English Literature

“The Sea Is History”: Reading Derek Walcott Through a Melancholic Lens

by Jaime C. Tung

Submitted to the Department of English at Mount Holyoke College in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Bachelor of Arts with Honors. Mount Holyoke College Department of English South Hadley, Massachusetts May 5, 2006

Table of Contents
ACKNOWLEDGMENTS................................................................................... 1 Introduction: SITUATING THE MELANCHOLIC POET IN A POSTCOLONIAL CARIBBEAN ..................................................................................................... 2 Chapter One: “MEMORY’S SOFT-SPOKEN PATH”: ENGAGING WITH LOSS THROUGH REPETITION AND RECOLLECTION....................................... 19 Chapter Two: “A RUMOUR WITHOUT ANY ECHO”: RECONSTRUCTING A TRAGIC HISTORY THROUGH SPACE AND TIME .................................................... 42 Chapter Three: “THE CLASSICS CAN CONSOLE, BUT NOT ENOUGH”: REDEFINING MYTH AND A PARADISE LOST.................................................................... 68 Chapter Four: “HISTORY’S DIRTY JOKE”: THE POTENTIAL FOR PROGRESS IN A POSTCOLONIAL LANDSCAPE .................................................................... 91 Conclusion: ANOTHER DIMENSION .............................................................................. 112 BIBLIOGRAPHY .......................................................................................... 118

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

This project would have not been possible without the constant guidance, encouragement, and support of Michelle Stephens, who answered a naïve junior’s email regarding “some poet named Derek Walcott” – not knowing she had signed away her summer and sabbatical in order to see this project through to completion. Professor Stephens has been a great source of strength for me both academically and emotionally and I am particularly grateful for the opportunity to work with such an amazing scholar...
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