The 2010 earthquake has given rise to and put into wide(r) circulation a narrative very much of a piece with the long-standing discourse of Haitian singularity. This recent, though not new, narrative is premised not only on the notion of Haiti's endless suffering but also on a concomitant notion of the Haitian people's endless capacity for suffering. Furthering the trope of Haitian resilience, this narrative functions in tandem with that of Haitian barbarism, situating the country and its populace in a space—a state?—of exception; it subtly disables true empathy, so allowing the rest of the not-Haiti world to imagine and accept Haitians as somehow other than human. It is this positioning of Haiti at the extreme poles of the human condition that Glover calls into question in Haiti Unbound. In this essay, she attempts to respond to and push further the insightful points of inquiry proposed by Alessandra Benedicty, Laurent Dubois, and Rachel Douglas in their compelling and multivalent engagements with her book.
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Kaiama L. Glover; New Narratives of Haiti; or, How to Empathize with a Zombie. Small Axe 1 November 2012; 16 (3 39): 199–207. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/07990537-1894186
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