Advertisement

The Rise of Caliban

  • Chantal Zabus

Abstract

If the writings of Mannoni, Sithole, Fanon, Césaire, Memmi, Lamming, and even Mason and James have outlined a Calibanic genealogy of critical postures toward Prospero, the rise of Caliban took place in literature. It is indeed a literary text, Shakespeare’s play, that started it all; Renan’s Caliban and its sequel are literary Ur-texts of sorts.

Keywords

Nation Language White Woman Slave Trade Gang Rape African Soil 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Notes

  1. 1.
    Peter Hulme, “The Profit of Language : George Lamming and the Post-colonial Novel,” in Jonathan White, ed. Recasting the World (Baltimore & London: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1993), p. 123.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Qtd Emile Snyder, “Aimé Césaire: the Reclaiming of the Land,” Exile and Tradition: Studies in Afican and Caribbean Literature (New York: Dalhousie University Press, 1976), p. 42.Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Qtd in L. S. Belhassen, “Un poète politique: Aimé Césaire,” Le Magazine littéraire 34 (Novembre 1969), 27–32. The play was published in 1968 in the 67th issue of Présence aficaine to be then reprinted by Seuil in 1969. See also Judith G. Miller, “Césaire and Serreau, une sorte de symbiose,” Cahiers césairiens (Spring 1974), 20–25.Google Scholar
  4. 6.
    For Schlegel, Ariel embodied Air whereas Caliban embodied Earth; for Thomas Mann, he is “the child of Air” in Doctor Faustus, trans. from the German by H. T. Lowe-Porter (New York: Vintage, 1971), p. 470. For a stage history of Ariel, see Christine Dymkowski, The Tempest: Shakespeare in Production (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2000). On the use of Ariel in Césaire and Edouard Glissant, seeGoogle Scholar
  5. Michael Dash, “Ariel’s Discourse: French Caribbean Writing After the Storm,” Journal of West Indian Literature 1:1 (October 1986), 49–58.Google Scholar
  6. 8.
    Roberto Fernandez Retamar, “Caliban: Notes Towards a Discussion of Culture in Our America,” trans. Lynn Garofola, David A. McMurray, Roberto Marquez, The Massachusetts Review (Winter-Spring 1974), 21–22. It first appeared in a special issue of Casa de las Américas, “Sobre Cultura y Revolution en la América Latina” 12:68 (September-October, 1971), 124–151. It was later re-issued as a book: Caliban. Apuntes sobre la cultura en uestra América (Mexico: Diogenes, 1971; 2nd ed. 1974), pp. 7, 30f, 77. Note that Casa de las Américas is Retamar’s literary organization, journal, and cultural center. For more detail on this enterprise, including a study of its ideological role in the Cuban Revolution and the conservative responses the revolution brought forth, see Judith A. Weiss’s Casa de Las Américas: An Intellectual Review in the Cuban Revolution (Chapel Hill, N.C.: Estudios Hispanophila, 1977).Google Scholar
  7. 9.
    Eric Cheyffitz, The Poetics of Imperialism: Translation and Colonization from The Tempest to Tarzan (New York: Oxford University Press, 1991), p. 43. My addition.Google Scholar
  8. 11.
    Louis E. Lomax, When the Word is Given ... (Cleveland & New York: The World Publishing Company, 1963), pp. 30–31. In this all-out rejection, one is reminded of the rebel in Césaire’s “Et les chiens se taisaient” (1970): “Mon nom: offensé;/ mon prénom: humilié;/ mon état: révolté;/ mon âge: l’âge de la pierre.” Earlier on, the acquisition of a new name was part of Césaire’s prophecy. After cursing his master, the persona of the poem lapses into the misty prophecy, where “bathe” “ma gueule/ ma révolte/ mon nom.” In “Et les chiens se taisaient” in Les Armes miraculeuses (Paris: Gallimard, 1970), p. 133 & p. 36.Google Scholar
