This essay details the implications of focusing on the forest as a point of figuration and analysis for a world literature emanating from English-, French-, and Spanish-language work on the Caribbean. Of primary interest are two instances of meta- and paratextual comment on forests in the South: André Breton and André Masson's Martinique: Charmeuse de serpents and Alejo Carpentier's uses of José Martí and Wifredo Lam in his prologue to El reino de este mundo. Though Carpentier is known for his rejection of Breton and Masson's surreal forest for Lam's visual representation of the marvelous in the Caribbean selva, Ikoku suggests that Breton, Masson, and Carpentier were each committed to a territorialization of the Antilles, and as alternatives, he offers Lam's translation of Aimé Césaire and Edouard Glissant's explorations of William Faulkner—both attempts to deterritorialize an oeuvre known for its grounded, rooted character, and thus important approaches for landscaping a global South and, by extension, a contemporary world literature.
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Alvan A. Ikoku; Forêts del Sur and the Pretexts of Glissant's Tout-Monde. Small Axe 1 July 2015; 19 (2 (47)): 1–28. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/07990537-3139346
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