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Latin American and Caribbean Writers

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Former colonies find themselves questioning the validity of the colonial leftovers. Interestingly, some look at the era with a sense of fascination and appreciation. This might be partly due to that exposure to literary texts and accounts that propagate and applaud the colonial legacy. The western identity is portrayed as mannered, rational, and righteous. Equally important, For others, that era was simply a buried facet of history hence, they should draw a line on it, steer clear, and move on. Conversely, Post-colonial writers believe that it is high time they reconsidered that era from their perspective by producing an explosion of literary accounts that voice their concerns. This essay will examine the concept of writing back in modern literature, and how these texts try to represent the margin and the center on equal basis. Furthermore, the essay will shed light on how these texts present some fictitious yet revealing events.

Latin American and Caribbean writers have found themselves compelled to seek responses to the legacy of colonialism. Pushed by their need to establish themselves as an autonomous existence, writers such as Alejo Carpentier and Jane Rhys seek to revisit and reconstruct the Western's historical accounts vis-à-vis the local inhabitants. Interestingly, those writers try to rewrite the historical narrative in a fictitious way. Rather than directly denying the western version of history , they choose fiction to as a means to delivering their message. One controversial issue that has long been a historical mania is that of the legacy of Christopher Columbus. Carpentier's novel The Harp and The Shadow is one of the modern literary works that has challenged this myth. The deconstruction of this account lies in the events the novel presents. The book opens with Pope Pius IX attempting to initialize the process of making Columbus a saint by depicting him as an epic hero . However ,the resurrection of the myth turns out to be of political motives rather than paying tribute to the man , this is ' The Ideal, the perfect way to join together the Christian faithful of the old and new worlds--as an antidote to the venomous philosophical ideas that had taken too firm a hold in America'( Carpentier 28). Conversely, as we move on to the second part , the pope is put in a bad situation as Christopher Columbus himself is trying to put the reader in the picture , uncovering the truth to us , but no to the priest:

My ambition forced me to keep my knowledge secret. So I could not reveal the truth. And since I had to keep it quiet, I got caught in such a web of fabulous stories that only in my full confession can I finally disentangle them and reveal to the astonished Franciscan who hears it that--with my mind always inflamed with the same thoughts; pursued night and day by the same idea ( Carpentier 55).

As a matter of fact, it's the author who is putting himself in Columbus' shoes



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