  9. 12.
    Susan Bennett, Performing Nostalgia: Shifting Shakespeare and the Contemporary Past (London: Routledge, 1996), p. 137; Cohn, p. 308.Google Scholar
  10. 13.
    Paule Marshall, “Brazil” in Soul Clap Hands and Sing, with an introduction by Darwin T Turner (Washington, D.C.: Howard University Press, 1988), p. 134.Google Scholar
  11. 14.
    Jan Kott, Shakespeare Our Contemporary (1967), trans. Boleslaw Taborski, Preface Peter Brook (London: Routledge, 1988), p. 310.Google Scholar
  12. 17.
    Marta E. Sanchez, “Caliban: the New Latin-American Protagonist of The Tempest,” Diacritics 6 (Spring 1976), 54–61, 54. See also Nadia Lee, “Countering Caliban: Fernandez Retamar and the Postcolonial Debate,” trans. Liesbeth Heyvaert, in Nadia Lie & Theo D’Haen, eds., Constellation Caliban: Figurations of a Character (Amsterdam & Atlanta: Rodopi, 1997), pp. 245–270.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 21.
    In Jorge I. Dominguez, “Responses to Occupations by the United States: Calibans Dilemma,” Pacific Historical Review 48 (1979), 592, 602 & 605.Google Scholar
  14. 23.
    Philip Mason, Prospero’s Magic (London: Oxford University Press, 1962), pp. 88–89.Google Scholar
  15. 30.
    See, for example, Margaret Croyden, “Peter Brook’s Tempest,” The Drama Review 3 (1968–69), 125–128.Google Scholar
  16. 33.
    Robert Adams, Shakespeare. The Four Romances (New York: W.W. Norton Company, 1989), p. 154. See alsoGoogle Scholar
  17. S. Belhassen, “Aimé Césaire’s A Tempest,” in Lee Baxandall, ed., Radical Perspectives in the Arts (Harmondsworth: Pelican, 1972), p. 177 & p. 174.Google Scholar
  18. 34.
    See Henry Louis Gates, Jr., “The Blackness of Blackness: A Critique of the Sign and the Signifying Monkey,” Black Literature and Literary Theory, ed. Henry Louis Gates, Jr. (New York: Methuen, 1984), passim. Google Scholar
  19. 35.
    See Luisah Teish, Jambalaya: the Natural Woman’s Books of Personal Charms and Practical Rituals (San Francisco: Harper, 1985), p. 112.Google Scholar
  20. 36.
    Sue-Ellen Case, “Toward a Butch-Femme Aesthetic,” in Making a Spectacle: Feminist Essays on Contemporary Women’s Theater (Ann Arbor: The University of Michigan Press, 1989), p. 287.Google Scholar
  21. 38.
    Leslie A. Fielder, The Stranger in Shakespeare (New York: Stein & Day, 1972), p. 242.Google Scholar
  22. 40.
    José David Saldivar, Dialectics of Our America: Genealogy, Cultural Critique and Literary History (Durham & London: Duke University Press, 1991), p. 123.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. 42.
    Edward Kamau Brathwaite, “Wings of a Dove” from “The Spades” in Rights of Passage (London: Oxford University Press, 1967), p. 42.Google Scholar
  24. 43.
    Edward Kamau Brathwaite, “Caliban” from “Limbo” in Islands (London: Oxford University Press, 1969), p. 35.Google Scholar
  25. 44.
    Peter Stallybrass & Allan White, The Politics and Poetics of Transgression (London: Methuen, 1986), p. 8.Google Scholar
  26. 46.
    Edward Kamau Brathwaite, The Arrivants: A New World Trilogy (London: Oxford University Press, 1967), p. 271 (Glossary).Google Scholar
  27. 47.
    Edward Kamau Brathwaite, “The Making of the Drum” from “Libation” in Masks (London: Oxford University Press, 1968), p. 7.Google Scholar
  28. 51.
