Carla Sassi deposited Sir Walter Scott and the Caribbean: Unravelling the Silences on MLA Commons 2 weeks, 2 days ago
My essay interrogates the striking silences in Scott’s oeuvre in relation to Scotland’s involvement as a partner of the British Empire in the colonization of the Caribbean and in the exploitation of slavery in this region. By drawing from narratological theories (especially those articulated by Robyn R. Warhol and Ruth Rosaler), I treat Scott’s silences as examples of ‘implicature’ — a ‘conspicuous silence’, which acquires and generates meaning through the interaction of text and context, and represents a form of communication in its own right. Through a discussion of samples from his Letters, Tales of a Grandfather, Rokeby, Rob Roy, The Antiquary and Heart of Midlothian I try to identify the invisible maps of meaning of the unsaid and ‘unnarrated’. While suggesting that this approach allows us to articulate a more nuanced perspective on Scott and Scottish-Caribbean relations, I also claim that it allows us to critically rethink the problems and possibilities of engaging with Caribbean slavery in British and other European nineteenth-century fiction.