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Brathwaite, Edward Kamau

GLYNE GRIFFITH

Subject Imperial, Colonial, and Postcolonial History » Postcolonial History

DOI: 10.1111/b.9781444334982.2016.x


Extract

In his foreword to the March/June 1980 issue of Caribbean Quarterly dedicated to the work of Kamau Brathwaite and Derek Walcott, Rex Nettleford writes: This issue of Caribbean Quarterly is in tribute to Derek Walcott and Edward Kamau Brathwaite, two of the most distinguished and challenging of our creative writers writing in the English-speaking Caribbean today. They belong to that generation of West Indians who have been able to write, publish and have their being without the pleasure of exile in the metropole. Nettleford's statement draws attention to the fact that a significant aspect of Brathwaite's creative formation is that it is home-grown. His work is, in many respects, reflective of his presence in the Caribbean and might be said to be thematically contextualized by the overarching idea of exile and return, a returning of the post-Columbian Caribbean person to selfhood, a figurative journeying of that exiled Caribbean self from its protracted wanderings in an epistemological wilderness, the product of a colonial history, to a discovery of the path home. But although rooted in the Caribbean and in his Caribbeanness, the young Kamau Brathwaite, too, sojourned abroad for a brief period before he discovered the path that would lead him, the archetypal colonial prodigal and prodigy, back home, in all senses of return, to his beloved Caribbean. Born Lawson Edward Brathwaite ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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