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The Negotiated Self

The Dynamics of Identity in Francophone Caribbean Narrative


Anne Malena

Using a multifaceted approach, this study explores questions of identity in novels by Dany Bébel-Gisler, Maryse Condé, and Emile Ollivier. As signs, narrators and characters are connected to each other dialogically and produce multilayered narratives that problematize the concept of a cohesive and static collective identity. In revealing identity to be a constantly fluctuating semiotic process, the study shows that Caribbean Francophone narrative is creating a new literary space where the dialogic underpinnings of the self are called upon to express the difficulties, the heterogeneity, and the opacity of meaning associated with any definition of a cultural or national identity.