By Odile Ferly (auth.)
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Extra resources for A Poetics of Relation: Caribbean Women Writing at the Millennium
Rosario Ferré likewise seeks to undermine the image of the sensual mulata in “Cuando las mujeres aman a los hombres” (Papeles de Pandora, 1976) by conflating a white, upper-class widow with her mulatto homonym, a prostitute who was her late husband’s mistress. 15 In Gisèle Pineau’s L’espérancemacadam and García Calzada’s Minimal son (and in Garcia, too), the mother’s strength is disclosed as more apparent than real, a point that is made later. Many women writers have also sought to dismantle the representation of the Caribbean and Africa as motherlands.
For instance, the racial characterization noted by Daryl Cumber Dance is partly reproduced in Maryse Condé’s Traversée de la mangrove (1989): the black Man Sonson is motherly, the mixed-race Mira sensual, and the Indo-Caribbeans Rosa and Vilma are submissive. However, stereotyping is redeemed in the novel through psychological depth and complexity. Rosario Ferré likewise seeks to undermine the image of the sensual mulata in “Cuando las mujeres aman a los hombres” (Papeles de Pandora, 1976) by conflating a white, upper-class widow with her mulatto homonym, a prostitute who was her late husband’s mistress.
Yet it is Glawdys, with her beauty, pride, independence, and disregard for social norms and public opinion, who incarnates defiance in the novel. Glawdys’s ruthless infanticide eliminates the last obstacle to her absolute freedom. A solitary nomad with no family or geographic ties, she manages to escape financial and emotional dependence as well as male oppression. Nevertheless, her path to liberation is hardly exemplary. Minimal son too depicts an increasing awareness along generations. Unlike Luisa, driven to madness by lifelong mistreatment, Emilia and Elsa rebel in middle age, and Ángela and Sandra are much quicker in reaching emancipation and personal growth.
A Poetics of Relation: Caribbean Women Writing at the Millennium by Odile Ferly (auth.)