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Afterword: 'little family quarrels'

Cheyette, B. (2019) Afterword: 'little family quarrels'. In: Casteel, S. and Kaufman, C. (eds.) Caribbean Jewish Crossings. The University of Virginia Press. ISBN 9780813943282

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There was a time when Frantz Fanon’s dismissal of the Nazi onslaught against European Jewry as a “little family quarrel” would have caused outrage. Fanon himself realised this—“what am I thinking of?”—before he rightly characterised the Nazi genocide as that of a people “hunted down, exterminated, cremated”. My article will explore literary and theoretical provocations caused by Jewish/Caribbean crossings. The identification/ differentiation of Fanon with victimized Jews have been taken up by cultural theorists and imaginative writers who decentre and decolonize Jewish history from the marginal position of the Caribbean. The work of Paul Gilroy, Mark Mazower, Albert Memmi, Michael Rothberg, and Sarah Phillips Casteel, provide a theoretical context for my argument. Novels by Andrea Levy (especially), V. S. Naipaul, Caryl Phillips, and Zadie Smith provide an imaginative context. What I explore, above all, is the audacity which is at the heart of the Caribbean-Jewish nexus. With the help of Hilary Mantel’s critique of Caryl Phillips’s The Nature of Blood (1997), the article demonstrates both the dangers as well as the abundant rewards of “metaphorical thinking” in relation to such long-standing Jewish/Caribbean “crossings” from Fanon to Levy and beyond.

Item Type:Book or Report Section
Divisions:Arts, Humanities and Social Science > Identities
ID Code:80265
Publisher:The University of Virginia Press


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