The Language of Landscape

A Lexicon of the Caribbean Spatial Imaginary

Authored by: Sarah Phillips Casteel

The Routledge Companion to Anglophone Caribbean Literature

Print publication date:  June  2011
Online publication date:  June  2011

Print ISBN: 9780415485777
eBook ISBN: 9780203830352
Adobe ISBN: 9781136821745


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Caribbean literature is at once notoriously difficult to locate and one of the literatures that most profoundly and provocatively complicates the idea of location itself. The unique character of a Caribbean sense of place derives from the radical ruptures of the Middle Passage, slavery and indentureship as well as the decimation of autochthonous populations. Simultaneously, in a phenomenon that the environmental historian Alfred Crosby (2004) terms ‘ecological imperialism’, the dislocations to which humans were subject under colonialism are echoed by the uprooting, circulation, and hybridization of plants (DeLoughrey et al. 2005). The displacements that pattern both the human and botanical landscapes of the Caribbean pose a profound challenge to the narratives of autochthony and fixed territorial origins that traditionally undergird claims to belonging.

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