Building on Ngugi wa Thiong'o's concept of moving the cultural center away from Europe towards a multiplicity of creative centers and Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak's call for a revitalized comparative literature that would avail itself of the insights of a post-Cold War area studies, this essay explores the Caribbean as an exemplary inter-American and comparatist crossroads space and analyzes several elements that enter into the diverse poetics of the region as articulated by its major writers and theorists: from chaos to transculturation, from magical realism and the “imaginary eras” to the “Tout-monde.”

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