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Présence Francophone: Revue internationale de langue et de littérature

Article Title

Archéologie du cachot

Abstract

This essay examines the relationship between writing, memory and prison, as it is deployed in Patrick Chamoiseau’s tenth novel Un dimanche au cachot (2007). In this text, the inscription of the writer within the space of a small prison located on a Martinican plantation, serves Chamoiseau’s larger project to survey the Caribbean territory in order to unveil memorial traces. As it exhumes the ruins of an old disciplinary prison cell, this archeological move triggers a series of crucial transformations: in Un dimanche au cachot, prison writing reclaims a new glissantian “Lieu”, while making room for a therapeutic way of dealing with contemporary issues. Ultimately, the novel features the emergence of yet another image of Chamoiseau: that of the educator, who now collaborates with the writer and ultimately plays a key role in deciphering the present.

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