Post Colonial Stories by Roger Dorsinville in the Shadow of Conrad’s Marlow

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This volume contains a critical edition of interconnected stories by the Haitian writer Roger Dorsinville. They unfold in the form of a journey from childhood in the Caribbean to old age in Africa, and in the circular form of initiation retrospectively understood as a key to masculine and feminine behavior in the Caribbean and Africa. The Introduction argues that these stories draw the reader’s attention to a Conradian link between narrative form and power tactics. A number of creative and critical texts are appended along with a selected bibliography.


“Dorsinville’s stories, indeed, fit in a literary lineage ushered by Joseph Conrad’s critique of colonial binaries that pit so-called mother countries against colonies, centers against margins, selves against othernesses. Updating Conrad, Dorsinville adds binarism in gender terms as a metaphor for power plays in many postcolonial societies of our time. . . . a major contribution to an understanding of diversity in the postcolonial world order. . . “ – Julien J. Lafontant

“. . . takes the reader through the postcolonial experience of a series of characters whose lives are set against the backdrop of Haiti, the United States, Brazil, and Africa. . . . Not only is sexual tension a powerful force in each story but sex and elusive love become metaphors for factors outside of the characters’ own power. These include class tensions, race relations, political turmoil, cultural fissure, and the passage of time.” – Sarah Schrank

Table of Contents

Table of contents:
Preface by Maryse Condé; Foreword; Introduction
Part One: The New World: The Tall Girl and the Little Boy; Youth I; Youth II; Melissa; O; Liana; Christine; Alma; Helen; Tea; Nesida
Part Two: The Old World: Jatou; Sarak; Ousmane and Martha; Alioune; Martha I; Meweh; Martha II; I Martha; Dark River
Appendices: To Celebrate the Earth, poem by Roger Dorsinville; “On Roger Dorsinville’s To Celebrate the Earth” article by René Philoctète; “History, Landscape and Desire in ‘Postcolonial Stories by Roger Dorsinville’ ” article by Sarah Schrank; “On Renaître à Dendé” article by Pierette and Gérard Chalendar; Excerpts from Jean Jonassaint’s Interview with Roger Dorsinville; “One Man’s Sande” article by George Lang; “Roger Dorsinville, the Reformer” commentary by Julien J. Lafontant; Bibliography

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