    Edward Kamau Brathwaite, “Caliban, Ariel and Unprospero in the Conflict of Creolisation: a Study of the Slave Revolt in Jamaica in 1831–32,” in Comparative Perspectives on Slavery in New World Plantation Societies, eds. Vera Rubin and Arthur Tuden (New York: New York Academy of Sciences, 1977), pp. 41–62, p. 9 & p. 44. It follows Brathwaite’s argument in his Sussex Ph. D. dissertation, “The Development of Creole Society in Jamaica 1770–1820,” which was published in 1971.Google Scholar
  29. 54.
    Edward Kamau Brathwaite, X/Self (London: Oxford University Press, 1987), p. 116.Google Scholar
  30. 57.
    Wilson Harris, “A Talk on the Subjective Imagination,” in Explorations (Mundelstrup: Dangaroo, 1981), pp. 57–67.Google Scholar
  31. 60.
    Edward Kamau Brathwaite, History of the Voice: the Development of Nation Language in Anglophone Caribbean Poetry (London & Port of Spain: New Beacon Books, 1984; rpt. 1995), p. 13. Also rpt inGoogle Scholar
  32. E. K. Brathwaite, Roots (Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 1993), pp. 259–304; subtitled “An Electronic Lecture.” This talk was first delivered at Harvard University in late August 1979.Google Scholar
  33. 62.
    Edouard Glissant, Le Discours antillais (Paris: Seuil, 1981), p. 182; andGoogle Scholar
  34. Jean Bernabé, Patrick Chamoiseau, Raphaël Confiant, Eloge de la Créolité (Paris: Gallimard, 1989), p. 13.Google Scholar
  35. 63.
    Brathwaite, History of the Voice, p. 17. On the politics of “noise,” see Carolyn Cooper, Noises in the Blood: Orality, Gender and the “Vulgar” Body of Jamaican Popular Culture (Warwick University Caribbean Studies: Macmillan Caribbean, 1993). Note that Cooper derives her title from Vic Reid’s “noise in the blood” in Nanny Town. Google Scholar
  36. 64.
    “Dub” (from “to double”) or “performance-poetry” originated in Jamaica and emerged out of reggae culture. Many dub poets are professed Rastafarians. Yet, the term “dub poetry” was coined by the least affiliated with Rastafari and the most distrustful of the “Haile Selassie thing,” Linton Kwesi Johnson, a.k.a. LKJ, to describe the musical talk-over of the reggae DJs or “toasters” or MCs of the 1970s, which led to North American rap. Dub poets include Miss Lou, Mutabaruka, Oku Onuora, Mikey Smith, Jean Binta Breeze, and the Trinidadian sister to dub, Brother Resistances “rapso” as well as the international dub movement based mainly in Kingston, London (e.g., Benjamin Zephaniah) and Toronto (e.g., Lillian Allen), not to mention Canadian Red Indians. See Christian Habekost, Verbal Riddim: the Politics and Aesthetics of Afican-Caribbean Dub Poetry (Amsterdam & Atlanta: Rodopi, 1993), pp. 15–89. The difference between “sound-poetry” and Brathwaite’s poetry in “nation language” is that he dispenses with musical instruments although he has likened his idiosyncratic use of English to the “blues.” Performance, to Brathwaite, lies in the enunciation and one could see his texts as “scripts for performance.” SeeGoogle Scholar
  37. Stewart Brown, “‘Writin in Light’: Orality-Thru-Typography, Kamau Brathwaite’s Sycorax Video Style,” in The Pressures of the Text: Orality, Texts and the Telling of Tales, ed. Stewart Brown (Birmingham: Centre of West African Studies, 1995—African Studies #4), pp. 125–136, p.134.Google Scholar
  38. 65.
    See F. G. Cassidy and Robert B. Lepage, eds. Dictionary of Jamaican English (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1967) (2nd ed., 1980).Google Scholar
  39. 66.
    Edward Kamau Brathwaite, “Hex” in Mother Poem (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1977) p. 47.Google Scholar
  40. 68.
    Edward Kamau Brathwaite, Folk Culture of the Slaves in Jamaica (London: New Beacon Books, 1970), p. 39. See also Brathwaite’s definition of nam in “Caliban, Ariel, Unprospero,” p. 44.Google Scholar
  41. 70.
