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Female identity through language in Simone Schwarz Bart's Pluie et vent sur Télumée Miracle Williams, Helen T. 1986

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Female Identity through Language i n Simone Schwarz Bart's Plui e et vent  sur Telumee Miracle Helen T. Williams B.A. (Hons.) Memorial University of Nfld., 1979 A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF ARTS i n THE FACULTY OF GRADUATE STUDIES (French Department) We accept t h i s thesis as conforming to the required standard THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA A p r i l 1986 C Helen Teresa Williams, 1986 In p r e s e n t i n g t h i s t h e s i s i n p a r t i a l f u l f i l m e n t of the requirements f o r an advanced degree at the U n i v e r s i t y o f B r i t i s h Columbia, I agree t h a t the L i b r a r y s h a l l make i t f r e e l y a v a i l a b l e f o r r e f e r e n c e and study. I f u r t h e r agree t h a t p e r m i s s i o n f o r e x t e n s i v e copying of t h i s t h e s i s f o r s c h o l a r l y purposes may be granted by the head of my department or by h i s o r her r e p r e s e n t a t i v e s . I t i s understood t h a t c o p y i n g or p u b l i c a t i o n of t h i s t h e s i s f o r f i n a n c i a l g a i n s h a l l not be a llowed without my w r i t t e n p e r m i s s i o n . Department of The U n i v e r s i t y of B r i t i s h Columbia 2075 Wesbrook P l a c e Vancouver, Canada V6T 1W5 Date Qif>uJ Id. rffa 7Q1 - i i -Abstract The focus of inquiry i n t h i s thesis i s female i d e n t i t y and i t s representation through Language as seen i n the novel Pluie et  vent sur Telumee Miracle by Simone Schwarz-Bart. The context of the novel c l e a r l y depicts instances of oppression of both women and Blacks. I have chosen to apply feminist interpretations of Lacanian psychoanalytical theory, which qualify a woman's place i n the symbolic order of Language as that of "object", i n order to analyse women's alien a t i o n i n Language as depicted i n the novel. I believe Lacan's view of Language as a hi e r a r c h i c a l system into which the human c h i l d i s born not only underscores the dominant position of Language i n r e -l a t i o n to the i n d i v i d u a l , i t also emphasizes the extent to which women are prevented from speaking with the (authoritative) voice of the Subject. I focus on Schwarz-Bart's process f o r the "feminine" en-coding of meaning, whereby the t r a d i t i o n a l "male" perspective i s supplanted by an alternative approach to existence. This i n i t i a l analysis of the repression of women i n a patriarchal or male-dominated discourse i s then used as a model to study the position of the Black i n a society dominated by Whites. I have adopted Jung's interpre-t a t i o n of the workings of the unconscious as a means of further ex-tending the study from the realm of the sexual (male vs. female) to the p o l i t i c a l (White vs. Black). Delving more deeply into the GuadJeloupian context of Pl u i e et vent sur Telumee Miracle provides the basis with which to counter the dual Lacanian assumption that - i i i -(sexual) i d e n t i t y does not e x i s t before i t s symbolization i n discourse and that the i n d i v i d u a l i s therefore l i m i t e d to expressing himself or h e r s e l f within the confines of the e s s e n t i a l male=subject/ female;* object paradigm. - i v -Table of Contents Page In troduc t ion 1 Chapter I : The D e f i n i t i o n of "Woman" i n Male Discourse 8 Chapter I I : A l t e r n a t i v e Approaches to Language: The "Other" as Non-Object 3 ^ Chapter I I I : Women Speak: "Feminine" Discourse i n the Text 59 Chapter IV: Return to Guadeloupe 80 Conclusion 97 Bib l iography 102 - V -A cknowledgements I would l i k e to thank Valerie Eaoul, Francoise Iqbal and Ralph Sarkonak whose teaching served to inspire and moti-vate my work. A special thanks goes to my thesis advisor Valerie Raoul f o r her invaluable support and encouragement over the• past few years. I would also l i k e to thank my mother, P a t r i c i a Williams, whose unerring f a i t h i n my a b i l i t i e s enabled me to complete t h i s project. - 1 -Introduction Ma mere l a venerait tant que j'en... etais venue a considerer Toussine, ma grandmere," comme un etre mythique, habitant a i l l e u r s que sur terre, s i bien que toute vivante e l l e e t a i t entree, pour moi, dans l a legende. Being a woman, l i v i n g yet mythical, a subversion of the Word, i n -sc r i b i n g herself i n history, t h i s i s the experience of Telumee Lougandor i n F l u i e i t vent sur Telumee Miracle by Simone Schwarz-Bart. The novel e l i c i t s a re-thinking of "Language" as a symbolic abstract order which excludes or o b j e c t i f i e s women. Pluie et vent describes an alternative relationship to representation, one based on the notion of correlation rather than that of difference. This relationship i s c h a r a c t e r i s t i c a l l y "feminine" i n that i t mirrors precisely Carol G i l l i g a n ' s elucidation of female psychological de-velopment. Woman's development points toward a d i f f e r e n t history of human attach-ment, stressing continuity and change i n configuration, rather than replace-ment and separation.2 Whereas dominant patriarchal discourse isolates elements according to t h e i r difference, P l u i e -et vent',s "feminine" discourse affirms the interdependency of a l l aspects of existence such as Man, Nature and the subconscious. The t i t l e i t s e l f i s a synthesis of Natural, human, and mythic elements. I t introduces the novel's alternative order, an order - 2 -which proffers movement beyond abstract l i n e a r discourse as i t s central.component. The author weaves l i n g u i s t i c ' and st r u c t u r a l constructs together to produce a tapestry of Guadeloupian experience. "Pluie et vent" i l l u s t r a t e s the p l u r a l i t y of Nature as p u r i f i e r , nurturer, and destroyer. . . . E l i e venait a moi et nous plongions ensemble, tout h a b i l l e s , lachions nos craintes, nos jeunes apprehensions au fond du Bassin bleu. (7"+) ...au long des ses derniers jours, grand -mere fa briquait-elle du vent pour gonfler mes v o i l e s , me per-mettre de reprendre mon voyage sur l'eau. (170) . . . l a porcelaine e t a i t en miettes, l e petrole enflamme se repandait sur les jambes de Meranee, sur ses epaules... Dans l a nuit s'echappa une torche vivante que l e vent du s o i r a t t i s a i t en hurlant. (2-+) As for "Telumee" the name's connotation i s threefold; " t e l l u s " (Latin for "terre" - "terre nourriciere"),"thelus" (Greek for "the feminine"), and "telos" (Greek, meaning "destiny" or "ultimate end"). "Miracle" i s the transforming agent, the speaking presence of the "feminine". Telumee as "Miracle" represents the transcendence of vi c t i m i z a t i o n . In the words of the author: j ' a i p r i s conscience de tout ce deferlement d'evenements qui menacaient de...denaturer (Telumee). C'etait comme un miracle qu'elle s o i t restee f i d e l e a elle-meme.^ As "Miracle" enigmatizes "Telumee" by endowing her with a mythic - 3 -q u a l i t y , so does "Telumee" demystify "Miracle" by transforming i t from common noun to proper name. The multifaceted s i g n i f i c a t i o n of each element i n the t i t l e i s an i n i t i a t i o n into the novel's prismatic structure. The opening l i n e of the novel establishes a l i n k between the Self and the environment which i s consistent throughout the novel ("Le pays depend bien souvent du coeur de l'homme: i l est minuscule s i l e coeur est p e t i t , et immense s i l e coeur est grand" ( l l ) ). The notion of "pays" here r e f l e c t s the concept of an inner r e a l i t y whose horizons expand according to the individual's f e e l i n g of i n -t r i n s i c self-worth. The "coeur" i s akin to an island, f o r although i t e x i s t s as an entity i n i t s e l f , i t i s also subject to malefic ex-ternal influences. Telumee's "coeur" must learn to bear the weight of outside forces i n the same way that Guadeloupe suffers climatic and socioxeconomic adversity (storms, drought, colonization). Man Gia, the sorceress, councils Telumee on how to proceed through l i f e by conjuring up the analogy of the drum to convey t h i s struggle be-tween inner and outer r e a l i t i e s . ...sois une v a i l l a n t e petite negresse, un v r a i tambour a. deux faces, l a i s s e l a v i e frapper, cogner, mais conserve toujours intacte l a face du dessous. (62) Telumee's coming into "selfhood" involves acceptance of both her inner r e a l i t y as a woman and the outer r e a l i t y of a l l that i s "other" to her. As producer and product of her text, she relates a myriad of re l a t i o n s with the external world. Her s u b j e c t i v i t y consists of the _ 4 -movement between inner and exterior forces rather than the demar-cation or separation of the s e l f from the "other". She i s l i k e her i s l a n d country, subject to the surrounding environment yet whole and centred within i t . Telumee therefore comes to stand f o r the point of interaction between what i s known or understood through the terms of Language, and what exists beyond the grasp of i n d i v i d u a l conscious-ness. Her conception of existence e f f e c t i v e l y dissolves the h i e r a r c h i -c a l l y determined boundaries i n d i c a t i v e of l i n e a r patriarchal discourse. The c i r c u l a r i t y of Guadeloupe's coast s p a t i a l l y echos the novel's theme of constant regeneration. This echo i s taken up at a s t r u c t u r a l l e v e l , i n the narrative, f o r the terminus of Telumee's journey i s also her point of departure ("debout, dans mon p e t i t j a r d i n " ) . Time i s equally c y c l i c a l as i t s passing i s marked by seasons, events, and r i t u a l s which are re-enacted from generation to generation. In view of t h i s the r i v e r i s adopted as a primary metaphor for. human existence in the text. Toutes ies r i v i e r e s , memes les plus eclatantes, c e l l e s qui prennent l e s o l e i l dans leur courant, toutes l e s r i v i e r e s descendent dans l a mer et se noient. On peut prendre meandre sur ifteandre, tourner, con-tourner, s'insinuer dans l a terre, vos meandres vous appartiennent mais l a vie est l a , patiente, sans commencement et sans f i n , a vous attendre, p a r e i l l e a 1'ocean. (8l) This metaphor minimizes the abstract quality of time by emphasizing movement, f l u i d i t y , and regeneration ("sans commencement et sans f i n " ) . - 5 -Time becomes an element r e l a t i v e to the s e l f , fused with the cadence of c o l l e c t i v e development, not a l i e n to i t . The aim of t h i s study w i l l be to examine the relationship be-tween language use and id e n t i t y i n the novel. The f i r s t chapter w i l l undertake an analysis of women's " o b j e c t i v i t y " i n t r a d i t i o n a l male discourse. Lacanian psychoanalytical theory w i l l be drawn upon i n order to establish the mechanism by which women are i n i t i a l l y excluded from a role as subject i n the symbolic order. Various "feminist" perspectives w i l l be evoked to i l l u s t r a t e how women's i n i t i a l a l i e n -ation i s perpetuated through the terms of patriarchal discourse. The second chapter - proceeds to an examination of the various modes of discourse available to the male subject i n the text. Having set up a prototype f o r women's oppression i n male discourse, t h i s p osition w i l l be juxtaposed to that of the Black i n the dominant White discourse. This second stage of the analysis i s related to the theories of both C a r l Jung and Ka r l Stein. The t h i r d chapter of the thesis w i l l focus upon alternative "feminine" approaches to existence. Telumee's voice here w i l l be seen as a s i g n i f i e r to Toussine's experience (that which i s s i g n i f i e d ) . Toussine succeeds i n d i r e c t l y transmitting her experience to her granddaughter through a form of modelling which merges the physical (body language) with the symbolic (abstract discourse). Thus Telumee's narrative w i l l indicate a di f f e r e n t mode of existence, f o r her world i s defined by "speaking experience", a concept which - 6 -dissolves the t r a d i t i o n a l dichotomy of the ra t i o n a l , .over .the s p i r i t u a l by stressing the interdependency of these constructs. As the f i r s t three chapters w i l l favor a western "feminist" bias, the fourth and f i n a l chapter w i l l examine the work's A n t i l l e a n roots by dealing with P l u i e et vent as a contexture of Guadeloupian experience. Simone Schwarz-Bart's s t y l e i s mimetic as i t reproduces the "feminine". Plui e et vent transcends both genre and discourse-in i t s t r a n s c r i p t i o n of the Guadeloupian oral t r a d i t i o n i n a creolized French. Schwarz-Bart imbues her imagery with the sensuality of Guadeloupe, a sensuality which diffuses the abstract, and liberate s the "object" (women, Blacks). Once freed, the oppressed may re-appro-priate t h e i r c u l t u r a l i d e n t i t y through the intermediary of A n t i l l e a n myth. - 7 -Footnotes - Introduction 1. Schwartz-Bart, Simone. P l u i e et vent sur Telumee Miracle, (Paris: Editions du S e u i l , 1972). p. 11. A l l further references to the novel w i l l "be i n the text. Subsequent references to the t i t l e w i l l be i n the shortened form of Pluie et vent. 2. Carol G i l l i g a n . In a Different Voice, (Cambridge, Mass •„ Harvard University Press, 1982), p. -+8. 3. Jean Bernabe. "Contribution a 1'etude de l a di'glossie l i t t e r a i r e I I . Le cas de Pluie et vent sur Telumee Miracle,''in Textes et  Etudes Documents, No. 2, (1979), P. HO. Heliane et Roger Tournson. "Interview avec Simone et Andre Schwarz-Bart sur les pas de Fanot^te", i n Textes et Etudes  Documents, No. 2, (1979), P. 15. - 8 -CHAPTER I The D e f i n i t i o n of "Woman" i n Male Discourse - 9 -So out of the ground the Lord God formed every beast of the f i e l d and every b i r d of the a i r , and brought them t o the man t o see what he would c a l l them; and what-ever the man c a l l e d every l i v i n g c r e a t u r e , t h a t was i t s name. Genesis — A u t r e f o i s , d i t - e l l e , un n i d de fourmis mordantes a v a i t peuple l a t e r r e e t v o i l a , e l l e s s ' e t a i e n t elles-memes appelees hommesj,.. pas p l u s que ca... ( 6 l ) Toutes ces femmes q u i se perdaient avant 1'heure... on c h e r c h a i t en v a i n l e nom, l e v r a i nom q u ' e l l e s avaient merite de p o r t e r , sur l a t e r r e . . . (82) The accession of the subject t o language, the symbolic order of communication, guarantees h i s dominion, through "naming", over a l l t h a t i s "other". Then the man s a i d , "This a t l a s t i s bone of my bones and ! f lesh. of the f l e s h ; she s h a l l be c a l l e d Woman, because she was taken out of Man." Woman's p r i m o r d i a l e x c l u s i o n as a naming "subj e c t " i n Language has the consequence of r e l e g a t i n g her t o a r o l e of "object", or t h a t from which the subj e c t i s separate. She becomes, i n f a c t , the very reason f o r the sub j e c t ' s existence i n the symbolic order, being assigned t o the necessary place of "absense",rfrom which man e s t a b l i s h e s h i s presence : - 10 -The...cause of desire and support of male fantasy; gets transposed onto the image of the woman as Other...The absolute "Otherness' of the woman, therefore, serves to secure f o r the „ man his own self-knowledge and truth. The symbolic encoding of experience has h i s t o r i c a l l y been the domain of men, given that woman was i n i t i a l l y absent from language as subject, and subsequently "excluded from the production of c u l t u r a l forms." Therefore, the construct woman , with i t s d i r e c t r e l a t i o n to that of " f e m i n i n i t y , may actually be a mis-representation of authentic 'female' experience. (femininity -or being "effeminate") has nothing to do with the r e a l i t y of l i v i n g women, but with an awareness on the part of males of an inherent weakness i n them-selves which they name "femininity" or "effeminacy" or "woman" - and which they attempt to exorcise by projecting i t upon r e a l l y existent women as well as the women of t h e i r fantasies.