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  • Worldly Vernaculars in the Anglophone Caribbean

    Bo G. Ekelund

    Chapter from the book: Helgesson, S et al. 2018. World Literatures: Exploring the Cosmopolitan-Vernacular Exchange.


    Returning to the canonical opposition between Derek Walcott and Kamau Brathwaite as an illustration, this essay argues that the rendering of place is an indispensable category for studying the tensions between cosmopolitan and vernacular orientations, as instanced in the work of these poets. More particularly, different strategies are associated with distinct forms of claiming place, and vice versa. Both Walcott and Brathwaite can be seen as affirming the local – “the smaller place” – at the expense of the “larger world”, but they do so by means of their access to the distant places their poems register. The essay ends up holding up a full matrix engendering a rich set of possibilities: the smaller place may be claimed with cosmopolitan means or in the vernacular; the larger world may be invested with cosmopolitan expressivity or with vernacular forms.

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    How to cite this chapter
    Ekelund, B. 2018. Worldly Vernaculars in the Anglophone Caribbean. In: Helgesson, S et al (eds.), World Literatures. Stockholm: Stockholm University Press. DOI: https://doi.org/10.16993/bat.n

    This is an Open Access chapter distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 license (unless stated otherwise), which permits unrestricted use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. Copyright is retained by the author(s).

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    Additional Information

    Published on Nov. 22, 2018


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