New Arrivals, Further Departures: Caribbean Movement and the Future
  • Malachi McIntosh
Part of the New Caribbean Studies book series (NCARS)


The connections between the early work of Lamming, Naipaul, Selvon, Césaire, Glissant, and Capécia are several. In all the texts that we have considered, we have encountered migrating main characters, separated or separating themselves from the masses, surveying the people they have left behind, and finding severe faults within them or in the promise of their societies. In Lamming, Césaire, and Glissant, male heroes decide to emigrate and through migration find the means to both speak for their people and to understand their essence. In Naipaul, a migrant character gains the benefits of insight offered to Lamming, Césaire and Glissant’s lead figures while throwing open questions about the desireability of escape. And in Selvon and Capécia, migration from origins offers deeply equivocal promise, the process of flight frustrated by the intrinsic limitations of main characters and a seemingly unbridgeable gap between them and the true sites of power. All of the texts considered are fixated on movement and flight; all of them deal with central figures who must detach from their region in order to fulfill themselves, and all aim their central figures at the outside world, granting them actions and language that contrast with the masses, endear them to the reader, and privilege their perspectives, however ambivalent the flight they depict might be.


Central Figure True Site North American Literature Colonial Education Male Hero 
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    Derek Walcott, “The Schooner, Flight,” in Collected Poems 1948–1984 (London: Faber and Faber, 1992), pp. 345–61 (p. 346).Google Scholar

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© Malachi McIntosh 2015

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  • Malachi McIntosh

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