- 5 The r e l a t i o n s h i p ' between the concepts "man" and "woman" becomes > one of privil e g e d " S i g n i f i e r " i n "man" (a term which denotes a presence) over a dislocated " S i g n i f i e r " "woman" (a term which desig-nates an absence). Turning to Ju l i e t i ' Mitchell's "Psychoanalysis: A Humanist Humanity or a L i n g u i s t i c Science", i t i s evident from a lacanian psychoanalytical point of view, that the "wholeness" or unity of the subject himself i s but a f i c t i o n . This ego i s not centred i n i t s e l f . . . i t i s formed i n alienation. The small human infant forms i t s ego i n an i d e n t i f i c a t i o n with an other (person) - 11 -who i s a whole object. I t i s thus i n i t s very formation other than i t s e l f and i s constantly being g threatened by i t s own otherness. Therefore, the subject's position i n language i s assured solely through the mechanisms of a r i g i d s o c i a l structure which p o s i t i v e l y defines h i s role according to the negativity of the "feminine". ..,we...divide on the basis of g e n i t a l i a , we...construct only two sexes, we doiinsist on. a whole range of gender determined behaviors. And we do a l l t h i s f o r a purpose. By arranging the objects and events of the world according to these rules we set up the rationale, and „ the vindication, f o r male supremacy. I t i s impossible to locate the cause or origins of Patriarchy g as we know i t . Adrienne Rich and Mary Daly posit both b i o l o g i c a l and psychic "barrenness" i n the male, r e s u l t i n g i n an absolute desire to control through the agency of c u l t u r a l structures. (This i s evident i n the obvious b i o l o g i c a l reversal apparent i n the b i b l i c a l rendition of the creation of man, where man usurps the position of creator and "gives b i r t h " to woman). Just as language comes to a r t i c u l a t e "desire" f o r an o r i g i n a l object, which, according to Lacan, has previously been " l o s t " to the c h i l d , i t also assures a more complex a r t i c u l a t i o n of control over that which the subject cannot e f f e c t i v e l y "know" (feminine sexuality, proof of paternity).'* In the novel Plui e et vent, the subject's r e l a t i o n to language i s rendered even more problematic. The post-slavery society of Guadeloupe lends i t s e l f to the establishment of a unique - 12 -symbolic order i n which the generally privileged term "man" must further locate himself within a positive (White) or negative (Black) category depending upon his colour. The Negro, i n t h i s instance, suffers an alie n a t i o n not d i s s i m i l a r to that f e l t by woman, as the symbolic r e g i s t e r f a i l s to encode his experience. Consider the following incident, where Amboise i s made aware of his non-existence or o b j e c t i v i t y i n the eyes of the dominant group (here the Whites i n P a r i s ) : Des q u ' i l s o r t a i t de cet hotel, i l l u i semblait traverser des li e u x peuples d'esprits malins, etrangers a sa chair et a son sang et qui l e regardaient passer avec l a plus parfaite indifference, comme s ' i l n ' e x i s t a i t pas a leurs yeux. (p .2 l6) This negation of h3>seexistence as "subject" i s akin to the o b j e c t i -f i c a t i o n of women i n pat r i a r c h a l language. As P h y l l i s Ghesler states: "there i s some theoretical j u s t i f i c a t i o n f o r viewing women, or the sex-caste system, as the prototype f o r a l l subsequent class and race s l a v e r y . " 1 0 Such " o b j e c t i v i t y " where the male Negro i s concerned extends to the economic sphere, just as i t does with women. The evidence f o r t h i s i s the f a c t that the Negro i s able to earn a l i v i n g "on show", i n much the same way as are women i n professions such as stripping, modelling or prostit u t i o n : . . . i l y en avait un qui gagnait sa vie a f a i r e carrement l e negre, dans une cage, s'agitant comme un derate et poussant des c r i s et c'etait ce que ces blancs-la, aimaient v o i r . , i . (p.215) - 13 -The exterior i n v i s i b i l i t y of the Negro to the White indicates then, a r e j e c t i o n of hi s s u b j e c t i v i t y . The "appearance" of the Negro here corresponds to the "appearance" of "Woman" i n that they are both manifestations of an "otherness" to the perceiving subject. A l l attempts on the part of Amboise to integrate himself as a c o n t r o l l i n g subject into white Parisian society are destined to f a i l u r e . Slavery's residual c u l t u r a l impact,in conjunction with the absence of a symbolic encoding of Amboise's experience i n the cu l t u r a l realm, produces a powerful f e e l i n g of alienation. As a res u l t of the i n s t i t u t i o n of slavery, the Negro had become "other" even to himself. I I d i s a i t que des mains ennemies s'etaient emparees de notre ame et l'avaient modelee a f i n qu'elle se dresse contre elle-meme. (219) Amboise's grandmother's a r t i c u l a t i o n of the well-learned words of the White masters demonstrates the Negro's complicity i n the con-struction of t h e i r c u l t u r a l i n f e r i o r i t y ; " l e negre est une reserve de peches dans l e monde, l a creature meme du diable" (215). Her perception p a r a l l e l s the phenomenon of which Mary. Daly speaks i n her analysis of patriarchal indoctrination. The Myth Masters are able to penetrate t h e i r victims'sminds/imaginations only by seeing to i t that t h e i r deceptive myths are acted out over and over again i n performances that draw the p a r t i c i -pants into emotional complicity... In giving the myth r e a l i t y by acting i t out, the participants become re-producers and " l i v i n g proof" of the deceptive myths."'""'" - 1 4 -Although s lavery had "been abo l i shed , the i n t e r n a l i z a t i o n of i t s i d e o l o g i c a l in f luences continued to d i s r u p t the conventional s u b j e c t / object r e l a t i o n found i n P a t r i a r c h y . The s l ave ' s a l i e n a t i o n as worker was not e a s i l y erad ica ted , as the means of product ion stayed 12 i n the hands of the Whiite c o l o n i a l s . The Negro male remained cut o f f from any d i r e c t c o n t r o l i n the socio-economic order , the con-t r o l which a p a t r i a r c h a l ideology by r i g h t s ought to guarantee him. The moment of d i f f e r e n t i a t i o n between the s i t u a t i o n of the male Negro and that of woman i n general comes with the i n s e r t i o n of the former as "subject" w i t h in h i s own Non-White d i s course , where the male/female h ierarchy once more dominates. Quand i l r e v i n t a l a Guadeloupe, i l a s p i r a i t seulement a a l l e r pieds nus au s o l e i l , a prononcer l e s paroles d ' a u t r e f o i s , dans l e s rues de l a P o i n t e - a - P i . t r e . . . et puis de se plonger dans l ' e a u profonde des femmes d ' i c i . . . (2l6) (i Here i s evidence that the inherent "subjecthood" of a man i n P a t r i a r c h y goes beyond ethno-geographic boundaries and assures , at some p o i n t , h i s p o s i t i o n as the p r i v i l e g e d S i g n i f i e r i n h i s own s p e c i f i c economy. I t i s w i th in t h i s spectrum of pos t - s lavery Guadeloupe that Telumee's r e l a t i o n s h i p with E l i e , her f i r s t "love", comes i n t o being. T h i s r e l a t i o n s h i p s i g n a l s her i n i t i a l i d e n t i f i c a t i o n with the S i g -n i f i e r "Woman". The t r a d i t i o n a l r e l a t i o n s h i p e s tab l i shed between E l i e / s u b j e c t and Telumee/object can be taken as a paradigm f o r the - 15 -male/female dichotomy which permeates patriarchal ideology. At the outset of t h e i r courtship Telumee i s grounded i n a non-reciprocal a l l i a n c e with the privileged term "man". I I r i a i t tout seul, et, au premier regard q u ' i l me jeta-j'e demeurai inerte, s a i s i e d'une curio s i t e etrange...(69) She i s frozen or r e i f i e d by his "regard". Here E l i e appears as having the power to perceive and define, and i s thus assured of the control allocated to him through the convention of Language. Telumee, for her part, must assume the place of "absence" (object) i n order that E l i e e x i s t as subject. As t h e i r relationship progresses E l i e w i l l attempt to provide Telumee with a secondary form of "existence", one dependent on his observation and approval. I t becomes evident i n the developing stages of t h e i r r e l a t i o n -ship that E l i e and Telumee are operating from c o n f l i c t i n g perspectives. The discrepancy between t h e i r respective visions i s confirmed by the following passages: (Telumee) ...je me sentais envahie par l a pensee qu'une petite chose e t a i t sur l a terre, de l a meme grandeur que moi, qui m'aimait et c'etait comme s i nous etions s o r t i s du meme ventre, en meme temps. (7-+) (Elie) ...( j ! ; poussait toujours devant lui'le^meme reve, dont je f a i s a i s partie... ( 7-+) Telumee here a r t i c u l a t e s andidentification with E l i e that i s based upon empathy. Her perspective would therefore allow f o r r e c i p r o c i t y - 16 -i n the relationship. E l i e ' s view, on the other hand, bespeaks a need f o r autonomous control. His v i s i o n contains a s t a t i c representation of his i d e a l l i f e , a l i f e where the acquisition of material possessions i s synonomous with success. -Tu verras, d i s a i t - i l , tu verras plus v^tard, quel beau cabriolet nous aurons, et nous serons h a b i l l e s en consequence, moi en costume a jabot, t o i , en robe de brocart a, c o l chale; et nul ne nous reconnaitra... (7-+) E l i e seems incapable of making what Evelyn Fox K e l l e r describes as the "(move) from the egocentricity of a self-dominated contiguous world to the recognition of a world outside and independent of him/ herself: a world i n which objects can take on a " l i f e " of t h e i r own."13 These two divergent approaches follow closely the patterns attributed to "female" and "male" moral development which Carol G i l l i g a n describes i n her book In a Different Voice. From the di f f e r e n t dynamics of separation and attachment i n t h e i r gender i d e n t i t y formation through the divergence of iden-t i t y and intimacy that marks th e i r experience i n the adolescent years, male and female voices t y p i c a l l y speak of the importance of d i f f e r e n t truths, the former of the r o l e of separation as i t defines and empowers the s e l f , the l a t t e r of the ongoing process of attachment that creates and sustains the human community Examples of E l i e ' s "masculine" perception abound i n the text, and - 17 -these, coupled with his natural empowerment (as male subject) through the terms of Language i t s e l f , enable him to project his conception of t h e i r common future onto Telumee's consciousness. I I r i a i t encore, m'entourait, me cernait, me h u i l a i t de mi l l e paroles, m'inventait des robes bleues, rouges, vertes, et pour f i n i r d i s a i t que je me trouvais devant l u i comme un arc-en-ciel...,. (84) The ease with which Telumee accepts t h i s p a r t i c u l a r mode of imparting a dominant view can be attributed to the fact that i t concurs with the reigning "Doxa". ...ce f u t tout comme s i e l l e s (laveuses) avaient toujours su, en leur cervelle, que ma destinee e t a i t de vivre sur une branche, a Fond-Zombi, sous l ' a i l e d'Elie. (126) The house E l i e builds, however, becomes a prison i n which to hold his image of Telumee rather than a shelter. Telumee's self-image afterusheosettsi*uphh"duse with E l i e betrays the fixedness of her l i f e as E l i e ' s "Woman". ...je me sentais...comme s i j ' e t a i s deja toute preservee, poudree, exposee heureuse sur mon l i t de mort. (1-+1) E l i e wants to confine "his" Telumee, f o r she i s a construct of his perception and projection which i s necessarily i n danger of sl i p p i n g away. E l i e represents the archetypical "male" i n patriarchal - 18 -society. His perception i s based on a process of " o b j e c t i f i c a t i o n " , a process t r a d i t i o n a l l y associated with the male. ... i t i s primarily the father (or the father figure) toward whom the c h i l d turns f o r protection from...the anxieties and fears of disintegration of a s t i l l very f r a g i l e ego. I t i s the father who comes to stand f o r individuation and d i f f e r e n t i a t i o n f o r objective r e a l i t y itself...-'-•5 The danger of such unquestioned b e l i e f i n a dichotomized world i s parabolized by Reine Sans Nom i n her recounting of "L'Homme qui voulait vivre a. 1'odeur". The story's t i t l e i s indicative of the insular perspective held by the main character. Plus i l observait l e s hommes, plus i l l e s trouvait pervers et l a mechancete q u ' i l , voyait en eux l'empechait d'admirer quoi que ce fu t . (77) Here i s a man who refuses to embrace the t o t a l i t y of existence. Wvabor's f i x e d delineation of boundaries between s e l f and other has the effect of cutting him off from any "communion" with his surroundings. I I v i t des contrees que l ' o e i l humain n'a jamais contempiees, des etangs couverts de fl e u r s rares, mais i l pensait a l'homme et a. son mal et r i e n ne l e charmait. (78) Wvabor gives p r i o r i t y to h i s mare, "Mes Deux Yeux", a female object representing ..his own v i s i o n . . His ultimate b e l i e f i n the d e f i n i t i o n he has fabricated causes an irrevocable rupture between his s e l f and - 19 -•the environment, a consequence which precludes any relationship with a " r e a l " woman having her own v i s i o n . . . . i l apergut une femme aux yeux sereins, l'aima, tenta alors de mettre pied a terre , mais i l e t a i t trop tard. La jument se mit a brair e , a ruer et prenant l a cavalcade, l'entraina a i l l e u r s , bien l o i n de l a femme...La bete e t a i t devenue son maitre. (78) The moral Reine Sans Nom draws from the story i s the following: ...derriere une peine i l y a une autre peine, l a misere est une vague sans f i n , mais l e cheval ne doit pas te conduire, c'est t o i qui dois conduire l e cheval. (79) "Le cheval" i s representative of forces both natural and ideological to which the i n d i v i d u a l i s subject. I t i s aysymbol of a l l that man cannot know or control. What Reine Sans Nom i s advocating i s a f l e x i b i l i t y of perspective which w i l l enable an in d i v i d u a l to recog-nize the independent r e a l i t y of the "other". E l i e , however, becomes a victim of his excessive need to delineate between s e l f and other. This need translates i t s e l f into physical violence against Telumee. -Tu te crois toujours petite f i l l e au Bassin bleu, mais s i tu ne l e sais pas, je t'apprends que t u es une grande femme aux seins lourds sous ta robe...et bientot je te ferr' connaitre ce que s i g n i f i e l e mot femme sur l a terre et tu te rouleras et tu cri e r a s , comme une femme roule et c r i e quand on l a manie bien...Tu essayes de me fuir...mais t u n'eviteras pas l'homme que je suis... (158) - 20 -The violence i n t h e i r r e l a t i o n s h i p places Telumee i n an impossible s i t u a t i o n ; she i s forced e i t h e r to come to terms with her symbolic exclusion from the p a t r i a r c h a l order which E l i e perpetuates, or l i t e r a l l y to face t o t a l a n n i h i l a t i o n at i t s hands, A cl o s e r look at the text w i l l provide an ana l y s i s of Telumee's v i c t i m i z a t i o n as "Woman". As has already been mentioned, i n the h i e r a r c h i c a l ordering of Patriarchy the "feminine" category i s viewed as subservient to the "masculine". This i n i t i a l d i v i s i o n of humanity in t o two d i s t i n c t groups r e f l e c t s a p o s i t i o n of b i o l o g i c a l reductionism. Yet, as man i s d i s t i n g u i s h a b l e from the natural order p r e c i s e l y through c u l t u r a l and s o c i a l i n s t i t u t i o n s , the b i o l o g i c a l d e f i n i t i o n s of "male" and "female" ought no longer to s u f f i c e . However, rather than going beyond t h i s d u a l i s t i c approach, the abstract symbolic order serves to uphold and promote i t , i n favor of the male. E l i e ' s r e f e r r a l to woman's destiny as being d i c t a t e d by her "ventre" confirms the ove r r i d i n g preponderance of the b i o l o g i c a l i n male discourse. -( -L'homme a l a force, l a femme l a ruse, mais e l l e a beau ruser son ventre est la, pour l a t r a h i r et c' est son pr e c i p i c e . ( ? l ) The p h y s i c a l aspect of female sex u a l i t y (-.ventre") i s i n e x t r i c a b l y bound up with the c u l t u r a l notion of "femininity" i n Language; they both represent aspects of existence "other" than those known experi-e n t i a l l y to man. In t h i s instance, "feminine"sexuality" can be taken - 21 -to stand f o r that which the male sees i n the place of the woman, ( i . e . her physical appearance) La femme apprend au cours de son enfance a. se se r v i r de son EXTERIEUR pour s i g n i f i e r son sexe INTERIEUR... e l l e f a i t appel continuellement au regard de 1 'autre pour repondre de son identite sexuelle . 