    Janheinz Jahn, Muntu: the New African Culture (London: Faber, 1961), p. 214.Google Scholar
  42. 71.
    Marcel Griaule, Conversations with Ogotommêli (1965) (New York: Oxford University Press, 1975), p. 26, pp. 138–139.Google Scholar
  43. 73.
    W. H. Auden, “In Praise of Limestone” in Collected Poems, ed. Edward Mendelson (London: Faber & Faber, 1976), p. 414.Google Scholar
  44. 74.
    Among the Caribbean writers who have explored the paradox of “stone” as a symbol for the Caribbean predicament, Louis James mentions Wilson Harris (in Tumatumari), E. M. Roach (in Flowering Rock) and George Lamming (in “The Black Rock of Africa” [Afican Forum114 (1966), 32–35]. In Louis James, “The Poet as Seer: Kamau Brathwaite,” in Caribbean Literature in English (London & New York: Longman, 1999), pp. 185–191.Google Scholar
  45. 75.
    Edward Kamau Brathwaite, “An Alternative View of Caribbean History,” in The Colonial Encounter. Language (Power Above Power 7) (University of Mysore: Center for Commonwealth Literature and Research, 1984), pp. 44–45.Google Scholar
  46. 78.
    Sue Thomas, “Sexual Politics in Edward Brathwaite’s Mother Poem,” Kunapipi 9:1 (1987), 36.Google Scholar
  47. 80.
    Edward Kamau Brathwaite, Middle Passages (Newcastle upon Tyne: Bloodaxe Books, 1992), p. 83. See Stewart Brown, p. 131. More generally on Jazz, seeGoogle Scholar
  48. Edward Kamau Brathwaite, “Jazz and the West Indian Novel,” Bim 44 (1967), 276–277; andGoogle Scholar
  49. Louis James, “Brathwaite and Jazz” in The Art of Kamau Brathwaite, ed. Stewart Brown (Wales: Poetry Wales Press, 1995), pp. 66–74.Google Scholar
  50. 82.
    Edward Kamau Brathwaite, “Caribbean Culture: Two Paradigms” in Jürgen Martini, ed. Missile and Capsule (Bremen: University of Bremen, 1983), 9–54.Google Scholar
  51. 84.
    I owe this insight to Stewart Brown who in turn borrowed the term “typographic foregrounding” from the linguist Willie van Peer, “Typographic Foregrounding,” in Language and Literature 2:1 (1993), 49–59.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. 86.
    See, e.g., Anne Walmsley, “Her Stem Singing: Kamau Brathwaite’s Zea-Mexican Diary,” World Literature Today 68 (1994), 747.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. 91.
    George Kent, “A Conversation with George Lamming,” Black World 22 (March 1973), 4–14, 88–97, 91.Google Scholar
  54. 92.
    In Derek Walcott, “The Figure of Crusoe” (1965) in Robert D. Hamner, ed. & compl., Critical Perspectives on Derek Walcott (Washington: Three Continents Press, 1993), pp. 33–40, p. 36. For the differences between Lamming and Walcott, who uses the Crusoe-Friday rather than the Prospero-Caliban paradigm, seeGoogle Scholar
  55. Patrick Taylor, “The Liberation of Narrative,” in The Narrative of Liberation: Perspectives on Afo-Caribbean Literature, Popular Culture and Politics (Ithaca & London: Cornell University Press, 1989), pp. 183–227; andGoogle Scholar
  56. Louis James, “From Crusoe to Omeros: Derek Walcott,” in Caribbean Literature in English (London & New York: Longman, 1999), pp. 179–184.Google Scholar
  57. 99.
    Anne Skura, “Discourse and the Individual: The Case of Colonialism in The Tempest,” Shakespeare Quarterly 40 (1989), 42–69, 50.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  58. 100.
    See Helen Tiffin, “Rites of Resistance: Counterdiscourse and West Indian Autobiography,” Journal of West Indian Literature 3:1 (January 1989), 28–46, 31.Google Scholar
  59. 103.
    George E. Kent, “A Conversation with George Lamming,” Black World 22:5 (March 1973), 89.Google Scholar
  60. 105.
