Inter/Transbiotic Memory Traces, Transculturation, and Decolonization in Inter-American Literature

Roland Walter (Universidade Federal de Pernambuco, Recife)


By linking ecological and postcolonial issues as a theoretical approach to an analysis of literature, this essay’s starting point is that there is an existential link between humans and nature/landscape, outer and inner landscape. Furthermore, one of the principal themes in inter-American literatures is the conquest, exploitation and destruction of nature/landscape as well as its resurrection as locus amoenus, an immaculate Edenic sanctuary or El Dorado. Thus, nature in the literatures of the American continent symbolizes a temporal, spatial, and cultural in-betweenness characterized by the brutalization of space and people rooted in the past and disseminated in the present in rhizomic ways. It externalizes the spectral feature of inherent, repressed forms of violence that return in response to disavowal and make their presence felt at the levels of lived experience, imagination and enunciation—forms which together constitute the political, cultural and ecological unconscious of the inter-American experience. The objective of this essay is to analyze the mnemonic process that translates this double brutalization in creative works by Margaret Atwood (Canada), Linda Hogan (United States), Orlando Romero (United States), Toni Morrison (United States), Patrick Chamoiseau (Martinique), and Manoel de Barros (Brazil).

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