1 6 "Feminine sexuality" therefore can be considered a construct which i s divorced from any i n t e r i o r r e a l i t y s p e c i f i c to a woman. The t o t a l abstraction of the concept of "Woman" re s u l t s i n the equating of her sexuality to a mystery of "The Mystery" f o r man. Not only does i t stand f o r the necessary "lack" i n order that he defines, himself as aipresence, but as i t occurs within the d u a l i s t i c economy of male discourse ( i . e . subject/object, good/evil, dark/light etc.) i t further must incorporate the b i - p o l a r i t y of "purity" (the virgin) and "impurity" (the whore). The Bible re-inforces t h i s l i m i t e d duality i n the construct "Woman", f i r s t with Eve (the bearer of o r i g i n a l s i n - the "knowledge" of the flesh) and then with the Vi r g i n Mary (the purity of the Immaculate Conception). Pere Abel acts as E l i e ' s prime model f o r h i s emotional development. Being deprived of the actual physical presence of a mother, he has no experience of r e a l i t y "other" than the masculine. His struggle f o r autonomy from the "Mother", there-fore, i s deferred or repressed, coming to the foreground only when he establishes a relationship with the "feminine" through Telumee. E l i e ' s ignorance of the "feminine" augments his anxieties of reengulfment by t h i s representation of - 21a -LEAF 22 MISSED IN NUMBERING. - 23 -"Mother". To him, the external or o b j e c t i f i e d world appears as a dangerous "foret" i n which he r i s k s l o s i n g himself. This image was passed on to him by the Father. .. .parf ois l e pere Abel lui-meme me cfaitA> , l ' e f f e t d'un enfant abandonne sur l a terre. Certains s o i r s y i l se met a hurler dans son l i t : est-ce que je sors du ventre d'une femme humaine?...et puis i l se penche vers moi, me prend dans ses bras et chuchote: helas, ou a l l e r pour crier?...c'est toujours l a meme foret , toujours aussi epaisse.,.alors mon f i l s , ecarte l e s branches comme tu peux, v o i l a . (72) Elie&s fear of reengulfment recurs whenever the p o s s i b i l i t y of a sexual encounter between him and Telumee i s imminent. Nous nous etions baignes ensemble, et l e s o l e i l buvait l'humidite sur nous, tandis que nous reposions sur une immense roche plate, toute brulante, au beau milieu de l a riviere...Me tournant vers E l i e , je l u i v i s 1 'expression hagarde q u ' i l avait sous l e flamboyant de l'ecole, parlant de son pere, de l a f o r e t , de l a vie aux mil l e traces, et de ses craintes de s'egarer.....j/J'ai pense a me coucher l a , sur les galets, a f i n qu'Elie me recouvree de tout son corps... (pp.85-86) Tout en badinant de l a sorte, E l i e se rapprochait et comme i l venait a ma hauteur, me s e r r a i t contre l u i , je me souvins d'avoir deja vu cette loieur c r a i n t i v e dans ses yeux, autrefois, sous l e flamboyant de l'ecole, tandis q u ' i l me p a r l a i t de foret en fr i c h e et de traces qui risquaient de se perdre, un jour... (117) Thus, f o r E l i e , "feminine sexuality" appears as.a manifestation of - Zh -h i s anxieties concerning the bl u r r i n g of boundaries between s e l f and other. Since the mystery of "feminine sexuality" i s perceived and defined by the male subject i n the text, from Telumee's point of view, her actual r o l e i n E l i e ' s downfall eludes her. She enters 1? t h e i r commonlaw relationship certain that i t i s her destiny. Le lendemain, ge m'eveillai avec 1 'impression de suivre ma destinee de negresse, de ne plus etre etrangere sur l a ter r e . (125) The ephemeral nature of her position i s revealed to her at the moment when E l i e succumbs to L a e t i t i a . During E l i e ' s prosperity, Telumee may have appeared to him as the incarnation of "Woman" (with an em-phasis on "purity" associated with the role of wife), but i n his subsequent state of moral corruption, he i s l o g i c a l l y seduced by the opposite pole'of the feminine mystique, L a e t i t i a the "whore". The l i n k between Nature and the "feminine" i n the text ("la foret" as metaphor f o r "feminine sexuality") i s further substantiated by the fact that adversity i n Nature acts as the catalyst f o r E l i e ' s r u i n . The eruption of forces beyond man's control generates a fe e l i n g of anxiety p a r a l l e l to that which he experiences during ex-pulsion from the mother's womb. In the novel, E l i e suffers fear and helplessness when confronted with a force that escapes the bounds of his control. Any a l l u s i o n to woman as the o r i g i n a l creator of man dislodges the subject from the place of self-possession, the position from which he says " I " . Woman as mother pre-existed the " I " of the - 25 -male subject; he issued from her, and as such, remained passive i n his own construction. I t i s here that the desire to secure a set of laws which w i l l guarantee a subjective control f o r the male appears to be based on a f a l l a c y , or the r e j e c t i o n of a previously apparent truth (the dominance or even the existence of the "(M)other"). The eruption of Nature i n the text engenders the anxiety-related to the loss of s e l f which i t i s the symbolic order's r o l e to suppress. ...cette f o i s tout semblait autre, c'etait l e debut de l a saison et les hommes paraissaient deja a bout de f or'ces..." l a disgrace de Fond-Zombi cbmmenga par un hivernage qui s u r p r i t tout l e monde...Et l e careme survint, torride,stupefiant, etouffant pores et devastant poulaillers.,.,. (1-+4) E l i e ' s actual powerlessness as an in d i v i d u a l subject i s now revealed to him: he has veritably l o s t his way i n the metaphorical "foret" of feminine sexuality. E l i e semblait trouver que l e s o l e i l avait t e r n i , perdu de s o n eclat, et et l ' o n voyait dans s o n regard que cet homme ne c o n n a i t r a i t pas l'emer-veillement de s i tot. (l44) Turning i n despair from one li m i t e d representation of "Woman" (Telumee) E l i e now retreats to i t s l o g i c a l opposite i n L a e t i t i a . L a e t i t i a w i l l incarnate "Significance" f o r E l i e i n her manifest sensuality and ultimate inner complicity with the patriarchal order. 'When she approaches Telumee. \ L a e t i t i a operates at the l e v e l of - 26 -sexuality as the incarnation of e v i l , as i s evident i n the following "Garden of Eden" scene:. Le sous-bois de 1 'Autre Bord me p l a i s a i t particulierement, a cause de ses palmiers entre lesquels croissaient des bananiers sauvages et des Cannes congo. L'endroit me m y s t i f i a i t un peu, comme s i , en un temps revolu et l o i n t a i n , l'avaient habite des hommes capables de se r e j o u i r des r i v i e r e s , des arbres et du c i e l . . . E l i e ( L a e t i t i a ) longeait l a r i v e de sa demarche trainante et souveraine, glissant sur l a terre et les pierres et les f e u i l l e s comme une couleuvre en vadrouille. (136) L a e t i t i a ' s success i n d i v e r t i n g E l i e i s guaranteed by her own com-p l i c i t y with the dominant ideology. She adheres to the prevalent notion that women must make use of t h e i r exterior i n order to s i g -n i f y t h e i r i n t e r i o r . L a e t i t i a ' s childhood "motherlessness" (akin to that of E l i e ) has l e f t her defenseless against the influences of patriarchal ideology. L a e t i t i a , e l i e , a l l a i t d'une case a 1 'autre, attrapant une leche de morue, une tranche de f r u i t a pain, un f r u i t , une miette de viande, car tout l e v i l l a g e e t a i t sa maman. (68) Without a strong maternal bond from which to derive a centred s e l f , L a e t i t i a accepts the role assigned to her i n the d u a l i s t i c economy of patriarchal discourse. Her be l i e f i n her own " o b j e c t i v i t y " e f f e c t i v e l y confines her to a ro l e of fi x e d or "dead" construct. L a e t i t i a has understood that the only place f o r a woman on earth i s i n the cemetery, because she must s a c r i f i c e her own i n t e r i o r or - 2? -inner r e a l i t y i n order to c i r c u l a t e within the s o c i a l order of a patri a r c h a l system. - P e t i t e f l e u r de coco, d i t - e l i e ( L a e t i t i a ) , navree, en quel pays l e s cloches ont-e l l e s sonne pour t o i ? . . . t a case, mais quelle casefe'... tu n' es pas plus i c i chez t o i qu'ailleurs, et ne l e savais-tu pas, deja, que l a seule place d'une negresse sur l a terre est au cime-t i e r e ? . . . (165) Telumee's inevitable f a i l u r e to correspond to E l i e ' s v i s i o n of her assures her defeat and subsequent "death" as "Woman" i n the text. She cannot support the l i m i t e d d e f i n i t i o n assigned to her i n male discourse. Telumee's bonding with her grandmother, Reine Sans Nom, has provided her with a strong self-image which;, w i l l " resus-c i t a t e her af t e r each l i f e c r i s i s . An additional factor which i n h i b i t s Telumee's co l l u s i o n with the r o l e of "Woman" i n male discourse i s her sustained state of 19 "childlessness". Her mother, V i c t o i r e , was obliged to accept a man i n order to provide f o r her two children. ...apres t o i , Regina, j ' a i accepte l'homme Angebert sur mon plancher, mais c'etait seulement du pain que je cherchais; et t u l e vois, j ' a i recolte viande sur viande, Telumee d'abord, puis c e l u i - c i . . . (33) Telumee may r e s i s t t h i s mode of "exchange" (man f o r "pain") as she remains unencumbered by supplementary mouths to feed. She i s sym-b o l i c a l l y i n i t i a t e d into the system where women are seen to possess an "exchange value". In the pa t r i a r c h a l economy, woman's sexuality, - 28 -s p e c i f i c a l l y her a b i l i t y to reproduce, comes under the heading of "goods" to be bought by the male. However, Telumee's f a i l u r e to reproduce what Sharon W i l l i s c a l l s the "phallus c a p i t a l " grants her 20 economic independence on a concrete/physical l e v e l . This i n turn w i l l allow her a certain maneuverability v i s - a - v i s the symbolic system. The attempt to imprison Telumee i n the role of sexual "truck" begins with an i n i t i a t i o n into the symbolic system of exchange i n pere Abel's boutique. Pere Abel attempts, verbally, to construct a v i s i o n f o r Telumee of herself as "passive receptacle". -Es-tu patiente, p e t i t e , demandait-il non sans malice...car avant tout, une femme doit etre patiente, c'est 5 a . -Et qu'est-ce que l'homme doit etre, avant tout? -Avant tout, r e p o n d a i t - i l , un peu fanfaron, un homme ne doit avoir: .. . peur n i de viv r e , n i de mourir". (73) This rape i n the symbolic r e g i s t e r (the act of establishing the passivity of the woman i n opposition to the active male l i b i d o ) i s quickly followed by the exchange of a material g i f t . Et v i t e , i l prenait dans l e bocal une boule de menthe, me l a tendait en souriant: que ce p e t i t gout de menthe te fasse oublier mes paroles, cartouches vides dans un f u s i l r o u i l l e . . . (73) Just as i n Freud's case of Dora, where sexual favors were assured through material exchanges, i n t h i s p a r a l l e l instance, pere Abel manoeuvres to inser t Telumee into the system of exchange legitimized - 29 -by Patriarchy. We know that one of the clues prompting Dora's recognition of her father's relationship with Frau K. i s his i n -creased generosity towards herself and her mother, i n an e f f o r t to conceal the motives behind his making expensive presents to Frau K . ^ l Abel offers Telumee a " g i f t " i n exchange f o r her acceptance of his perception of feminine sexuality. In t h i s way, man looks to women f i r s t to store " h i s " c a p i t a l ( r e c e p t i v i t y i n the sexual act) and eventually to reproduce i t (by giving b i r t h ) . Following Freud's interpretation that the jewel-case i s a metaphor for the female genitals, women are receptacles which c o l l e c t and store the father's jewels, i n which his c a p i t a l accrues and repro-duces i t s e l f . The i n i t i a t i o n of Telumee i s interrupted at the physical l e v e l , however, when she stays " c h i l d l e s s " . Despite the fact that pere Abel has defined her sexuality i n r e l a t i o n to man's "desire", her f a i l u r e to reproduce b i o l o g i c a l l y precludes any complete act u a l i z a t i o n of the role'oft Woman" i n the socio-economic f i e l d . A woman without a b i o l o g i c a l reproductive function, there-fore, i s a m i s f i t i n a 'patriarchal economy, for she refuses to c i r -culate according to i t s rule s . No.ttonly w i l l she disrupt the economic system i n p r a c t i c a l terms, she also causes a disturbance i n the symbolic order, f o r she exists i n an "unnamable" state. As Adrienne Richestates: - 30 -We have no f a m i l i a r , ready-made name fo r a woman who defines herself, by choice, neither i n r e l a t i o n to children nor to men. 23 V i c t o i r e ' s production of the "phallus/capitalV e f f e c t i v e l y grounds her i n a male discourse. Telumee, however, must take up an a l t e r -nate position outside the regular "order", f o r although she has been shown her place i n the exchange economy, her "barrenness" prohibits her from taking i t up. Telumee sets out f i r s t on the road of traditionalism'' the ide a l i z e d male/female relationship appears as the means by which a woman re a l i z e s her place on earth. However, being unable to sustain the voyage through l i f e as an o b j e c t i f i e d male construct, she en-counters r e j e c t i o n by her supposed savior, E l i e (God-'-& prophet), and as a r e s u l t she soon finds herself r a d i c a l l y displaced from the e x i s t i n g dominant order. Je n'ai pas l e souvenir des jours qui suivirent...Je r e s t a i l a plusieurs semaines, sans bouger, ne distinguant meme plus l e jour d'avec l a nuit...Lorsqu^on me p a r l a i t je r e s t a i s muette, et l'pn d i s a i t que l a parole m'etait u devenue l a chose l a plus etrangere du monde du monde. ( l 6 6 ) Af t e r her f a l l from patriarchal grace, Telumee w i l l be reborn: she w i l l assume an alternative perspective with regard to language. Her new position w i l l be one which understands Language as ansystem of r e l a t i v e s , rather than of dichotomies. Through an understanding of - 31 -existence as a non-hierarchical intermingling of the "abstract" and the " r e a l " (or the "other" and the " s e l f " ) , Telumee w i l l be able to see herself other than according to the dictates of patriarchal ideology. She w i l l achieve a centred existence as a woman, following the example of Reine Sans Nom, who, "sans nom", was nevertheless "Reine" by her own acts of s e l f - d e f i n i t i o n , of "autonomy". - 32 -Footnotes - Chapter I 1. Herbert G. May, & Bruce M. Metziger eds. The New Oxford  Annotated Bible (New York: Oxford University Press, 1977), P • ^"t 2. I b i d . . p. 3. J u l i e t M i t c h e l l , Jacqueline Rose eds. Feminine Sexuality, (London: McMillan Press, 1982), p. 50. •4-. Dale Spender, Man Made Language (Boston: Routledge & K^ ga-n Paul, 1980), p. 52. 5. Mary.Daly, Gyn/Ecology (Boston: Beacon Press, 1978), PP. 359-360. 6. J u l i e t M i t c h e l l , Women: The Longest Revolution (New York: Pantheon Books, 1966), p. 239. 7. Dale Spender, op c i t . , p. k. 8. Mary Daly's contention that "Patriarchy appears to be ^ -every-where", (Mary Daly, Gyn/Ecology, p. l ) helps to establish Patriarchy as the dominant universal ideology which i s r e f l e c t e d i n and held up by the symbolic order of language as does the following d e f i n i t i o n of the term by Adrienne Rich: "Patriarchy i s the power of the fathers: a f a m i l i a l - s o c i a l , i d e o l o g i c a l , p o l i t i c a l system i n which men - by force, d i r e c t pressure, or through r i t u a l , t r a d i t i o n , law, and language customs, etiquette, education, and the d i v i s i o n of labor, determine what part women s h a l l or s h a l l not play and i n which the female i s everywhere subsumed under the male." (Adrienne Rich, Of Woman Born-(New York: Bantam Books, 1976), p. -+0). 9. "The i n s t i t u t i o n of phallocentric law i s congruent with the need to prove paternity and authority, to secure property by transforming the c h i l d into an alienated object named and possessed by the father, and to secure property by transforming the woman into a mediating instrument of the production and - passage of property." Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak, "Displace-ment and Discourse of Woman" i n Displacement. Derrida and  After, ed. Mark Krusnick (Bloomington: Indiana Univ. Press, 1983), p. 18*+. 10. P h y l l i s Chesler, Women and Madness (New York: Avon Books, 1972), p. 62. - 33 -11. Mary Daly, op. c i t . , p. 109. 