    Catharine R. Stimpson, “Shakespeare and the Soil of Rape,” (1980), rpt in Where the Meanings Are (New York & London: Methuen, 1988), p. 77 & p. 82.Google Scholar
  61. 106.
    George Lamming, In the Castle of My Skin (London: Michael Joseph, 1953), p. 172.Google Scholar
  62. 107.
    George Lamming, Water with Berries (London: Longman, 1971), p. 76. Hereafter page numbers are indicated in the text. All italics are mine unless otherwise indicated.Google Scholar
  63. 109.
    Tom Stoppard, Night and Day (New York: Grove Press, 1979), p. 142.Google Scholar
  64. 113.
    Helen Tiffin, “The Tyranny of History: George Lamming’s Natives of My Person and Water with Berries,” Ariel 10 (1979), 37–52, 46.Google Scholar
  65. 114.
    Ania Loomba, Gender, Race, Renaissance Drama (Manchester & New York: Manchester University Press, 1989), p. 148.Google Scholar
  66. 117.
    George Lamming, “The West Indian People,” New World Quarterly 2:2 (1966), 63–74, 64–65. Qtd in Paquet, p. xiii.Google Scholar
  67. 119.
    Patrick Taylor, p. 209. See also Derek Walcott, Dream on Monkey Mountain (New York: Farrar, Strauss and Giroux, 1970); andGoogle Scholar
  68. Houston A. Baker, Jr., “Conjure and the Space of Black Women’s Creativity,” in Workings of the Spirit (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1991), esp. p. 74. Nair calls Lamming’s “ceremony of the Souls” “an emancipatory project” in Supriya Nair, Caliban’s Curse: George Lamming and the Revisioning of History (Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 1996), p. 117.Google Scholar
  69. 120.
    Luisah Teish, “Women’s Spirituality: A Household Set” in Barbara Smith, ed., Home Girls: A Black Feminist Anthology (New York: Kitchen Table Press/Women of Color Press, 1983), p. 342. Teish is here referring toGoogle Scholar
  70. Zora Neale Hurston, Mules and Men (1935); preface Franz Boas, intro. Robert E. Hemenway (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1963), p. 193.Google Scholar
  71. 123.
    Laura E. Donaldson, “The Miranda Complex: Colonialism and the Question of Feminist Reading,” Diacritics 18:3 (1988), 65–77, 70. Rpt in somewhat different form inCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  72. Laura E. Donaldson, Decolonizing Feminisms (London: Routledge, 1993), pp. 13–32.Google Scholar
  73. 124.
    Stephen Orgel, “Shakespeare and the Cannibals” in Cannibals, Witches and Divorce: Estranging the Renaissance, ed. Marjorie Garber (Baltimore & London: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1987), p. 55.Google Scholar
  74. 125.
    The phrase “geographies of pain” is lifted from Françoise Lionnet, “Geographies of Pain: Captive Bodies and Violent Acts in Myriam Warner-Vieyra, Gayl Jones, and Bessie Head,” in Postcolonial Representations: Women, Literature, Identity (Ithaca and London: Cornell University Press, 1995), pp. 101–129. Originally published in Callaloo 16 (1993), 132–152. See Elaine Scarry’s excellent chapter “The Structure of Torture: the Conversion of Real Pain into the Fiction of Power,” The Body in Pain: the Making and the Unmaking of the World (New York: Oxford University Press, 1985), pp. 27–59.Google Scholar
  75. 126.
    Kenneth W. Harrow, Thresholds of Change: The Emergence of a Tradition (London: Heinemann & James Currey, 1994), p. 184. The reference is to Yambo Ouologuem, Bound to Violence (London: Heinemann, 1971).Google Scholar
  76. 127.
    See Stephen Orgel, “Prospero’s Wife,” in Margaret W. Ferguson, Maureen Quilligan, & Nancy J. Vickers, eds., Rewriting the Renaissance: The Discourses of Sexual Difference in Early Modern Europe (Chicago & London: University of Chicago Press, 1986), pp. 50–64. Also in Representations 8 (Fall 1984), 1–13. Peter Hulme has extended Orgel’s conjectures, which apply to The Tempest, to Water with Berries in “Profit of Language,” p. 128.Google Scholar
