This essay explores how Daniel Maximin constructs an imagined past in his novel Lone Sun by wrenching archival sources out of their domain and context and selectively situating them in a narrative replete with cultural and oral traditions. It examines how Maximin remembers those who go unaccounted for and counters the commodification of select heroes by giving voice to the voiceless and minimizing the iconization of Victor Schoelcher and sacrificial hero Louis Delgrès. Maximin’s novel proves a resistant act intended to fracture the continuity of French colonial power maintained through its archival system and selective memory commodification.
Daniel Maximin’s Lone Sun: Disrupting the Tides of History and Memory
Leanna Thomas is a White settler doctoral candidate at the University of New Brunswick, Canada. Prior to attending UNB, she studied at the University of Central Florida, where she examined Acadians’ resettlement in Louisiana following their deportation from Canada. She has published in Louisiana History and Acadiensis. The recipient of a Canadian federal Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council scholarship, she is currently comparing how twentieth-century literature has contributed to creating historical narratives of resilience and survival for francophone communities under colonialism in Atlantic Canada and the Caribbean.
Leanna Thomas; Daniel Maximin’s Lone Sun: Disrupting the Tides of History and Memory. Small Axe 1 March 2022; 26 (1 (67)): 69–84. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/07990537-9724065
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