12. "L'esclave ne pratique aucune sorte de "rapport personnel" ...avec l e s o u t i l s qui sont u t i l i s e s dans son t r a v a i l . . . Ni l'entretien de ces o u t i l s n i leur perfectionnement ne . requierent - 1'attention de l'esclave. D 1autre'part, l e systeme se r v i l e est t e l que l e nouvel arriyahfc ne prend aucune sorte d'interet a l a "productivite." (Edouard Glissant, Le Discours  a n t i l l a i s (Paris: Editions du S e u i l , 198l), p. 102/ 13. Evelyn Fox K e l l e r , Reflections on Gender and Science (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1985), p. 82. Ik. Carol G i l l i g a n , In a Different ^oice (Cambridge Mass.j-HHarvard University Press, 1982), p. 156. 15. I am using "Doxa" here i n the sense defined by Roland Barthes: "La Doxa...c'est l'opinion publique, l ' E s p i r i t Majoritaire... Roland Barthes (Paris: jgditions du S e u i l , 1975) p. 5 l ) . The "case" (house) i n the novel denotes a pinnacle of achieve-ment i n the l i f e of woman according to the Doxa of the l o c a l setting. 16. Christiane O l i v i e r , Les Enfants de Jocaste (Paris: Denoel/ Gauthier, 1980), p. 69. 17. E l i e does not formally marry Telumee i n the way that Jeremie married Toussine. This i s apparently due to lack of f i n a n c i a l security on his part and may therefore be construed as re-enforcing the " f i c t i o n a l " nature of his r o l e as dominant provider. 18. Lacan as well r e s t r i c t s h is d e f i n i t i o n s of "une femme", according to male desire, as " s o i t comme vierge, s o i t comme prostituee." (Jacques Lacan i n "La S i g n i f i c a t i o n du Phallus" oilfeEcrits (Paris: Editions du S e u i l , 1966),p. 695). 19. Although Telumee l a t e r becomes the adoptive mother of Sonore she has no " b i o l o g i c a l " dependants when she i s young and unemployed. 20. Sharon W i l l i s , "A Symptomatic Narrative" D i a c r i t i c s . 13, No. I (Spring, 1983), pp. -+6-60. 21. I b i d . , p. hG. 22. I b i d . , p. kS. 23. Adrienne Rich, Of Woman Born- (New York: Bantam Books, 1976), p. 253. (Roland Barthes, - 3^ -CHAPTER I I Alternative Approaches to Language: The "Other" as 'Non-Object - 35 -The post-freudian " l i n g u i s t i c " approach of Jacques Lacan i s useful i n analysing the circumstances of man/woman oppression, as a d e f i n i t e subject/object relationship i s involved. However, a broader-based analysis of the realm of the subject i n L'anguage i s necessary i n order to deal s p e c i f i c a l l y with alternate modes of discourse available to the male subject i n the text. Carl Jung's theories w i l l be relevant i n t h i s instance, f o r through Jung's con-ception of the operations of the psyche i t i s possible to examine the relationship between man/woman oppression (which concerns a subject/object relation) and the p a r t i c u l a r phenomenon of the v i c -timization of one subject by another (here the domination of the male Negro by the White male). The construct of s i g n i f i e r "Woman" has been established as the referent "object" essential to the formation of the male subject i n Language. On a physical l e v e l , t h i s phenomenon i s mirrored i n the act of separation from the Mother (who i s a woman) which i s necessary f o r the c h i l d to construct his i n d i v i d u a l i d e n t i t y . Un homme ne peut se construire dans un premier temps que dans 1'opposition a l a mere, que dans l a contre-identi-f i c a t i o n a l a femme.l Later on, the notion of "separation" becomes a paradigm f o r the psychological development of the (male) subject, a development established and continued through the terms of Language i t s e l f . - 36 -In the order of language, " I " and "You" conceptualize and mark separate persons, as "she" and "he", "mother" and "father" d i f f e r e n t i a t e genders and roles...Discovery of the father's r o l e i n the primal scene and recog-n i t i o n of male dominance i n the s o c i a l world conjoin with the i n t e -gration of the patriarchal c h i l d into the systematic organization of language. The interlocking of l i n g u i s t i c with c u l t u r a l rules suggests an equation between the organization of patriarchal culture and i t s sexually d i f f e r e n t i a t e d oedipal subjectivity. 2 From his position of subject, the i n d i v i d u a l projects the inherent dualism which constitutes his very "coming into being" onto his surrounding environment, thereby establishing an oppositional or hie r a r c h i c a l ordering i n Nature i t s e l f . Nature comes to be equated with the body, while man as subject s i g n i f i e s the abstract or the " s p i r i t " . Jung defines " c u l t u r a l development" assman's a t t r i b u t i o n of p r i o r i t y to the s p i r i t over the body i n the oppositional hierarchy of existence. This, according to Jung, i s essential to a t t a i n higher moral goals. The ingrained dichotomy of the Gree,k mind had now become acute, with the re s u l t that the accent shifted s i g -n i f i c a n t l y to the psychic and s p i r i t u a l , which was unavoidably s p l i t off from the h y l i c realm of the body. A l l the highest and ultimate goals lay i n man's moral destination, i n a s p i r i t u a l , supramundane end-state, and the •» separation of the h y l i c realm broadened into a cleavage between world and s p i r i t . 3 - 37 -I t i s only by leaving behind the body (Mother), therefore, that the subject i s able to continue h i s s o c i a l development i n a world governed by the p r i n c i p l e s of a p a t r i a r c h a l ideology. Instead of attachment, i n d i v i d u a l achievement r i v e t s the male imagi-nation, and great ideas or d i s -t i n c t i v e a c t i v i t y define the stan- ^ dard of self-assessment and success. Power i t s e l f i s guaranteed p r i m a r i l y through separation, f o r attach-ment would presuppose a d e f e r r a l of i n d i v i d u a l achievement. In h i s essay Refus de l a femme, K a r l Stern l i n k s t h i s same r a d i c a l s p l i t between mind and body, and the ensuing s u p e r i o r i t y a t t r i b u t e d to the mind, to the development of modern science. ...seule cette r a d i c a l e separation entre l e sujet connaissant et l' o b j e t connaissable pouvait per-mettre l e progres des sciences exactes. I I faut d'abord que l e sujet se separe de l'univers pour expliquer c e l u i - c i par l e s mathe-matiques...Dans l a c i v i l i s a t i o n medievale et d'autres encore, tant que l'homme se concevait comme encastre dans l a nature et i n -trinsequement uni a. l ' o b j e t q u ' i l contemplait, 1 ' o b j e c t i v i t e s c i e n -t i f i q u e r e s t a i t impossible.5 Stern locates the o r i g i n of a desire to give p r i o r i t y to the mind or s p i r i t over the environment (matter or "matiere") i n the i n i t i a l formative a c t of separation from the mother ("mater"). Having equated "mater" with matter ("jmatiere") Stern goes on to develop the th e s i s that the desire f o r c o n t r o l i n the male subject increases i n d i r e c t - 38 -r e l a t i o n to the amount of negative influence exercised upon him by the mother. In other words, domination over the "female" (female= boay=nature) i s at the base of i n d i v i d u a l development and achieve-ment i n p a t r i a r c h a l society. Le puissant; 1'administrateur qui non seulement gere des biens mais d i r i g e des hommes; l'homme qui aborde l e s r e l a t i o n s humaines comme s i e l l e s r e l e v a i e n t de l a technique...ces types d1hommes se refusent a tous g l e s moyens de communion, d ' i n t e r i o r i t e . Jung's conception mirrors that of Stern's i n that he l a b e l s the feminine the weaker element i n the subject which must be repressed i n order to gain c o n t r o l i n the s o c i a l order. According to Jungjs when an outward or s o c i a l l y powerful r o l e i s played, an inward or 7 "effeminate" weakness e x i s t s i n regard to the unconscious. Both men relegate the female to the r o l e of Mother, which functions i n the pre-symbolic or unconscious realm. The equation man=Logos=culture becomes the formula f o r "success" or control i n the s o c i a l order with repression of woman=Eros=unconscious as i t s p r e r e q u i s i t e . In order to e x i s t as a " c o n t r o l l i n g " subject i n society, the i n d i v i d u a l must i d e n t i f y wholly with what i s deemed acceptable by a p a t r i a r c h a l Doxa and deny the existence of any a l t e r -nate i n t e r i o r or inner r e a l i t y ( i . e . the s u b j e c t i v i t y of a woman or an integrated masculine/feminine s u b j e c t i v i t y i n the male). Thus the oppression of women can be seen as i n t r i n s i c to the very estab-lishment of the symbolic order of patriarchy and i t s language. - 39 -In order to come to terms with the d i f f erences between the two forms of oppression evident i n our text (male-female and White-Black) i t i s u s e f u l to look more c l o s e l y a t the i m p l i c a t i o n s of Jung's t h e o r i e s . I f the symbolic order i t s e l f i s p a t r i a r c h a l , with woman as object and man as subject , the v i c t i m i z a t i o n of women must be a u n i v e r s a l g iven. As a lready s t a t e d , i n Chapter I , the moment of d i f f e r e n t i a t i o n between the oppressed Negro male and woman occurs a t the point of i n s e r t i o n of the male as dominant subject w i th in h i s own discourse ( i . e . Amboise's r e t u r n to Guadeloupe). There i s therefore a p a r a l l e l between the S i g n i f i e r "subject" and what i s s i g n i f i e d i n the male i n d i v i d u a l (h i s inner r e a l i t y ) which does not e x i s t i n the case of the woman. Woman -/ a woman, but Subject Man= a man. T h i s correspondence w i l l a t some po int guarantee a p lace of p r i v i l e g e f o r a male i n a s p e c i f i c d iscourse as i t does to Amboise i n h i s own Guadeloupian s o c i e t y . I t i s through t h i s r e a l i z a t i o n that the f o l l o w i n g statement becomes poss ib le : Amboise's d i s p l a c e -ment i s geographical and economic i n P a r i s , whereas Telumee's w i l l be i n d i c a t i v e of the symbolic order i t s e l f . Jung proposes the view that the i n d i v i d u a l i s the mediator i n an ongoing confrontationnbetween ex terna l "soc ia l" forces and those of an i n t e r n a l or unconscious r e a l i t y . In order to surv ive more or l e s s s u c c e s s f u l l y i n the outs ide worlds the i n d i v i d u a l must adopt a "mask" or "persona" which fo l lows c l o s e l y the r u l e s of s o c i e t y . - ko -The persona i s a complicated system of re l a t i o n s "between i n d i v i d u a l con-sciousness and society, f i t t i n g l y enough a kind of mask, designed on the one hand to make a d e f i n i t e im-pression upon others, and, on the other to conceal the true nature of the i n d i v i d u a l . ^ The more the i n d i v i d u a l i d e n t i f i e s with hisppersona (his "outer" or s o c i a l s e l f ) the less he i s able to understand or acknowledge the workings of his unconscious or "inner" r e a l i t y . The repression of one's"true nature" ( a l l of the natural, yet undesirable character t r a i t s according to s o c i a l precepts) causes a phenomenon of "pro-jection" to occur, whereby the unconscious "projects" i t s e l f onto others. This locates a l l that i s unacceptable to the i n d i v i d u a l i n the place of the "other". Jung c a l l s these t r a i t s or characteristics the "shadow", and he states that the further away from consciousness (or the more deeply repressed) these t r a i t s are, the less able the i n d i v i d u a l i s to recognize them as such. The projections of the shadow most recognizable to the i n d i v i d u a l are those which are a 9 product of the "personal unconscious". Those which are the furthest away from consciousness (deeply repressed) tend to possess an autonomous nature and belong to what Jung terms the " c o l l e c t i v e un-conscious"."'"0 The shadow projections of the c o l l e c t i v e unconscious have a much greater influence over the i n d i v i d u a l than those of the' personal unconscious f o r they are not necessarily a function f a m i l i a r to any p a r t i c u l a r i n d i v i d u a l , being more closely associated with the "myth producing" or primordial l e v e l of the unconscious. - 41 -Shadow projections, therefore, are what may allow f o r the vic t i m i z a t i o n of non-controlling male subjects i n society. Because the Whites' power exists c u l t u r a l l y and economically as a r e a l i t y i n the text, they possess the means to encode t h e i r own s p e c i f i c meanings, leaving out or ignoring those p a r t i c u l a r to the Negro. I f the White chooses to view the Negro as i n f e r i o r , due to a shadow projection, there i s nothing to stop his doing so, nor i s there any way to halt the adoption of t h i s perception as a c u l t u r a l norm. In th i s respect, the male Negro comes to share a role of vict i m with women i n general. Compare the following statements by Dale Spender with the si t u a t i o n of the male Negro i n the text: ...women have not been i n a position to have t h e i r meanings taken up and incorporated i n those of the socie-bj. They have not been i n the public arena, they have not been the "culture"-makers with the r e s u l t that any meanings which they may wish to encode, but which are d i f f e r e n t from or at odds with those that have been generated by men, have been tenuous and transitory: they have been cut off from the main-stream of meanings and therefore have frequently been l o s t . ^ In t h i s case, the dominant subject has the power to "project" h is shadow onto the Negro male (and female). This then provides the means f o r the establishment and continuation of a " j u s t i f i a b l e " form of oppression by the White subject, thus r e l i e v i n g him of the re s p o n s i b i l i t y of integrating h is shadow. - hz -What the dominant group sees as objectionable i n t h e i r victims can provide an i n t e r e s t i n g clue to what they fear i n themselves -i t ' s a sort of distorted mirror image of the rejected part of themselves...In h i s book Blaming  the Victim, sociologist William Ryan shows how white Americans treat black Americans as second-class c i t i z e n s , providing them with i n f e r i o r education, i n f e r i o r housing, i n f e r i o r jobs - and then point to the r e s u l t , the semi-s k i l l e d black l i v i n g i n a ghetto as the proof that the black American i s "inherently" incapable of coming up to white standards.^ The a l i e n a t i o n experienced by Amboise i n Paris marks h i s i n i t i a t i o n into a world where the oppositional hierarchy of positive and negative elements inherent i n patriarchal ideology ( i . e . subject as good/ object or "other" as e v i l ) i s but an arbitrary f i c t i o n . His r e a l i -zation of the existence of an alternate i n t e r i o r or inner r e a l i t y ( i n t h i s case his own) gains him access to a perception whereby apparently "opposing" constructs are seen to coexist. I I avait lave sa tete de toutes idees blanches, mais i l n'en gardait nulle amertume. Ces gens-la etaient d'un bord et l u i de 1 'autre, i l s ne regardaient pas du meme cote de l a v i e , pas plus que ga, l e f r e r e . . . (216-217) Once he accepts the p r i n c i p l e of the "shadow" within ("rien ne poursuit l e negre que son propre coeur" (l - ^7 ) ) he i s able to tran-scend the oppositional bias of l i n e a r , abstract discourse, and go on to replace the notion of separation and opposition with that of - 43 -integration. He attains the Jungian i d e a l of a man who acknowledges the "feminine" within rather than r e j e c t i n g i t as being undesirable and relegating i t to an " a i l l e u r s " or "without" beyond the p e r i -meters of his own existence. Two diametrically opposed r e l a t i o n s of the subject to e x i s t -ence are presented i n the novel. In the f i r s t case, we have the White or dominant approach ( l i n e a r or abstract discourse): the position of the subject i s secured by a controlled, l i n e a r v i s i o n which represses systematically any eruption of the unknown represented by " l e hasard" or the unconscious. Tapage, frengsiefrbouseuladeuwenaient mourir au bout de cette a l l e e , chaque chose avait une place, une heure, une raison d'etre bien precise, r i e n n'etait l a i s s e au hasard...C'etait un temps sans surprise. ,.,.