Forms of Time Public Lecture: ‘Time, Tidalectics, and the Socio-Ecological Totality’
Taking up the concept of ‘tidalectics’, this paper examines its origins in Barbadian poet Kamau Brathwaite’s effort to rethink the dialectic in the context of the specificity of Caribbean geo-history. One of the defining features of Brathwaite’s concept is its emphasis on the constitutive interpenetration of human and extra-human natures. Analysing the implications of this emphasis for an understanding of time (and drawing a comparison to the challenge posed to certain forms of ‘Western Marxism’ by the Althusserian concepts of the complex structured whole and décalage), the paper explores how Brathwaite, as well as other Caribbean writers including Wilson Harris and Dionne Brand, produce an aesthetic that stages the uneven and combined articulation of the multiple temporalities of the natural-social whole.
Michael Niblett is a Research Fellow at the Yesu Persaud Centre for Caribbean Studies at the University of Warwick. He is the author of The Caribbean Novel since 1945 (University Press of Mississippi, 2012) and co-editor of Perspectives on the ‘Other America’: Comparative Approaches to Caribbean and Latin American Culture (Rodopi, 2009). He has recently completed a Leverhulme research project on Caribbean literature and the environemnt.
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