Creolization and the collective unconscious: locating the originality of art in Wilson Harris' Jonestown, The Mask of the Beggar and The Ghost of Memory

Burns, L. (2008) Creolization and the collective unconscious: locating the originality of art in Wilson Harris' Jonestown, The Mask of the Beggar and The Ghost of Memory. Postcolonial Text, 4(2), pp. 1-18.

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Publisher's URL: http://journals.sfu.ca/pocol/index.php/pct/article/view/765/598

Abstract

Alongside the essays and fiction of Edouard Glissant, Wilson Harris's writings stand as one of the most important contributions to Caribbean creolization theory. Drawing from the philosophical projects of both authors, this essay argues that while creolization has typically been cast as a process of cultural, linguistic, and racial mixing akin to hybridity, it should, rather, be understood as providing a paradigm for the shifting structural relations necessary for the generation of genuinely original forms. As such, it has great significance for imaginative and literary production, and provides a framework for my readings of Harris's novels, Jonestown (1996), The Mask of the Beggar (2003), and The Ghost of Memory (2006), which explore the creative potential of creolization as a dialogue between consciousness and, what Jung and Harris refer to as, the collective unconsciousness. This essay brings into focus Harris's use of Jungian-inspired concepts, such as archetypes and the collective unconscious, in a development of creolization theory as a imaginative response to historical trauma and the generation of originality in art.

Item Type:Articles
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Burns, Dr Lorna
Authors: Burns, L.
Subjects:P Language and Literature > PR English literature
College/School:College of Arts > School of Critical Studies > English Literature
Journal Name:Postcolonial Text
Publisher:Postcolonial Text
ISSN:1705-9100
Published Online:01 January 2008
First Published:First published in Postcolonial Text 4(2):1-18
Publisher Policy:Reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher

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