(9l) Such a perspective denies the existence within o f l a l l that i s un-desirable or inadmissable according to the pre-established terms of the reigning ideology. In the second instance, there i s an acknow-ledgement of an uncontrollable force which circu l a t e s beyond the conscious grasp <of the i n d i v i d u a l and i s perceived by him as an i n t e g r a l part of d a i l y existence. Malheur a c e l u i qui r i t une f o i s et s'y habitue, car l a sceleratesse . de l a vie est sans l i m i t e s et lorsqu'elle vous comble d'une main, c'est pour vous pi e t i n e r des deux pieds, lancer a vos trousses cette femme f o l l e , l a deveine, qui vous happe et vous dechire et voltage l e s lambeaux de votre chair aux corbeaux... (23) - k b -it i s only by virtue of t h i s second v i s i o n that various modes of textual discourse are available to the subject i n Language, f o r through i t he i s permitted to rel i n q u i s h the f i x e d place of dominator assigned to him within the former l i n e a r or abstract perspective. Since the subject's realm i s the symbolic, his way of r e l a t i n g to his environment i s a r t i c u l a t e d through the terms of Language. In the Guadeloupian economy of the text, t h i s l i n k between subject and environment i s e x p l i c i t l y affirmed as being that of " l a parole". Here i s a discourse which does not attempt to control or repress the power of Nature, i n f a c t i t allows for such eruptions i n the ind i v i d u a l as well as i n the environment. This perspective i s a re s u l t of the African heritage of the Negro of Guadeloupe. Such a perspective appears to a greater or lesser extent depending on the individual's predisposition to the c u l t u r a l influences of the col o n i a l system. Edouard Glissant attempts to explain t h i s phenomenon. Through the agency of i n s t i t u t i o n s (school, government, the economy) the i n i t i a l c u l t u r a l difference between the Negro and the White becomes problematized to a point where the male Negro may ex i s t i n ...quelqu'un lance une parole en l ' a i r , comme ca„et l a f o l i e frappe et e l i e a s s a i l l e , et l'on tue et l'on se f a i t tuer.,.(38) Les structures de l a societe, ses reflexes, sont i c i une resultante de l'acte c o l o n i a l et ne s'enra-cinent pas dans un avant (sinon - k5 -displacement within his own s o c i a l sphere. The text provides s p e c i f i c examples of t h i s a l i e n a t i n g influence i n terms of the educational system. I I y avait...dans l a batisse sombre de l'ecole quelque chose de retenu, de severe, de f u t i l e a l a f o i s qui nous mettait mal a l ' a i s e . . . (.7-1) Nous etions a l ' a b r i , apprenant a. l i r e , a signer notre nom, a respecter l e s couleurs de l a France, notre mere, a venerer sa grandeur et sa majeste, sa noblesse, sa g l o i r e . . . ( 8 l ) Glissant discusses the phenomenon of post-colonial displacement with regard to Martinique, but i t i s equally applicable to the s i t u a t i o n of Guadeloupe. La' seule c l a r t e enfin, qui f u t c e l l e de l a presence transeeridanteddellnAMre, de son evidence - colon ou administrateur-, de sa transparence mortellement proposee en modele...1^ When E l i e (as subject) appeals to the law of the Father i n order to assert his dominance, he does so from the "displaced" position of an "adopted" son. Le Nom pour nous est d'abord c o l l e c t i f , n'est pas l e signe d'un Je mais d'un Nous ...ce n'est pas l e nom parental, c'est l e nom conquis.1.5 Unlike Amboise, who i s of a different generation, E l i e i s educated in t o the l i n e a r dominant discourse which denies femininity. As there i s no d i r e c t "paternal" l i n k betweennElie and the dominant - 1*6 -order of post-colonial Guadeloupe, he must exi s t i n displacement within his own discourse, f o r i t i s the discourse of the conqueror. His f r u s t r a t i o n concerning his lack of control "both economically and c u l t u r a l l y can be seen as the root of his violent outbursts against Telumee. Through violence to Telumee, E l i e attempts to recover his authorial place as subject - to affect a return to the time when man did the naming. He proposes to show her her designated patriarchal place as "Woman" on earth. Desormais, i l ne l a i s s a plus passer un jour sans me v o i r , sans venir me f a i r e connaitre ce que s i g n i f i e une femme sur l a terre. Je l e voyais a r r i v e r de l o i n , son beau visage empli d'un calme qui se d e f a i s a i t a mesure q u ' i l se rapprochait de l a case. Et soudain sa bouche se c r i s p a i t , ses narines fremissaient, une sorte de courroux f r o i d l e penetrait cependant q u ' i l se j e t a i t sur moi de toutes ses forces, ecumant de rage... (159) Having been rejected by the womb of hi s mother, he proposes to seek revenge upon Telumee as S i g n i f i e r f o r a l l that he finds unfair i n l i f e . In r e l a t i o n to Jung's theories, Telumee represents E l i e ' s "anima" projection. According to Jung, the anima i s a deeply i n -grained function of the c o l l e c t i v e unconscious which manifests i t -s e l f s p e c i f i c a l l y i n "love" relationships. I t belongs to him, t h i s perilous image of Woman; she stands f o r the l o y a l t y which i n the interests of l i f e he must sometimes forego; - k7 -.she* I s the Much needed- compensation fo r the r i s k s , struggles, s a c r i -f i c e s that a l l end i n disappoint-ment; she i s the great i l l u s i o n i s t , the seductress, who draws him into l i f e with her Maya...-1-? I t has already been noted that according to Jung the more the male ind i v i d u a l s t r i v e s f o r control i n the dominant s o c i a l order, the more he i s turned away from his "feminine" inner s e l f . I t has also been established that the more ac t i v e l y "repressed" any unwanted t r a i t s are, the more the in d i v i d u a l i s l i a b l e to f a l l v ictim to his own projections. In t h i s case, as he st r i v e s to follow the dictates of the dominant discourse, E l i e i s i n a position to suffer from "anima" projection? The repression of feminine t r a i t s and i n c l i n a t i o n s naturally causes... contrasexual demands to accumulate i n the unconscious. No less naturally, the image of a woman... becomes a receptacle f o r these demands, which i s why a man, i n his love-choice, i s strongly tempted to win the woman who best corresponds to his own unconscious femininity - a woman, i n short, who can unhesitatingly receive the pro-jection of his soul.17 Telumee receives E l i e ' s "anima" projection i n her passive r o l e as "Woman", and thus becomes the personification of a l l that E l i e has fundamentally rejected within himself. By projecting his "feminine" or weaker side onto Telumee, E l i e i s able to take revenge upon her for h i s ultimate i n a b i l i t y as a Negro, a l b e i t male, to assume the position of "c o n t r o l l i n g " subject i n the symbolic order. - 48 -In order to examine the role of the Negro woman within the context of the dominant White order, i t i s necessary to sketch the relationship of the Whites to their own discourse. Although the' White female i n the text (Mme.Desaragne) i s associated primarily with the discourse of the dominant ideology, her existence i s also problematic i n that she holds the r o l e of "object" as well i n her own patriarchal order. The i n i t i a l appearance of Mme. Desaragne i n the text has the effect of highlighting the difference between the external facade of White c o l o n i a l power and the actual physical presence of t h e i r descendants. At f i r s t the imposing exterior i s presented ( t h e i r overwhelming residence): Et tandis que j ' a l l a i s a i n s i , d'un pas retenu malgre moi, controle, soudain surgit une vaste demeure a colonnades et bougainvillees, perron sureleve, t o i t surmonte de deux fleches metalliques, et ces etonnantes fenetres a v i t r e s et rideaux de den-t e l l e dont nous ayions parle, Reine Sans Nom et moi. Sur toute l a fagade, l e s f l e u r s tapissaient l a maison d'un mauve ecarlate, eblouissant. (90) This impressive fagade i s immediately contrasted with the diminutive r e a l i t y of Mme. Desaragne herself. Venant a moi, depuis l e perron ou e l i e se tenait, l a descendante du Blanc des blancs m'apparut, dame f r e l e , un peu v i e i l l e demoiselle, avec de longs cheveux jaunes et gr i s et les o r t e i l s fardes dans des sandales, qu'elle t r a i n a i t - -+9 -avec legerete, comme de pe t i t s bateaux de papier t i r e s a l a f i c e l l e , sur une piece d'eau dormante. (90) The discrepancy between the s t a t i c representation of power (the residence) and the i n d i v i d u a l (Mme.Desaragne) mirrors on a physical l e v e l the schism between the elaborate system of language and the precarious nature of the subject. Mme. Desaragne's relationship to Telumee appears as one of superiority, both r a c i a l l y and economically, despite the f a c t that she shares with Telumee the subservient place of "Woman" i n r e l a t i o n to the male of the house. Mme. Desaragne i s uniquely occupied with the t r a d i t i o n a l household or "female" chores, even as her husband attempts to transact sexual "commerce" with the hired help. Mme. Desaragne' exists i n a state of repressed sensuality or "desire", as i s evident i n the barrenness and a r i d i t y of the atmosphere a/t B e l l e -F e u i l l e . But, because she i s able to in f e r that her way of l i f e i s superior to Telumee's,it i s evident that her position r a c i a l l y i s one of power. She i s therefore able to a f f e c t a shadow projection onto Telumee whereby her own lack appears as an overabundance i n the "other". 1 8 ...on vous emmene i c i , et comment vivez-vous?...dans la.boue, l e ; vice, l e s bacchanales.. .Gombien de coups de baton ton homme te donne-t-il?..,et toutes ces femmes, avec leurs ventres a credit?...drole de gout, vous vous yautrez dans -la fange, et vous r i e z . (93-9^0 The universal sexual r i v a l r y of women i s apparent to a lesser degree, - 50 -between Telumee and her employer.aslttservesitbif.urtherosepafate and alienate woman.5fr.om;-.womanlasiitsdid within the context of L a e t i t i a and Telumee's relationship. ...balayant son dos de ses longs cheveux en l i b e r t e comme pour me dire: ou sont tes cheveux,negresse, pour q u ' i l s te caressent i e dos... (9-+) Their relationship, therefore, i s t y p i c a l of the female predicament engendered by Patriarchy where a si t u a t i o n of complicity and r i v a l r y e xists between women. They are both accomplices i n the f a l l a c y of male supremacy i n that they concern themselves with the cleaning of the male's clothes, ( l i E l l e c o n t r o l a i t alors l a f l u i d i t e de l'amidon... va, Telumee, d i s a i t - e l l e , ajoute l e bleu" (9^-95): the combined ef f o r t produces the water to clean Mme. Desaragne's s h i r t s ) . They are also sexual r i v a l s i n the exchange system effected by Mme. Desaragne. However, because Mme. Desaragne i s White over and above being a woman, when she o b j e c t i f i e s Telumee, i t i s primarily Telumee's status as Black which enables her to do so. J'etais maintenant entouree d'yeux metalliques, percants, l o i n t a i n s sous lesquels je n'existais pas. (91-92) In t h i s case, Telumee's alienating experience as a non-existing "sub-iject" can be seen to p a r a l l e l that of Amboise's s i t u a t i o n i n Par i s . Her gender i s not seen as "other" by Mme. Desaragne, but her colour i s . As both she and Amboise are "other" i n essence to the Whites, they cannot be heard i n the terms of t h e i r oppressor's discourse. - 51 -Telumee i s able to escape the tyranny of Mme. Desaragne's speech "by holding on to. a sense of her own..individuality. ..: Je me f a u f i l a i s a travers ces paroles comme s i je nageais dans l'eau l a plus c l a i r e qui s o i t . . . j e l u i abandonnais l a premiere face a f i n qu'elle s'amuse, l a patronne, qu'elle cogne dessus, et moi-meme par en dessous je r e s t a i s intacte... Thanks to a strong sense of s e l f , conveyed to her through the actions of her grandmother, Telumee succeeds i n combatting the attempt of the dominant White female to -objectify . her on r a c i a l grounds-. Being both Black and female, Telumee's awareness of oppression has been twofold. I t i s essential to her personal and emotional development,therefore,to understand the double standards required for survival i n a society which f a i l s to encode her own meaning, The words f i r s t a r t i c u l a t e d by her man Cia were often reiterated by Reine Sans Nom: "sois une v a i l l a n t e petite negresse, un v r a i tambour a. deux faces, l a i s s e l a vie frapper, cogner, mais conserve toujours intacte l a face du dessous" ( 62 ) . Through i n t e r i o r i z a t i o n of t h i s notion, Telumee i s able to arrive at an understanding of the d i s p a r i t y between one's inner r e a l i t y and the exterior "face" or persona as defined by the dominant ideology (be i t White or pa t r i a r c h a l ) . When she comes to confront her existence as "object" i n a White discourse, she approaches i t from a somewhat diff e r e n t perspective to that of Amboise. Her sense of o r i g i n a l displacement - 52 -or " v i c t i m i z a t i o n " at the hands of the symbolic order has long been internalized as the condition of her existence. She therefore does not react to the humiliation and alienation produced by contact with the Whites i n the same way as would a male Negro, f o r she was never allowed to perceive at the l e v e l of "subject" i n her own socio-economic order. Telumee i s thus able to maneuvre around the White woman's attempts to victimize her, through an understanding that the 20 external symbolic "construct" applied to her i s a c u l t u r a l " f i c t i o n " . She remains outside the perimeters of the White discourse i n much the same way that she r e s i s t s d e f i n i t i o n according to E l i e ' s male vi s i o n . Whereas Mme, Desaragne related to Telumee i n primarily r a c i a l terms, MmeDesaragne perceives her i n i t i a l l y as a sexual "object". Telumee i s doubly appealing to t h i s male oppressor: she i s e r o t i c a l l y and r a c i a l l y forbidden to him. M. Desaragne's at t r a c t i o n to Telumee i s a l l the more powerful due to the fact that h i s White discourse deeply represses Nature and the (forbidden) e r o t i c feminine. He i s physically drawn to Telumee as his anima. The blackness of her sexuality represents h i s own repressed desire. When M. Desaragne approaches Telumee as an "exchange object" he does so on a much more concrete,physical l e v e l than does pere Abel (whose subtler approach took place primarily i n the symbolic order). I I avait a l a main une robe de soie q u ' i l me jeta en souriant, comme s i l a chose eut ete convenue entre nous. Puis venant a. moi i l posa ses mains sous ma jupe, marmotta d'une voix - 53 -n a s i l l a r d e . . . on d i r a i t que tu es sans culottes, ma f i l l e . (HO) Although Telumee had no means of r e t a l i a t i o n i n the e a r l i e r "symbolic" aggression, i n the physical realm she i s capable of actually posing a threat to the White man. M. Desaragne, je l e jure sur l a ttete du bon Dieu, vous ne pourrez plus entrer dans l a chambre des petites bonnes, car vous n'aurez plus de q u o i . . . I l r i t , je f i s un ' geste de mes ongles et i l se re j e t a en arrierej- l ' a i r hagard, comprenant tout a coup l e sens de mes paroles, ( i l l ) Telumee asserts herself as a physical presence, and, succeeds i n forci n g her oppressor to accept her concrete encoding of a "meaning". Whereas man generally associates "Woman" with the pre-symbolic (thereby d i s q u a l i f y i n g her as a generator of symbolic or "verbal" meaning), i n t h i s case the "act" incorporates meaning into the speech of a woman. This act not only defines Telumee as a non-object or a presence, i t also undermines the supremacy of the White discourse, exposing i t s mechanism of "projection" and r e i f i c a t i o n . Son regard me fu y a i t maintenant, se promenait avec nostalgie sur l a misere de mon reduit, objet par objet...c'etait comme s i j ' e t a i s moi-meme repandue a travers toute l a piece, moi-meme dont i l attendait je ne savais quoi... ( i l l ) M. Desaragne's f i n a l r e a l i z a t i o n that he i s faced with a centred "alternate" r e a l i t y , renders impossible any fu l f i l m e n t of his o r i g i n a l - 5k -"desire" (to "possess" Telumee). What he i n i t i a l l y sought from Telumee as "object" cannot be attained from Telumee as physical r e a l i t y / She makes herself heard i n his discourse at the moment she incarnates the construct of "Woman as castrator" - a construct which he i s forced to acknowledge. The ultimate importance of words for the