The Slave Sublime: The Language of Violence in Caribbean Literature and Music (Paperback)
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In this interdisciplinary work, Stacy J. Lettman explores real and imagined violence as depicted in Caribbean and Jamaican text and music, how that violence repeats itself in both art and in the actions of the state, and what that means for Caribbean cultural identity. Jamaica is known for having one of the highest per capita murder rates in the world, a fact that Lettman links to remnants of the plantation era--namely the economic dispossession and structural violence that still haunt the island. Lettman contends that the impact of colonial violence is so embedded in the language of Jamaican literature and music that violence has become a separate language itself, one that paradoxically can offer cultural modes of resistance. Lettman codifies Paul Gilroy's concept of the "slave sublime" as a remix of Kantian philosophy through a Caribbean lens to take a broad view of Jamaica, the Caribbean, and their political and literary history that challenges Eurocentric ideas of slavery, Blackness, and resistance.
Living at the intersection of philosophy, literary and musical analysis, and postcolonial theory, this book sheds new light on the lingering ghosts of the plantation and slavery in the Caribbean.