempted to under- stand the Caribbean experience that exists beyond island boundaries. CrColitj seeks to reclaim creoleness and establish a literary identity specific to the Caribbean basin. Coolitude endeavors to challenge the figure of the coolie as much as validate coolie history and culture. It aims to take possession of an entangled past that other generations "had evaded as an area of shameful bondage"' as well as initiate cross- cultural dialogues within and among postcolonial regions. Coolitude, as Carter and Torabully argue, challenges "ethnically inclusive movements that have emerged to replace Mgritude,"2 ultimately foregrounding the plural composition of multicultural regions. Read againt this coolitude framework of interrogations that force a revisitation of the coolie past and culture while denouncing the paralyzing role of indianocentrism, the works under consideration reveal similar meanings. At the end of my analysis, it can arguably be put forward that the texts considered in this study participate in coolitude, a poetics and aesthetics of Relation. 1f coolitude leads some to connect it to another identity movement, the present study has, through the dose textual and comparative analysis of a large corpus, challenged this idea. In his preface to Torabully's Chair corail, fragments coolies, Raphaül Confiant peremptorily writes that coolitude brings in its indispensable stone to the edifice of Crjolitj.3 It is my contention that coolitude actively participates not...

You are not authenticated to view the full text of this chapter or article.

This site requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books or journals.

Do you have any questions? Contact us.

Or login to access all content.