The Role of Oraliture in Creation of the Literary Third Space: The Caribbean Case

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Agata Mrowinska


The Édouard Glissant’s unique analysis of the Caribbean cultures shows the way out of the Bhabhian postcolonial conflict as presented in the notion of the cultural Third Space. The rhizomatic rather than dualistic nature of the cultural phenomena introduces from below theoretical and functional equality of the spaces marked to this day by the economic and political forces of the former colonial empires.

It is the differentiation of the cultural sources and attentive, philosophical interpretation of all pieces constituting, as Walcott states, broken, then reassembled Caribbean vase, that presents the factual, dynamic image of a culture immerged in the global world, the Glissantian Tout-Monde. This image, reinforcing the ever-changing relations between the local and the global, gives back the power of creation in the hands of the artists, activists and people experiencing the reality of cultural métissage.

The literary aspect of the cultural Third Space presents itself as one of its most creative and interesting facets, enabling the relevation of multi-source Caribbean in all of its complexity. The postcolonial writer, the Glissantian errant (fr. erreur), reflects on the notion of literary writing influenced intertextually by the oral and written, echoing equally, but non univocally, in the works of Namba Roy, Black Albino (Jamaica) and Patrick Chamoiseau, Solibo Magnifique (Martinique). Using different linguistic, structural and intertextual methods in the recreation of the Caribbean totality and its cultural complexity, the authors give life to the difficult, conflictual, but functional synthesis of oral and written storytelling, transporting the valuable pieces of memory into the modern cultural landscape.

Published: Nov 14, 2022

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Colonial, Postcolonial, Decolonial and Neocolonial Experiences