Derek Walcott by Edward Baugh

By Edward Baugh

Nobel Laureate Derek Walcott is among the Caribbean's most renowned writers. His precise voice in poetry, drama and feedback is formed by way of his place on the crossroads among Caribbean, British and American tradition and by means of his curiosity in hybrid identities and diaspora. Edward Baugh's Derek Walcott analyses and evaluates Walcott's whole profession during the last fifty years. Baugh courses the reader in the course of the continuities and modifications of subject matter and elegance in Walcott's poems and performs. Walcott is an avowedly Caribbean author, acutely aware of his tradition and colonial background, yet he has additionally made an enduring contribution to the best way we learn and price the western literary culture. This entire survey considers each one of Walcott's released books, providing the main updated advisor to be had for college students, students and readers of Walcott. scholars of Caribbean and postcolonial reports will locate this an ideal advent to this significant author.

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In its valorizing of hybridity and miscegenation, it signals Walcott’s antipathy to any kind of racial, ethnic or cultural purism. 17 When Walcott says that to Froude ‘the history of the Antilles was . . genetically corrupt’ (WTS, 76), ‘genetically’ may easily be read as being only metaphorical. But the possible literal exactness of the term should not be ignored, the inevitable link in the mind of someone like Froude between the lack of ‘achievement’ and the fact of miscegenation. What Froude and Long see as genetic degeneration, biologically and culturally, Walcott rereads as a dynamic cultural freshness and energy in the interplay of fragmented racial and ethnic identities.

Walcott’s revelling in English ‘is not a matter of trying to be English. I am obviously a Caribbean poet’ (CDW, 109). Walcott, writing and the Caribbean: issues and directions 27 On occasion, some Caribbean feature which he affirms will itself, ironically, turn out by his own argument to be identifiable with some non-Caribbean feature: And yet, behind it all [literary high-soundingness], I have a strong sense of structure, which is an English thing, because I live with a structured, formal public kind of expression in Calypso.

Second, they are ruled By an aristocracy of bank clerks. Are extremely productive, yet consider Their marriage statistics. A desperation of spinsters. (EY, 10) ‘Burden’ carries an appropriately ironic echo of ‘the white man’s burden’. A different kind of irony is generated by the equation between shedding racial pride and marrying well, an irony sharpened by the detached tone of ‘the racial pride’ as against ‘racial pride’. ‘A desperation of spinsters’ is a deft, economical gloss on ‘marriage statistics’, its gender bias reflecting the values of the society being depicted.

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