Advertisement

When Seeing Is Believing: Enduring Injustice in Merle Collins’s The Colour of Forgetting

  • Alison DonnellEmail author
Chapter
Part of the New Caribbean Studies book series (NCARS)

Abstract

Most narratives of Caribbean cultures and places represent indigenous characters as an exceptional, inscrutable, presence. Donnell reads the altered consciousness of Carib in Merle Collins’s 1995 novel, The Colour of Forgetting, as voicing a sentience of transgenerational dispossessions from land and history that cannot otherwise be heard. Drawing on political philosopher Jeff Spinner-Halev’s concept of enduring injustice and his call to focus on injustices rooted in the past as a means to understand and address contemporary wrongs, Donnell argues for Carib’s extraordinary memory of colonial violence as a means to approach the trauma of the imploded Grenada Revolution in 1983. Through Carib, Collins remembers histories of enslavement, colonialism, and plantation labour that have compromised co-belonging and asserts the significant work of memory for the present.

Works Cited

  1. Bell, Henry Hesketh. Obeah: Witchcraft in the West Indies. 1889. 2nd ed. London: Low, 1893. Print.Google Scholar
  2. Benjamin, Walter. “Theses on the Philosophy of History.” Illuminations: Essays and Reflections. Ed. Hannah Arendt. Trans. Harry Zohn. New York: Schocken, 1968. 253–64. Print.Google Scholar
  3. Collins, Merle. Angel: A Novel. Seattle: Seal, 1987. Print.Google Scholar
  4. ———. The Colour of Forgetting. London: Virago, 1995. Print.Google Scholar
  5. ———. “The Fragility of Memory: An Interview with Merle Collins.” By David Scott. Small Axe 14.1 (2010): 79–163. Print.Google Scholar
  6. ———. “Of Libraries, Anniversaries and Archives: A Grenada Library Story.” Caribbean Quarterly 62.3–4 (2016): 445–56. Print.Google Scholar
  7. ———. “Tout Moun Ka Pléwé (Everybody Bawling).” Small Axe 11.1 (2007): 1–16. Project Muse. Web. 10 Aug. 2016.Google Scholar
  8. ———. “Working Out Grenada: An Interview with Merle Collins.” By Jacqueline Bishop and Dolace Nicole McLean. Calabash: A Journal of Caribbean Arts and Letters 3.2 (2005): 53–65. Web. 10 Aug. 2016.Google Scholar
  9. Harris, Wilson. Palace of the Peacock. London: Faber, 1960. Print.Google Scholar
  10. Hulme, Peter. Remnants of Conquest: The Island Caribs and Their Visitors, 1877–1998. Oxford: Oxford UP, 2004. Print.Google Scholar
  11. John, Marie-Elena. Unburnable. New York: Amistad, 2006. Print.Google Scholar
  12. Kincaid, Jamaica. The Autobiography of My Mother. 1996. New York: Plume, 1997. Print.Google Scholar
  13. Melville, Pauline. The Ventriloquist’s Tale. New York: Bloomsbury, 1997. Print.Google Scholar
  14. Miller, Kei. Augustown. London: Weidenfeld, 2016. Print.Google Scholar
  15. ———. The Last Warner Woman. 2010. London: Phoenix, 2011. Print.Google Scholar
  16. Puri, Shalini. “Memory-Work, Field-Work: Reading Merle Collins and the Poetics of Place.” The Routledge Companion to Anglophone Caribbean Literature. Ed. Michael A. Bucknor and Alison Donnell. London: Routledge, 2011. 490–98. Print.Google Scholar
  17. ———. The Grenada Revolution in the Caribbean Present: Operation Urgent Memory. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2014. Print.Google Scholar
  18. Rhys, Jean. Wide Sargasso Sea. 1966. London: Penguin, 2000. Print.Google Scholar
  19. Scott, David. Omens of Adversity: Tragedy, Time, Memory, Justice. Durham: Duke UP, 2014. Print.Google Scholar
  20. Shields, Tanya. “‘There Once Was an Indian’ Who Imagined Elsewhere and Others.” The Routledge Companion to Anglophone Caribbean Literature. Ed. Michael A. Bucknor and Alison Donnell. London: Routledge, 2011. 441–49. Print.Google Scholar
  21. Spinner-Halev, Jeff. “Historical to Enduring Injustice.” Political Theory 35.5 (2007): 574–97. Print.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Walcott, Derek. “The Sea is History.” 1979. Collected Poems 1948–1984. By Walcott. New York: Farrar, 1992. 364–67. Print.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of East AngliaNorwichUK

Personalised recommendations