male subject i n Language denotes a dependency which does not extend to the female characters i n the text. Amboise may reject the extreme abstract l i n e a r discourse more commonly associated with the White perspective and endorsed by E l i e , he nonetheless continues to give p r i o r i t y to the spoken word i t s e l f : ...dans ses yeux i l y avait alors une sorte de d i s p o n i b i l i t e per-petuelle comme s i a tout instant i l r i s q u a i t d 1entendre l a parole qui l ' a p a i s e r a i t pour toujours... (218) In E l i e ' s case, speech i s the "seed" which disseminates h i s truth where he sees f i t . . . . i l n'est pas bon de planter n'importe quelle graine dans n'importe quel t e r r a i n , et i l n'est pas sage de dire n'importe quoi a n'importe quelles o r e i l l e s . (130) E l i e aspires to the place of "producer of meaning" through Logos, or the place of the Father. E x i s t i n g , as he does, i n a displaced state i n r e l a t i o n to the Father, any attempts to establish h is authority remain frustrated, he cannot acceed to the place of the conquering White as father. The paternity he symbolically wishes - 55 -to generate through language i s notably a f a l s e paternity, which, by v i r t u e of i t s f a i l u r e (cf due to Telumee's barrenness), re-estab-l i s h e s the primacy of the pre-symbolic or the Mother. Amboise, on the other hand, has r e a l i z e d the f i c t i o n of any f i x e d or s t a t i c "meaning" through Logos and, although he cannot reject the symbolic order of Language altogether as i t i s the place of the male subject, he can proceed to an understanding of the oppositional bias of i t s nature. By replacing the h i e r a r c h i c a l structure of the system with a notion of synthesis, Amboise i s able to achieve an integration of the "anima" (the unconscious or female principle) and the "animus" (the s p i r i t of male p r i n c i p l e ) . He can no longer maintain the a r b i -trary separation inherent i n Patriarchy, which relegates the un-desirable to an " a i l l e u r s " outside of the subject's own experience (an a a i l l e u r s " already noted as the place of women): once the un-knowable i s accepted within, the r e s u l t i s a repudiation of a system which posits the dichotomy of subject as good, object as e v i l . Amboise, therefore, i s able to see Telumee as an e x i s t i n g alternative " s u b j e c t i v i t y " not unlike himself, rather than assign her to a pre-established r o l e following the dictates of l i n e a r , abstract d i s -course: ...je craignais l e regard d'Amboise et que ne s'y g l i s s e quelque regret, une deception. Mais i l me devinait toujours, i l renversait l a tete pour recevoir une brise de terre qui se l e v a i t , avec l e s o i r , et puis me g r a t i f i a n t de son regard savant, passionne, innocent, i l me d i s a i t combien i l me trouvait belle dans cette robe a, ma forme, sans fard - 56 -n i mode...car ee sont les cadavres, a j o u t a i t - i l souriant, ceux qui ont quelque chose a cacher, que 1 1 on apprete et grime... (2l4) Amboise understands that to constrict one's view to the external r e a l i t y of the "Other" r e s u l t s i n the negation or death of the existence of that p a r t i c u l a r i n d i v i d u a l . E l i e , however, must con-tinue to subscribe to t h i s system, f o r i t exists i n order to support and define the " f i c t i o n " of the male subject as a c o n t r o l l i n g entity: Tout dernierement, on m'a prevenue q u ' i l revenait i c i pour mourir, mettre son corps au cimetiere de La Ramee, dans l'espoir qu'un negre se souviendrait de l u i , au jour de l a Toussaint, viendrait poser une bougie sur sa tombe et l u i dire quelques mots... (2^5) (My emphasis). - 57 -Footnotes - Chapter I I 1. Christiane Oliver, Les Enfants de Jocaste (Paris: Denoel/ Gonthier, 1980), p.W. 2. Diane Hunter, "Hysteria, Psychoanalysis and Feminism: The Case of Anna1- 0," i n The (M)other Tongue, ed. Shirley Nelson Garner, C l a i r e Kahane, Madelon Sprengnether (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1985), p.99. 3. C.G. Jung, "Psychological Typology" CW6, pars. 960-87 i n The  Essential Jung, ed. Anthony Storr (Princeton: Princeton Unive ve r s i t y Press, 1983), p.137. •+. Carol G i l l i n g a n , In a Different Voice, p.163. 5. K a r l Stern, Refus de l a femme (Montreal: Editions HMH, 1968), P. 69. 6. I b i d , , p. 11. 7. 'This weakness then leaves the ind i v i d u a l open to influences from the unconscious and he may f a l l v i c t i m to "moods, vagaries, t i m i d i t y , even a limp sexuality" (C.G. Jung "The Relations between the Ego and the Unconscious" Two Essays, GW7, pars. 305-9 i n The Essential Jung, p. 96). 8. I b i d . , p. 94. 9. "The personal unconscious consists f i r s t l y of a l l those contents that became unconscious either because they l o s t t h e i r intensity and were forgotten or because consciousness was withdrawn from them (repression), and secondly of contents, some of them sense-impressions, which never had s u f f i c i e n t intensity to reach con-sciousness but have somehow entered the psyche" (Jung, "The Structure of the Psyche", CW8, pars. 317-21 i n The Essential  Jung, p. 67). 10. "The c o l l e c t i v e unconscious...(is) the ancestral heritage of p o s s i b i l i t i e s of representation, ( i t ) i s not i n d i v i d u a l but common to a l l men, and perhaps even to a l l animals and i s the true basis of the in d i v i d u a l psyche." I b i d . , p. 67. 11. Dale Spender, Man Made Language, p. 52. 12. Anuradha V i t t a c h i , "Roots of Discrimination", New Inter-n a t i o n a l i s t , No. 128 (Oct. 1983), PP. 12-13. - 58 -13. Edouard Gllssant, Le Discours a n t i l l a i s , (Paris: Editions de S e u i l , 1981), p. 166. Ik. I b i d . , p. 227. 15. cf. note i n Glissant, p. 285. 16. G.G. Jung, "The Syzygy: Anima and Animus", CW9 l i , pars. Zk-kO i n The Essential Jung, p. 109. 17. G.G. Jung, "The Relations between the Ego and the Unconscious", Two Essays, CW7, pars. 296-3OI, 3lk-6 I b i d . , p. 106. 18. The white characters i n the novel are more precisely c a r i -catures, as they act and react according to two-dimensional stereotypes. Therefore, when comparing Telumee to Mme. Desaragne on the basis of gender i t must be noted that, i n the novel, Mme. Desaragne's r o l e i s more "white" than i t i s "feminine", 19. In her book Man Made Language, Dale Spender discusses the concept of femininity i n a patriarchal society as an "other-ness" which a woman must embrace as her own. Spender makes use of the following, quoted from Susan Koppelman Gornillon's "The F i c t i o n of -.Fiction" ( i n S.K. C o r n i l l o n , ed., Images of  Women i n F i c t i o n : Feminist Perspectives, Popular Press (Bowling Green, Ohio, 1972) pp. 113-30): " i n a male culture, the idea of the feminine i s expressed, defined and perceived by the male as a condition of being female, while f o r the female i t i s seen as an addition to one's femaleness and a status to be achieved." - 59 -CHAPTER I I I Women Speak: "Feminine" Discourse i n the Text - 60 -G'est cela l a naissance des femmes: e l l e s se mettent a exister en fonction de leur\desir propre...que disent l e s nouvelles femmes, sinon que leur langage a e l l e s i n c l u t l e corps, conserve les affects tout en ne negligeant pas l e concept... The a b o l i t i o n of slavery i n Guadeloupe necessitated a re-thinking of existence f o r the Black. This movement toward a regeneration, as represented i n the novel, i s a "feminine" act: i t i s a return to the pre-symbolic affected by a woman which points to the over-throw of White abstract discourse. Apres l ' a b o l i t i o n , Minerve avait erre,cherchant un refuge l o i n de cette plantation, de ses f a n t a i s i e s , et e l i e s'arreta a l'Abandonnee. Des marrons avaient essaime la, par l a suite et un v i l l a g e s'etait constitue. (12) L'Abandonnee i t s e l f actually pre-existed Minerve. I t was o r i g i n a l l y the dwelling of an outcast Cre :ble who had gone beyond the l i m i t s of h i s own c u l t u r a l bias by f a l l i n g i n love with a black woman. ...un Creole du nom de C olbert Lanony, s',etait p r i s d'amour pour une petite negresse a tourments, autrefois, dans l e s temps anciens...Devenu' un blanc maudit, i l e t a i t venu se refugier sur un morne desert, inaccessible, a l ' a b f i des regards que son amour contrariait...A ceux qui s'etonnaient d'une t e l l e demeure en ce l i e u , l e peuple p r i t 1*habitude de repondre, c'est L'Abandonnee, nom qui s e r v i t a designer l e hameau, par l a suite. (25) - 61 -L'Abandonnee can therefore' symbolize a realm of movement beyond the Doxa or a transgression. I t i s the place from which creation i s accomplished, i t i s the "feminine" or pre-symbolic sphere. Here the power relationship of dominant over victim i s dissolved: the hierarchy of s p i r i t (culture) over body (feminine) i s overturned. L'Abandonee geographically mirrors the oneness of integration characteristic of the unconscious or pre-symbolic state: here s o l i d i t y ( l a terre) meets and joins f l u i d i t y ( l a mer).. l i s habitaient un hameau ou se relayaient les vents de terre et de mer. Une route abrupte longeait precipices et solitudes, i l semblait qu'elle ne debouchat sur r i e n d'humain. (12) L'Abandonnee denotes an "other" existence, before the separation and hierarchization achieved through the intermediary of "culture" (more s p e c i f i c a l l y p atriarchal culture). I t was constituted i n a transgression of patriarchal white Doxa and refuses existence (both denies and fuses again - denies the opposition of black and white apparent i n l i n e a r discourse by fusing together previously opposed aspects of existence). De toute cette h i s t o i r e , seules demeuraient de belles pierres qui s ' e f f r i t a i e n t , en un etrange endroit perdu, colonnades, plafonds vermoulus, dalles de faience qui temoignaient encore du passe, de l a fantaisie.d'un blanc maudit pour une negresse. (25) At L'Abandonnee chronological time i s eclipsed by c i r c u l a r - 62 -time, as past collapses into present. The transgression evoked by the impossible unity of Black and White instigates a c u l t u r a l r e -versa l : the re-establishment or rev a l o r i z a t i o n of the "object". The white oppressor (here Colbert Lanony) becomes a victim of the l i m i t s set by his own culture. When oppressor becomes oppressed the order of the symbolic i s sabotaged and the i n i t i a l "object" (here the Black woman) i s thus liberated ( i n a symbolic sense). The c y c l i c a l nature of time i s confirmed by the re-occurence of "l i b e r a t i o n " with the a b o l i t i o n of slavery. This event gives r i s e to the moment where a woman (here Minerve) takes up a position of re-generating "subject". Just as the male subject was observed as projecting h i s d u a l i s t i c "symbolic" perspective upon the environment, so now the textual environment mirrors the "feminine" perspective of an over-turned ascendancy. Quand i l pleuvait, un f i l e t d'eau s'ecoulait dans un baquet dispose sous l a breche, et l a nuit venue l e rez-de-chaussee devenait l e refuge des crapauds, des grenouilles et des chauves-souris. (25) Now exterior enters i n t e r i o r and Nature overruns c i v i l i z a t i o n . Language no longer suffices as a means of control, f o r the pre-symbolic re-asserts i t s e l f . Telumee i s born of L'Abandonnee, the place of the ascendance of Mother, the realm of women. Yet she i n turn must enact her own journey into the past i n order to define or re-name herself. She - 63 -must create her own "history". The accomplishment of her journey can only be possible through a leaving behind of the Mother (L'Abandonnee). Her going however does not constitute an oedipal r e j e c t i o n of the sameness of the Mother, but a re-working of the shared perspective between the Mother (the "Other") and the daughter. The f i r s t stage of Telumee's journey i s a further delving into "unconscious" r e a l i t y , as manifest i n the name of the place to which her grandmother takes her (Fond-Zombi). Fond-Zombi represents the depths of the s p i r i t world ("la mythologie du "Zombi"... A 2 exprimait 1'inconscient des A n t i l l a i s au fond d'eux-memes" ). Telumee's mentor during the i n i t i a l stages of her journey w i l l be, of course, her grandmother Toussine. Toussine was born into a family whose paternal lineage had been fractured. Xango, not her b i o l o g i c a l father, assumes the place of the father. He i n f a c t accepts her as i f she were h i s own, thus breaking the t r a d i t i o n a l parental dyad. Xango relinquishes paternal "ownership" i n that he accepts Toussine even though she i s not the product of his "seed". Toussine therefore f a i l s to be cast i n the r o l e of "reproduction of his phallus c a p i t a l " . A mesure que l a f i l l e t t e percait l e s o l e i l , avec l a grace d'une .fleche de canne, e l i e devenait les deux yeux de cet homme... (12) Once the c i r c u l a t i o n of goods (women) i s disrupted i n the patriarchal system, the "object" has access to a form of autonomy. Toussine - 6k -now "becomes" the "regard" of the Father, rather than "becoming" through his "regard". The usual passive role accorded to women i s exchanged f o r an active p a r t i c i p a t i o n , as Toussine begins to i n -scribe herself into history rather than l e t herself be inscribed by the male. Toussine's non-objectivity i s further supported by her love choice, Jeremie. Here i s a man at one with " l a mer" ("mere" or Mother). She does not threaten him f o r he possesses an " i n s t i n c t u a l " understanding of t h i s "other" ("II connaissait l a mer comme l e chasseur connalt l e s bois." (20) ). Jeremie does not operate from the "masculine" paradigm of separation and domination. Although t h e i r courtship follows conventional l i n e s at the l e v e l of r i t u a l (Jeremie asks permission of the parents to wed Toussine, they marry etc. ) , on a deeper subconscious l e v e l the couple are at harmony i n equality and a relationship of mutual nurturing/bonding develops between them. ...tous deux s'en a l l a i e n t ensemble c u l t i v e r leur jardin et tandis q u ' i l bechait, e l i e t r a g ait l e s s i l l o n s et tandis q u ' i l b r u l a i t l e s herbes, e l i e ensemencait, et l e crepusc'le des xles tombait sur leur dos... (20-21) Their l i f e together reads f o r a time l i k e a f a i r y t a l e : Leur prosperite commenga par une al l e e de gazon qu'ombrageaient des cocotiers, et q u ' i l s entre-tenaient aussi bellement que s i e l i e devait aboutir a un chateau... Tout devant 1*entree, e l i e avait - 65 -plante un immense parterre d ' o e i l l e t s d'Inde qui f l e u r i s s a i e n t l'annee entiere...Dans cet espace e l i e evoluait avec une sorte d'allegresse permanente, de plenitude... (21-22:.) However, th e i r prosperity i s interrupted by the tragic death by burning of t h e i r daughter Meranee. The accident i s triggered by "une simple petite phrase" (24) which once again unmasks Language as a cover f o r the forces beyond the conscious control of the i n d i -vidual. In order to survive, Toussine must accept not only the happiness which she has experienced, but the underlying unknown or undesired aspect of existence responsible f o r " l e malheur". When confronted with the arbitrary s a c r i f i c e of her c h i l d , Toussine reverts back to a pre-symbolic state. She r e j e c t s the notion of an "ordering" i n the universe according to language. Toussine...ne p a r l a i t pas, ne repondait meme pas a. l a parole, s'obstinait a. regarder a i l l e u r s , maigre a, compter tous ses os, deja, morte. (26) She r e j e c t s " l i f e " as such and, refusing to implicate herself i n i t s constitution, she silences herself. Throughout Toussine's symbolic "absence", Jeremie continues to provide f o r the family's material needs. Jeremie prenait encore l a mer t r o i s f o i s par semaine, puis ce ftft deux f o i s , une et plus du t o u t e . . . ( i l ) t i r a i t leur nourriture des bois environnants, •. pourpier, cochlearias, bananes rouges makanya, (26) - 66 -He sustains Toussine rather than abandon her (the very opposite of the dynamics operating i n the relationship between Telumee and E l i e ) . When she has mourned " l i f e " f o r three years, Toussine returns. ...Toussine, cette petite barque enlisee, l a femme qu'on croyait definitivement perdue, avait quitte sa tour cartonnee et f a i s a i t , en plein,.' s o l e i l , quelques pas devant sa maison. (27) By surviving the "madness" symbolized by her re j e c t i o n of l i f e , she transcends the t r a d i t i o n a l d e f i n i t i o