In “Trans-Atlantic Interrogation: Fabienne Pasquet’s La deuxième mort de Toussaint Louverture,” Mariana Past situates the Haitian-Swiss novelist’s understudied narrative within the context of Caribbean letters and the Haitian literary tradition, then discusses the broader, intertextual implications of Toussaint Louverture’s “second” death for Haiti and the trans-Atlantic world. To what end does Pasquet deploy the aged ghost of a Haitian revolutionary icon being invoked by German Romantic writer Heinrich von Kleist in the Fort de Joux castle-cum-prison within France’s remote, mountainous Jura region? What is at stake when the diasporic writer reincarnates a legendary German poet as protagonist, placing him in conversation with a deceased Haitian general? By reassessing Louverture’s enduring revolutionary possibilities and reframing his colonized subjectivity, Pasquet’s innovative text makes an important cultural gesture towards decolonizing Haiti's standing with respect to the West. Through dying anew, and dying “better,” Louverture is able to recognize and recover an African past encompassing a wealth of knowledge, wisdom, and spiritual power that he previously disavowed in his quest to be “free and French.”
Past, Mariana F
"Trans-Atlantic Interrogation: Fabienne Pasquet’s La deuxième mort de Toussaint Louverture."
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