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Haiti and the United States: National Stereotypes and the Literary Imagination

 
 
 
 
Haiti and the United States: National Stereotypes and the Literary Imagination
Author: J. Michael Dash
ISBN 13: 9780312164904
ISBN 10: 312164904
Edition: 2nd ed. 1997
Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan
Publication Date: 1996-12-11
Format: Paperback
Pages: 182
List Price: $47.00
 
 

Imaginative literature, argues Michael Dash, does not merely reflect, but actively influences historical events. He demonstrates this by a close examination of the relations between Haiti and the United States through the imaginative literature of both countries. The West's mythification of Haiti is a strategy used to justify either ostracsim or domination, a process traced here from the nineteenth-century until it emerges with a voyeuristic fierceness in the 1960s.
In an effort to resist these stereogypes, Haitian literature becomes a subversive manoeuvre permitting Haitians to 'rewrite' themselves.The United States 'invente' Haiti as a land of savagery and mystery, a source of evil and shame. Weaving together text and historical context, Dash discusses the durability of lthese images which continue to shape official policy and popular attitudes today. For the second edition the final chapter has been expanded to take in recent events, including the US military intervention in 1994, and to show how these have influenced literary expression.