n of "Woman". l i s songeaient a l a Toussine d'autrefois, c e l l e en h a i l l o n s , et puis l a comparaient avec c e l l e d'aujourd'hui qui n'etait pas une femme, car qu'est-ce qu'une femme?... un neant, d i s a i e n t - i l s tandis que Toussine e t a i t tout au contraire un morceau de monde, un pays tout entier, un panache de negresse, l a barque, l a v o i l e et l e vent, car e l i e ne s'etait pas habituee au malheur. (28) Her r e - b i r t h , as Reine Sans Nom, i s physically consolidated (and s o c i a l l y validated) through the b i r t h of her daughter " V i c t o i r e " . The d u a l i s t i c " f i c t i o n " of male discourse i s no longer relevant to Toussine, f o r she has gone beyond the symbolic, to a place where body and s p i r i t are one. In Lacanian terms, she represents both the Imaginary and the Symbolic poles at one and the same time... she stands for the part and the whole...metonymy and metaphor.5 Her evolution i s contrary to the perspective adopted by Amboise af t e r h is ordeal as oppressed male Negro i n a white society. - 67 -(Although he replaces the h i e r a r c h i c a l structuring of Language with a model of integration, he s t i l l continues to adhere to the notion of "truth" or the "word"), whereas Toussine resurrects herself out-side the perimeters of male discourse i t s e l f . ...aujourd'hul, avec ta V i c t o i r e , tu peux te vanter...Nous avons cherche un nom de reine qui te convienne mais en vain, car a. l a v e r i t e , i l n'y a pas de nom jour t o i . Aussi desormais, quant a nous, nous t'appellerons: Reine Sans Nom. (28) Her triumph over death, mirrored i n the b i r t h of " V i c t o i r e " , l e g i t imizes the r o l e of the "body", the rejected place generally assigned to women. Through the merging of the pre-symbolic with the symbolic, the past ( r e - b i r t h of Toussine) with the present ( b i r t h of V i c t o i r e ) , Reine Sans Nom succeeds i n imposing herself as a presence "other", thereby r e j e c t i n g the absence previously designated ( i n male discourse) as the place of women. Reine Sans Nom w i l l also adopt a perspective based upon integration, as did Amboise, yet i t w i l l be an integration of body (touch, look, smell) and speech i n i t s m u l t i p l i c i t y (song, allegory, r i d d l e s , "paroles mysterieuses"). This approach to existence assures her a presence, not the symbolic place of the subject i n language, but a regal position which escapes "naming", yet physically s i g n i f i e s the r e a l i t y of her experience. Reine Sans Nom functions as Telumee's primary role model i n the text. I t i s by vir t u e of her grandmother's a b i l i t y to transcend - 68 -the symbolic that Telumee w i l l come to r e a l i z e the f a l l a c y inherent i n the words " l a seule place d'une negresse sur l a terre est au cimetiere...". The primary vehicles used by Reine Sans Nom to transmit her perspective are " l e regard" and " l a parole". In con-t r a s t to the confines of a r e i f y i n g "regard" such as E l i e ' s , " l e regard" of Reine Sans Nom serves to l i b e r a t e Telumee from those internalized ideological influences which have set l i m i t s upon her existence, f o r , i n the words of Adrienne Rich: "The most notable f a c t that culture imprints on women i s the sense of our own l i m i t s . " Reine Sans Nom acts as a medium between Telumee and her unconscious. Through her, Telumee w i l l come to r e a l i z e what connections exist between what i s seen (the "known") and what i s unseen (the "un-known" ). Sous ce regard (de Reine Sans Nom) l o i n t a i n , calme et heureux qui e t a i t l e l e sien, l a piece me parut tout a coup immense et je sentis que d'autres personnes s'y trouvaient, pour lesquelles Reine Sans Nom m'examinait, m'embrassait main-tenant, poussant de p e t i t s soupirs d'aise. (48) The r e c i p r o c i t y i n the act of "seeing" between Reine Sans Nom and Telumee guarantees i t s effectiveness as a means of breaking down the one-way active/passive relationship t y p i f i e d i n the subject/ object dichotomy.of male discourse., "Le regardV here i s indicati v e of a movement between, a giving and taking. One i s not only physi-c a l l y mirrored back to oneself, there i s also a communion with and - 69 -through the eyes of the other. E l i e (Reine Sans Nom) v i v a i t par moi, e l i e r e s p i r a i t ma bouche... ( 67) E l i e (Reine Sans Nom) regardait E l i e avec l e s memes yeux que moi, I'entendait avec mes o r e i l l e s , l'aimait avec mon coeur. (73) This "beyond"the verbal" communication between Reine Sans Nom and Telumee exemplifies what Evelyn Fox-Keller describes as "(the) v i t a l element of ambiguity" i n d i c a t i v e of an authentic relationship between the i n d i v i d u a l s e l f and the other. Emotional maturity, then, implies a sense of r e a l i t y that i s neither cut off from, nor at the mercy of, fantasy; i t requires a s u f f i c i e n t secure sense of autonomy to allow for that v i t a l element of ambiguity at the interface between subject and object...contemporary developments i n both philosophy and physics... have made i t necessary for us to look beyond the c l a s s i c a l dichotomy to a more dynamic conception of re a l i t y . . . 5 As has already been stated, the essential difference i n the perspective endorsed by Reine Sans Nom i s the re j e c t i o n of h i e r a r c h i -c a l structuring. In order to make manifest t h i s perspective, she de-emphasizes the abstract or "objective" quality of the Word by fusing speech with other aspects of existence. E l i e sentait ses mots, ses phrases, possedait l ' a r t de le s arranger en images et en sons, en musique pure, en exaltation, E l i e savait parler ...avec une parole, on empeche un homme de se b r i s e r , a i n s i exprimait-e l l e . (76) - 70 -Reine Sans Nom does not use words r a t i o n a l l y as symbols i n ab -strac t i o n , she l i n k s words with touch and with laughter i n an e f f o r t to demonstrate the interconnectedness of human experience: "grand-mere se penchait sur moi, caressait mes cheveux et leur f a i s a i t un p e t i t compliment" (52) ),"Et pour assaisonner son mot, grand-mere emettait du fond de sa gorge un beau r i r e de negresse l i b r e " (127). According to Reine Sans Nom, discourse i s not a product of and above the i n d i v i d u a l , i t i s at one with l i v e d and l i v i n g experience. At t h i s l e v e l , " l a parole", l i k e LLle regard", involves communion with the other. Whereas abstract male discourse conjures up " o b j e c t i f i e d " images through i t s content (as with E l i e and his tableaus of un-attainable luxury), female or "feminine" discourse uses form to appropriate content. The creation of meaning i n the text occurs precisely at the point of intersection between content and context. ... ma petite braise, chuchotait-elle (Reine Sans Nom), s i t u enfourches un cheval, garde ses brides bien en main, a f i n q u ' i l ne te conduise pas. Et, tandis que je me serrais contre e l i e , respirant son odeur de muscade, Reine Sans Nom soupirait, me caressait et reprenait lentement, en detachant ses mots, comme pour l e s graver au fond de mon e s p r i t . . . (79) The synthesis of a myriad of support mechanisms ("serrer", " l a r e s p i r a t i o n " , " l e soupir", " l a caresse", " l a parole"), assures an authentic i n t e r n a l i z a t i o n of the given concept. "Feminine" d i s -course proposes a "blurring" of boundaries rather than t h e i r de-l i n e a t i o n ; i t i s the textual matrix out of which alternate or "new" - 71 -meanings are generated. Telumee must undergo a return to the pre-symbolic i n order to reconstruct her " s e l f " as a woman, E l i e ' s wholesale r e j e c t i o n of her i s the catalyst f o r Telumee's capitulation to "madness". The rej e c t i o n Telumee experiences involves both a physical repudiation of her womanhood ( i n that E l i e leaves her f o r L a e t i t i a ) and a ne-gation of her symbolic value as "Woman" ( i . e . the other chosen by E l i e incarnates t h i s male-defined s i g n i f i e r i n a way Telumee does not). The dual nature of Telumee's exclusion i s evoked i n the i apparition of the large two-headed silhouette ( E l i e and L a e t i t i a ) which f i n a l l y succeeds i n banishing her from the "case" - a material manifestation of her "destinee de negresse", Telumee's "madness" l a s t s only three weeks, a notably shorter length of time than the three years required by Toussine to mourn " l i f e " . Yet t h i s i n i t i a l t r i a l of Telumee's constitutes a precedence for the survival of her " s e l f " rather than a case for her s o c i a l r e -naming as a "presence". Toussine's triumph was manifold and thereby honoured by the community (she not only personally survived " l e malheur", she also brought her family through the anguish with her and reproduced " v i c t o r y " ) . Telumee's r e - b i r t h i s of less importance i n that i t i s i n d i v i d u a l i n nature and the outcome of a f a i r l y commonplace tragedy (man leaves woman). This i n i t i a l ordeal lays the cornerstone upon which to bui l d an authentic s e l f image. Sur-v i v i n g the loss of E l i e provides her with the strength to endure subsequent encounters with " l e malheur" (the death of Reine Sans Nom, - 72 -the cane f i e l d s , the loss of Amboise and Sonore, and, f i n a l l y , her struggle with l'ange Medard). Telumee's return to the symbolic order i s f a c i l i t a t e d by the system of support offered equally by the community and Reine Sans Nom. E a r l i e r on i n the text, Reine Sans Nom explains to Telumee that she i s defined according to her physical and symbolic place i n the community. ...(Reine Sans Nom) se mit a tracer une forme a ses pieds...On eut d i t l e reseatfftTune t o i l e d'araignee, dont les f i l s se croisaient sur de minuscules et derisoires petit.es cases... - Tu l e vois, les cases ne sont r i e n sans l e s f i l s qui les r e l i e n t les unes aux autres, et ce que tu pergois l'apres-midi sous ton arbre n'est r i e n d'autre qu'un f i l , c e l u i qui t i s s e l e v i l l a g e et q u ' i l lance jusqu'a t o i , ta case. (127) Reine Sans Nom transposes Lacan's abstract notion of the symbolic order into which the human c h i l d i s born ("...c'est 1'ordre sym-bolique qui est, pour l e sujet, constituant"^) into a depiction of human existence as a networking of filaments which supports and sustains the i n d i v i d u a l . She emphasizes the interconnectedness of the community, rathernthan the alienation of the " s e l f " . I t i s t h i s community which i n i t i a l l y reaches out to Telumee i n an e f f o r t to save her from madness. A i n s i l e s gens a l l a i e n t et venaient devant ma case et de temps en temps une femme s'echappait d'un groupe, - 7 3 -l e v a i t au c i e l des bras suppliants et modulait d' une voix aigiie... naissez, naissez pour changer nos destins... et l'entendant j'avais l e sentiment etrange qu'elle me l a n c a i t un f i l dans l ' a i r , un f i l tres leger en d i r e c t i o n de ma case, et i l me venait alors un sourire. (l6'0-l6l) However, i t i s Reine Sans Nom who f i n a l l y succeeds i n resuscitating her granddaughter by demonstrating to her that she s t i l l does exi s t as a physical presence (a woman). Un jour, venant a moi sans une parole, e l i e t i r a brusquement une a i g u i l l e de son corsage et m'en piqua l e bras. - Tu vois bien, d i t - e l l e , que tu n'es pas un e s p r i t , puisque tu saignes... (l66) This more "feminist" rendition of the Sleeping Beauty myth presents the female voice as savior to women suffering the malefic influences of Patriarchy. Immediately after? Telumee's awakening,Reine Sans Nom proffers s p i r i t u a l redemption by confirming the value of her other or inner "face" through " l e regard". Sur 1 'instant de l a piqure, penche tout contre moi, l e visage de Reine Sans Nom m'etait apparu tout a p l a t i | , ecrase, sans bouche n i nez n i o r e i l l e s , une sorte de moignon informe d'ou s a i l l a i e n t seulement ses beaux yeux, qui semblaient e x i s t e r independamment de tout l e reste. (166-I67) Telumee replenishes her " s e l f " i n her grandmother, and consequently i s able to break her silence. The importance of the abstract thus attenuated, Telumee i s able to effect a return to the socio-symbolic - ?4 -order (socio-symbolic i n that she returns both to the community and to Language). The r e - b i r t h of her " s e l f " i s inaugurated by " l e chant", a subversion of discourse which fuses the word with music and rhythm. The baptism which follows her singing s p i r i t u a l l y validates her r e - b i r t h . Toujours chantant a i n s i , je p r i s en courant l e chemin de l a r i v i e r e et m'y j e t a i , m'y trempai et m'y retrempai un certain nombre de f o i s . (167) Telumee i s now prepared to i n f i l t r a t e the realm of the symbolic f o r she herself has validated what male discourse had rejected. After Reine Sans Norn's death, Telumee retreats to "morne La F o l i e " . When Amboise approaches her, she hesitates u n t i l she i s convinced that he sees and wants her as a woman, and does not simply f e e l sorry f o r her as a f a l l e n "Woman". ...je me demandai s ' i l voulait me f a i r e r i r e moi-meme Telumee, Telumee du morne La F o l i e , ou s ' i l v o u l a i t f a i r e rire'' unev jeune. femme sans esperance. (205) A relationship of mutual support and nurturing develops between Telumee and Amboise. They achieve the interplay and ambiguity which were cha r a c t e r i s t i c of the bond between Reine Sans Nom and her grand-daughter. The practice of give and take i n t h i s instance reassures Telumee of her i n t r i n s i c self-worth. When Telumee forgives l'ange Medard ("l'Homme a l a cervelle qui danse" (230) ), she reproduces the movement of the "feminine". - 75 -She transgresses Doxa "by r e s i s t i n g a s t a t i c representation of him as the incarnation of e v i l . Telumee recognizes l'ange Medard as a mirror image of herself when she admits to him "moi aussi, j ' a i l a cervelle qui danse" (232). As she validates him as a "presence" she re-enforces her own self-worth. ...je l u i dis d'une voix c l a i r e et di s t i n c t e , que ,je m'efforcai de rendre aussi p a i s i b l e que son nouveau visage...nous voyons les corbeaux et nous disons: i l s par lent une langue etrangere,,. Vies corbeaux parlent leur propre langue et nous ne l a comprenons pas... (237-238) By allowing her r i v a l to die i n dignity she liberates him from a rol e of devalorized "object": " e l i e etend son ombre protectrice comme pour denoncer l a mechancete du negre." Telumee's act of forgiveness inaugurates a new perception which confirms the n o b i l i t y of the Black race. The community re-names her "Telumee Miracle", f o r through her own courage she has transformed the Black's symbolic absence into a v i t a l presence. ...chere femme, l'ange Medard a vecu en chien et t u l'as f a i t mourir en homme...depuis que tu es arrivee au morne La F o l i e , nous avons vainement cherche un nom qui te convienne... quant a nous, desormais, nous t'appellerons: Telumee Miracle... (239) Xn Plui e et vent, "Mothering" i s a term synonomous with the pro-duction of new meaning; textual production. To reinforce t h i s i d e f i n i t i o n , Simone Schwarz-Bart designates the grandmother as primary - ?6 -nurturer, thereby d e s t a b i l i z i n g the t r a d i t i o n a l mother/daughter dyad, and e f f e c t i v e l y severing "Motherhood" from i t s b i o l o g i c a l , implications. Telumee's function as a woman i s to recreate meaning through the textual matrix which merges form with content. The t i t l e of "Telumee Miracle" depicts precisely t h i s movement or merging between the s e l f (Telumee) in d i c a t i v e of form, and the "other" r e a l i t y (Miracle) indicative of content. As Telumee incarnates the "feminine", she succeeds i n displacing the " I " from h i s position of dominance. The " I " can no longer stand f o r that which i s independent of or isolated from the "other", " I " becomes the point of f l u i d i t y between s e l f and other, s e l f and environment, s e l f and unconscious. . . . l a grande difference entre mon langage et c e l u i de l'homme, est que l e mien est f a i t pour etre s a i s i , pour e t a b l i r un l i e n avec l'autrey. alors que l e sien m'a toujours f a i t f u i r , m'a toujours maintenue a distance.8 The constant textual r e i t e r a t i o n of the "feminine" consolidates the rol e of networking i n the generation of new meaning. This networking (the "va et vient" between the " I " and the "other") extends beyond the perimeters of the text to include the reader. The act of reading mirrors the "feminine" of the text i n that i t also unites content (words) with form (reading). The continuous interplay between reader and text i s imitative of the give and take inherent i n the relationship of Telumee with Reine Sans Nom. Telumee has no b i o l o g i c a l children. - 77 -...voyant les enfants des Cannes je me demandatsou. etaient les miens,... dans mon ventre i l s etaient, agrippes a mes boyaux et c'est l a qu' i l s devaient rester, tout au fond de mes i n t e s t i n s , jusqu'a nouvel order, me d i s a i s - j e . (199) Through her s t o r y t e l l i n g , however, she sets the framework f o r the "nouvel ordre". Telumee inscribes herself as the "other" presence, and redefines textual production as a transcendance of l i n e a r , ab-stract discourse. Plu i e et vent posits a re-working of the t r a d i -t i o n a l "story" with i t s coherent, structured narrative. ...les gens...contemplant l a scene qui se deroulaient sous leurs yeux et s'effor^ant d'en t i r e r une h i s -t o i r e , deja, une h i s t o i r e qui a i t un sens, avec un commencement et une f i n , comme i l est necessaire, i c i - b a s , s i l'on veut s'y retrouver dans l e decousu des destinees. (238) What the novel relates i s the existence of the "feminine", the f l u x between s e l f and other, s e l f and environment, s e l f and uncon-scious. Telumee stands f o r the end ( t e l o s ) , yet not an end i n the sense that Maryse Conde views i t . Puisque l e monde se c l o t avec e l l e s (les femmes Lougandor) point n'est besoin de s'interroger sur son devenir et ses transformations possibles. Mors on devrait v o i r l a 1'expression de l'angoisse devant l e futur... 