  77. 129.
    Lorrie Jerrell Leininger, “The Miranda Trap: Sexism and Racism in Shakespeare’s The Tempest,” in The Woman’s Part: Feminist Criticism of Shakespeare, ed. Carolyn Ruth Swift Lence, Gayle Greene, & Carol Thomas Neely (Chicago: University of Illinois Press, 1980), p. 289.Google Scholar
  78. 131.
    David Marriott, “Bordering On: the Black Penis,” Textual Practice 10:1 (1996), 19.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  79. 132.
    Qtd in Angela Davis, Women, Race and Class (London: Women’s Press, 1982), p. 197.Google Scholar
  80. 135.
    Jenny Sharpe, “The Unspeakable Limits of Rape: Colonial Violence and Counter-Insurgency,” Genders 10 (Spring 1991), 42 & 25.Google Scholar
  81. 136.
    On the larger issue of rape, see, for example, Elizabeth Hardwick, Seduction and Betrayal (New York: Vintage, 1975);Google Scholar
  82. Jane Gallop, The Daughter’s Seduction (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1982);Google Scholar
  83. Ellen Rooney, “Criticism and the Subject of Sexual Violence,” Modern Language Notes (Dec. 1983), 98:5, 1269–1278;Google Scholar
  84. Lynn A. Higgins & Brenda R. Silver, Rape and Representation (New York: Columbia University Press, 1991); andGoogle Scholar
  85. Susan Brownmiller, Against Our Will: Men, Women and Rape (London: Secker & Warburg, 1975; rpt Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1977).Google Scholar
  86. 137.
    George Lamming, The Emigrants (London: Michael Joseph, 1954), p. 52. For useful synopses of Lamming’s novels, seeGoogle Scholar
  87. Margaret Paul Joseph, “The Tormented Spirit: George Lamming and the Tragic Sense of Life” in Caliban in Exile: the Outsider in Caribbean Fiction (Westport, Conn.: Greenwood Press, 1992), pp. 51–83. On Water with Berries specifically, seeGoogle Scholar
  88. Sandra Pouchet Paquet, The Novels of George Lamming (London: Heinemann, 1982), pp. 83–100.Google Scholar
  89. 139.
    David Dabydeen, Coolie Odyssey (Coventry & London: Hansib & Dangaroo, 1988), p. 31.Google Scholar
  90. 140.
    Wolfgang Binder, “David Dabydeen,” Journal of West Indian Literature 3:2 (September 1989), 78–79, 78 & 79.Google Scholar
  91. 141.
    For Gordimer’s account of this theme in South African fiction, see “The Novel and the Nation in South Africa,” in African Writers on African Writing, ed. G. D. Killam (London: Heinemann, 1973), pp. 33–52. Qtd in Susan M. Greenstein, “Miranda’s Story: Nadine Gordimer and the Literature of Empire,” Novel: A Forum on Fiction 18:3 (Spring 1985), 233. See also Jane Wilkinson, “Daughters and Fathers, Masters and Slaves: Hegelian Tempests from South Africa” in her illuminating Remembering “The Tempest” (Rome: Bulzoni Editore, 1999), 77–98. Wilkinson reads J. M. Coetzee’s Foe (1986) in Tempest-terms, whereas, to me, Coetzee uses the Crusoe-Friday paradigm, which he complicates with Susan Barton’s “feminist” discourse.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  92. 142.
    David Dabydeen, Disappearance (London: Martin Secker & Warburg, 1993), p. 76.Google Scholar
  93. 143.
    Ramabai Espinet, “An Ageable Woman,” Nuclear Seasons (Toronto: Sister Vision Press, 1991), p. 81.Google Scholar
  94. 144.
    Margery Fee, “Resistance and Complicity in David Dabydeen’s The IntendedAriel 24: 1 (1993), 110.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Chantal Zabus 2002

Authors and Affiliations

  • Chantal Zabus

There are no affiliations available

Personalised recommendations