Representing the Haitian diaspora in Russell Banks’s Continental Drift, from Port-de-Paix to Little Haiti: a celebration of the margins - Archive ouverte HAL Accéder directement au contenu
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Representing the Haitian diaspora in Russell Banks’s Continental Drift, from Port-de-Paix to Little Haiti: a celebration of the margins

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Résumé

Russell Banks’s 1985 novel Continental Drift tells the intertwined stories of Bob Dubois, a white American man who decides to try his luck in Florida, and the Haitian Vanise Dorsinville, who is forced to leave her island with her son and her nephew to flee Jean-Claude Duvalier’s dictatorial presidency. In this paper, I study how, in the chapters dedicated to the Haitian diaspora, Banks chooses to adopt an ex-centric point of view to give a voice to those whose history and culture have largely been ignored by American society and literature. Vanise is a figure of in-betweenness, caught between Haiti and the United States, between land and ocean, and even between life and death, whose zombification metonymically represents the plight of the whole Haitian community abroad. Her exodus is foregrounded in the novel thanks to a generic hybridity partly inspired by voodoo.
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Dates et versions

hal-03282233 , version 1 (08-07-2021)

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  • HAL Id : hal-03282233 , version 1

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Marine Paquereau. Representing the Haitian diaspora in Russell Banks’s Continental Drift, from Port-de-Paix to Little Haiti: a celebration of the margins. De l’invisibilité à la visibilité : représentations des marges diasporiques, Université Jean Monnet Saint-Étienne, May 2021, Saint-Etienne, France. ⟨hal-03282233⟩

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