• History Without Memory: The Memorialization of the Parsley Massacre in Edwidge Danticat’s The Farming of Bones

    Author(s):
    Sara Santos (see profile)
    Date:
    2018
    Group(s):
    Humanities Commons Summer Camp, Postcolonial Studies
    Subject(s):
    Collective memory, Literature and environment, Postcolonial ecocriticism, Postcolonial literature, Trauma
    Item Type:
    Conference paper
    Conf. Title:
    American Literature Association (ALA)
    Conf. Loc.:
    San Francisco, CA
    Conf. Date:
    May 24-27
    Tag(s):
    ecological imperialism, geopolitics, slow violence
    Permanent URL:
    http://dx.doi.org/10.17613/M6HD7NS0R
    Abstract:
    This paper argues that in The Farming of Bones, Edwidge Danticat seeks to historicize and memorialize the Parsley Massacre through the reframing of the historical event through Amabelle Désir’s fictional account. Through the conflation of historical artifact and literary imagination, the novel narrates, and therefore produces, a collective memoir that exposes the Parsley Massacre from the perspective of the silenced Haitian. Amabelle’s discourse, in its conflation of individual and collective experience, fact and literary artifice, to historicize the colonial (hi)story of the Haitian people, opens up a space for fiction to function as a mode of voicing marginalized post/colonial discourses. This paper also looks closely at the role of the natural landscape in the process of occlusion/uncovering of colonial histories: I argue that the Dominican landscape works as witness to the violence perpetrated against the Haitians, in this way precluding its erasure. Particularly, the cane fields and the Massacre River appear as spaces that resist the forgetting of individual and collective experience, working to fix the Parsley Massacre in space and time through its historical and literary narrativization.
    Metadata:
    Status:
    Published
    Last Updated:
    5 months ago
    License:
    Attribution-NonCommercial
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