Uniform Title'Taking up arms against a sea of troubles': tragedy as history and genre in the black radical tradition
NameGlick, Jeremy (author), Edwards, Brent (chair), McKeon, Michael (internal member), Diamond, Elin (internal member), Harries, Martin (outside member), Rutgers University, Graduate School - New Brunswick,
SubjectEnglish, Literatures in,
Literature--History and criticism,
Blacks in literature,
Radicalism in literature
DescriptionThis dissertation examines a sampling of twentieth century literature generated in and around the Haitian Revolution through the optic of tragedy. It examines the tension between leader and mass base during the revolutionary process in a sampling of Afro Caribbean, African American, and European modernist texts and how this tension relates to C.L.R. James's definition of hamartia (tragic flaw), as formulated in his 1938 study The Black Jacobins: Toussaint L'Ouverture and the San Domingo Revolution. James modifies Aristotle's understanding of hamartia in his Poetics to signify the degeneration of communication between leader and base in the making of modern day Haiti. The dramatic work and criticism of C.L.R. James, Eugene O'Neill, Paul Robeson, Edouard Glissant, and Lorraine Hansberry capitalize on this leader and base tension constitutive of Black radical aesthetic politics and attempt to stage a useful representation of the past in service of their individual political desires. This dissertation is in a dialog with David Scott's 2004 study Conscripts of Modernity: The Tragedy of Colonial Enlightenment, a text that argues that the tragic element of James's text was added into the latter version and worked to temper the study's earlier Romantic tone. This project asserts that a the tragic narrative existed in James all along and furthermore, that the tragic conceived as the relationship between leader and base is constitutive of a great deal of the literature in the Black radical tradition's effort to stage a past engagement with the Haitian revolution in service of a revolutionary future.
NoteIncludes bibliographical references (p. 197-209).
CollectionGraduate School - New Brunswick Electronic Theses and Dissertations
Organization NameRutgers, The State University of New Jersey
RightsThe author owns the copyright to this work.