Ah Noh Musik Dat: Speech in the Discourse of Nationalism

  • Mark McMorris


After being away from Jamaica for a decade, one morning I woke up and heard two workmen talking. The windows had grillwork; the sun came into the living room, which was bright. The sound of men talking came from behind the wall. These were the class of men who do the heavy work of construction, pouring concrete, fixing cinderblocks, making drainage ditches. I think they were speaking of dancehall and Yellowman. The talk went on. The sounds rose and fell, the pace slowed, the voices spoke in sequence and together, a dialogue that was amplified and at the same time too remote for me to make out. Meaning was hidden behind the wall. “Dialogue recovered its place, which had long stood empty. It resurfaced suddenly, on its own,” Edmond Jabès writes.1


National Culture Baleful Fascination Common Speech Frantz Fanon Poetry Reading 
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© Carrie Noland and Barrett Watten 2009

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  • Mark McMorris

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