By Paula Burnett
This article bargains an interpretation of the life's paintings of acclaimed St. Lucian poet, Derek Walcott. It discusses his new angle to delusion, id, and aesthetics. What emerges is the image of an epic poet with awesome presents operating to impart the detailed knowledge of Caribbean tradition.
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Additional info for Derek Walcott: Politics and Poetics
Used in Another Life, the phrase represents the near blasphemous daring and faith of the young artists’ commitment as like a drunken passion, “lit” with alcohol. In his more recent “The Light of the World,” when the poet-narrator shows himself as left behind in the dark by the transport (a minibus) that takes his fellow St. Lucians onward in a capsule of light and records his humble recognition that in the cultural economy of human exchange they lacked nothing he had to offer. 39 The supposed superiority of the poet—literate, educated, well traveled, revisiting a home projected by centrism as marginal—is deconstructed as relatively lacking—as locus of the desiring subject—while the ordinary citizens of the island, the objects of desire, are given superior status in both wisdom and spirituality.
In Another Life, the group of three is established by scenes in which the narrator makes “I-an-I” pairings both with Gregorias and with Anna; in Omeros, with its fishing-village community, Achille makes similar pairings with Hector, with Philoctete, and with Helen, while Helen is seen paired with Hector, with Achille, and with Dennis, who is himself paired with Maud. In addition, understood as the singular pronoun, “I-an-I” marks a complex sense of the plural individual which contests the Freudian notion of schizophrenia as pathology.
47 This recalls Walter Benjamin’s figure for translation: “Fragments of a vessel which are to be glued together must match one another in the smallest details, although they need not be like one another. ”48 The image—of a whole composed of different but congruent parts—shadows Deleuze and Guattari. ”49 Walcott uses a memorably developed variant of the metaphor in his Nobel speech, to explain the distinctively Caribbean cultural synthesis: Break a vase, and the love that reassembles the fragments is stronger than that love which took its symmetry for granted when it was whole.
Derek Walcott: Politics and Poetics by Paula Burnett