9 Telumee represents the end of a t r a d i t i o n a l h i e r a r c h i c a l order which refutes and represses any "other" r e a l i t y . Her "speech" marks the cessation of b i o l o g i c a l l y assigned t i t l e s and f i x e d gender functions - 78 -s u c h a s " M o t h e r " , "Woman", " f e m i n i n e s e x u a l i t y " , a n d c a r v e s ou t a p l a c e f o r women i n t h e s o c i o - s y m b o l i c o r d e r . - 79 -Footnotes - Chapter I I I 1. Christiane O l i v i e r , Les Enfants de Jocaste, pp. 146-147. 2. Rene M e r i l , "Mythologies a n t i l l a i s e s " , i n 1'Europe, no. 6l2 P. 38. 3. Ronnie Scharfmair; "Mirroring and Mothering i n Simone Schwarz-Bart's Plu i e et vent sur Telumee Miracle and Jean Rhys' Wide Sargasso Sea',', Yale French Studies, No. 6 (l98l) p. 92. 4. Adrienne Rich, Of Woman Born, p. 250. 5. Evelyn Fox-Keller, Gender and Science, p. 84. 6. Jacques Lacan, E c r i t s p. 12. 7. Ernest Pepin, "Le jeu des figures r e p e t i t i v e s dans l'oeuvre", i n Textes et Etudes Documents, No. 2, (1979). P- 100. 8. Christiane O l i v i e r , op. c i t . , p. 148. 9. Maryse Conde, La Parole des femmes; essai sur des romancieres  des A n t i l l e s de langue francaise, (Paris: L'Harmattan, 1979) p. 46. - 80 -CHAPTER IV Return to Guadeloupe - 81 -As a consequence of slavery, the Black come to apprehend his universe from the perspective of a "victim". This perspective mirrors that of a woman i n that each gives r i s e to a discourse circumscribed by the l i m i t s of socio-economic oppression. Because such a discourse i s created i n alienation from the power e l i t e , rather than unity with i t , i t acquires an " i n f e r i o r " status i n the Doxa's h i e r a r c h i c a l structure. The dominant ideology thus i s able to a f f i x negative value to Black culture due to i t s subordinate h i e r a r c h i c a l position. The outcome of t h i s s i t u a t i o n i s that, for the Whites, Black society becomes a repository f o r the "vices" repudiated by their own p u r i -t a n i c a l dogmas. Sexual i n h i b i t i o n i n pa r t i c u l a r attributes a role of " c o l l e c t i v e unconscious" to the repressed group. The following tirade by Mme. Desaragne exemplifies the process of negative projection operative i n the White textual discourse. ...savez-vous au juste qui vous etes, vous les negres d ' i c i ? . . . savez-vous seulement a quoi vous avez echappe?...sauvages et barbares...a danser nus... on vous emmene i c i , et comment vivez-vous?...dans l a boue, l e vice, les bacchanales... (p. 93) I t i s not simply word choice here which conveys Mme. Desaragne's aversion to Black culture, i t i s the assumption of her discourse that i t s own interpretation i s to be privileged at the expense of the (putative) voice of the "other". I t i s a discourse which takes i t s own subject as the only possible point of o r i g i n f o r a l l know-ledge. The authoritative nature of White speech stems from the - 82 -assumption of power, indicated by the superiority of White socio-economic status. Mme. Desaragne assigns a positive or negative value to what she perceives by virtue of her subjective dominance over the "other". Telumee's discourse represents the other, the submissive, the "feminine": Cre'ole. However, she challenges Mme. Desaragne's authority when she refuses the role of "object". Telumee does not bend to the White woman's w i l l ; as Mme. Desaragne speaks to her "otherness", her response incarnates the dignity of her " s e l f " . -G'est bien, savez-vous repasser? -Oui. -Je veux di r e repasser, c'est pas bourrer de coups de carreaux des d r i l l ; / sans couleur. -Je s a i s , c'est glacer des chemises en popeline avec des cols casses. (90) Telumee i s not lured into a f a l s e complicity with the dominant d i s -course. In the words of Jean Bernabe: "Telumee refuse de jouer l e ^eu de l a complicite l i n g u i s t i q u e " I Du point de vue des rapports l i n g u i s -tiques que Telumee entretient avec les gens de ce groupe dominant, i l convient de noter que l a narratrice s'exprime toujours dans un francais grammatical. G'est par l a bouche des maitres et non par c e l l e de l a domestique que se produit l a r e -montee du Creole.2 For Telumee, Language i s a system which embraces the i n t e g r i t y and separateness of the "other" or the "object". Her self-worth l i t e r a l l y translates i t s e l f through her manipulation of discourse; her own "su b j e c t i v i t y " r i s e s i n opposition to the White woman's sovereignty^ - 83 -Madame, on d i t que certains aimeht l a lumiere, d'autres l a fange, c'est a i n s i que l e monde tourne... (94) Telumee's world view i s dynamic rather than s t a t i c . She incarnates Simone Schwarz-Bart's d e f i n i t i o n of the Guad>eloupian perspective: "(une) fagon d'apprehender l e monde, de ne pas vouloir calculer, de se donner entierement a 1'instant". In the.text, i t i s the movement or i n s t a b i l i t y of t h i s perspective which uproots the unity of the dominant view. As Language i s thus freed from the lim i t e d spectrum of White c o l o n i a l existence, words are unleashed from t h e i r positive or negative values. The p r i n c i p l e and purpose of t h i s perspective i s the "feminine" as defined by S a l l y S i l v e r s and A b i g a i l Child: "(the feminine defeats) coherent su b j e c t i v i t y on which capitalism idealism i s based - (points) up multiple contradictions which are 4 c l e a r l y delineated and not unspoken, s i l e n t , taped shut". The "feminine" s e l f experiences Language as a struggle of contraries, rather than as a relationship to authority. Pl u i e et  vent as a text mirrors t h i s relationship through a subversion of the t r a d i t i o n a l whole or unified n o v e l l i s t i c " r e a l i t y " . Ernest Pepin describes the narrative strategy of Pluie et vent as "un discours or a l rapporte par ecrit" . " ' In t h i s f i r s t instance Plui e et vent subverts genre: i t performs a mutual transcendence of the oral and l i t e r a l . At another l e v e l , the text prompts a subversion of "discourse" through the medium of i t s own "creolized" French. - 84 -J ' a i 1'impression de mettra,. dans cette espece de langue franchise que j ' e c r i s a ma maniere Creole, 1'esprit de notre langue.& This subversion i s omnipresent; i t affects both form and content. Pepin describes t h i s process of transcendence as two "codes" which "se cotoient, s'affrontent, s'interpenetrent". However, not only does t h i s description dichotomize Schwarz-Bart's universe, Pepin's confrontational masculine terminology f o r c i b l y stems/channels the sensation of flow indica t i v e of the author's "feminine" s t y l e . None-theless, h i s elucidation of the overall s t r u c t u r a l process at work i n P l u i e et vent i s quite v a l i d . Les nombreuses traductions de phrases Creoles, les nombreuses phrases a referent Creole, les proverbes, l e s contes, les chants, ressortissent a l ' o r a l i t e tandis que l ' e c r i t u r e r e g i t g de fagon complexe l'economie du texte. The o r a l i t y of Plu i e et vent challenges the primacy of the abstract, The work's prismatic structure incorporates Language i n i t s multi- • p l i c i t y . The various facets of the work i n f e c t / r e f l e c t each other; oral/written, Creole/French, proverb-poetry-parable/narrative, feminine-spirit/masculine-abstract.^ As the s p i r i t u a l encroaches upon the r a t i o n a l or material, there i s a sensual l i b e r a t i o n of the abstract. A p a r a l l e l exists at t h i s point between the "feminine" and the Black f o r , i n the oppressor's eyes, they share a role of sexual/ sensual "object". The e x p l i c i t sensuality of the Black culture both tempts and threatens the White as a manifestation of h i s own repressed - 85 -desires. While the dominant discourse (be i t White or patriarchal) rejects the body, the discourse of the "other" accepts and rejoices i n i t . A Gua^eloupian woman, has claimed i n her autobiography that "Nos ancetres etaient nes avec cet amour de l a proprete, cet amour pour leur c o r p s . T h e use of the term "proprete" to depict the Guadeloupianls attitude d i r e c t l y c o n f l i c t s with Mme. Desaragne's e a r l i e r association of " l a boue" with Telumee's culture. White Christian dogma's equating of the sexual body with e v i l (due to the advent of Origin a l Sin) i s not relevant to the GuacLeloupian perspective, f o r , i n the Black world, the f l e s h and the soul are not separate e n t i t i e s . L'homme n'est pas compose/d;-'une ame et d'un corps. Son corps pergu, nomme tantot ko, tantot kadav, est habite et traverse par les forces s p i r i t u e l l e s qui font d'un homme un corps r e e l et vivant et non pas un cadavre (squelette) .H The Guad/eloupian Blacks do not view existence as a perpetual battle f o r control between the soul's "purity" and the wicked ways of the f l e s h . They understand the s p i r i t as an in t e g r a l part of " l e corps" which animates the physical body through the f l u x of positive and negative ( s p i r i t u a l ) forces. L'expression kenbe ko (t e n i r son corps) s i g n i f i e se c'ontroler,\controler sa vie psychologique pour que vivent en equilibre les bons et les mauvais esprits qui l a dirigent... - 86 -The pertinent phrase here i s "vivent en equilibre", f o r i t evokes the notion of synthesis which emerges from Reine Sans Nom's discourse. Reine Sans Nom leaves to Telumee, as her legacy, t h i s b e l i e f i n the " r e l a t i v i t y " of a l l elements i n existence. (Telumee) - Qu'est-ce qui est done naturel a l'homme, l e bonheur ou l e malheur? - G'est selon, me d i t (Reine Sans Nom)...ton a f f a i r e est de b r i l l e r maintenant, alors b r i l l e et l e jour ou l'infortune te d i r a : me v o i l a , tu auras au moins b r i l l e . (1-+3) Her v i s i o n of l i f e as a continual struggle of contraries defeats the idea of one unity i n discourse. Telumee's presence creates a (con)textual dissidence i n B e l l e -F e u i l l e ' s homogeneous atmosphere. Contextual i n that, although the reader i s aware of an undercurrent to the flow of White authority, the Whites themselves are not. Telumee's ref u s a l to comply with the negative White projections she encounters constitute a personal triumph over the Desaragnes' authority. With Reine Sans Nom as her ro l e model she i s able to maintain a positive self-image during her stay at B e l l e - F e u i l l e . Je ne songeais qu'a manoeuvrer, me f a u f i l e r a droite, a gauche, avec une seuie idee au' milieu de mon coeur: i l me f a l l a i t etre l a , comme un c a i l l o u dans une r i v i e r e , simplement pose dans l e fond du l i t et g l i s s e , g l i s s e l'eau par-dessus mol, l'eau trouble ou c l a i r e , mousseuse, calme ou desordonnee,, j'etais une petite pierre. (p. 9 2 ) - 87 -The power of the White l i e s i n the system which he represents. The name Desaragne i s s i g n i f i c a t i v e : "Le nom Desaragne, renvoie a l'ancien francais "aragne" (rappel de l a periode inaugurale de l a colonisation) lui-meme derive du l a t i n "aranea", qui s i g n i f i e * 13 * ^ araignee". Telumee's self-possession allows her to avoid entangle-ment i n the web of White ideology. ...je servais et desservais, souriais a. l a ronde, manoeuvrais, esquissais un pas sur l a droite, l a gauche, ne songeant qu'a. me preserver, a demeurer intacte sous ces paroles de blancs... (97) Her victory i s boith "feminine" and Black f o r her subject position incorporates gender and colour. The GuadSloupian perspective which she r e f l e c t s merges with the "feminine" i n i t s subversion of a "domi-nant" subjective economy. A luxuriant subtext of poetic imagery re-emerges throughout the novel to mirror, at a st r u c t u r a l l e v e l , the "undercurrent" of alternate discourse signalled by Telumee's presence at B e l l e - F e u i l l e . Simone Schwarz-Bart's intertwining of human and vegetal elements pro-duces metaphors which exude a sensuality not unlike that associated with a "jouissance" of the body. Her metaphors draw a composite picture of Nature which includes "man" i n much the same way as the Guad'eloupian perception of the body includes "les es p r i t s " . The following description of V i c t o i r e , taken from the t e x t , i l l u s t r a t e s the "organic" interplay t y p i c a l of Schwarz-Bart's images. - 88 -Les annees l'avaient juste un peu ouverte, et e l i e e t a i t maintenant, sous l e s o l e i l , une gousse de v a n i l l e eclatee qui l i v r e enfin tout son parfum. (45) As the "poetic" or "verdant" subtext permeates the text, i t performs what could be termed a sensual "contamination" of the abstract. The metaphors translate an ongoing communion between the body ( s e l f ) and the environment ("other"). S i e l i e (Victoire) se tenait dans 1'ombre, e l i e c o l o r a i t l ' a i r qui l'entourait immediatement, et c'etait comme s i sa propre pre-sence s u s c i t a i t alentour une aureole de fumee. (33) The relationship between man and Nature i s reciprocal: as man "colors" Nature, so does Nature take on "human" q u a l i t i e s . A mesure que notre sueur penetrait cette terre, e l i e devenait notre, se mettait a l'odeur de nos corps... Un carre d'ignames paccala avait surgi l e long de l a berge, et tout autour, des centaines de v r i l l e s enroulaient leurs lianes tendres et epineuses, a l a maniere tourmentee de l'ame qui fournit a l'ame les l i e n s qui l a li g o t e n t . (212) The manifest sensuality of these images reclaims "sexuality" from the realm of the abstract. Accordingly, the f i r s t sexual encounter between E l i e and Telumee i s celebrated as a mystical or s p i r i t u a l i n t eraction with the forest. - 89 -Un immense r i r e qui s o r t a i t de toute l a foret s'est empare de nous, cepedant que nos deux cerfs-volants partaient en errance dans l e c i e l , (118) The physical act of copulation i s not treated as separate from the o v e r a l l context or environment which generates i t . Sexuality i s a l l u -ded to, "through a natural sensuality and not named or defined as such. ... je 1' arrofsais.. (Amboise) d'une eau parfumee' a la' c i t r o n n e l l e que j'avais eu soin de mettre a t i e d i r au s o l e i l , depuis l e matin. L'eau cou l a i t en murmurant contre son corps et l'odeur de l'eau penetrait l ' a i r , qui s'imbibait comme de verdeur, tandis qu'Amboise s'ebrouait et f a i s a i t de longues giclees qui me transpergaient, me mouillaient, m' empor taient. (21-+) Schwarz-Bart's images defy and subvert abstract, l i n e a r discourse. Her style i s mimetic as i t r e f l e c t s and reproduces the textual matrix of integration on both a s t r u c t u r a l l e v e l (through the interplay of text and subtext), and on a " l i n g u i s t i c " l e v e l (where natural and human elements are portrayed as interdependent). The whole or unified perspective represented by the Doxa i s undermined by the multiformity of r e l a t i o n s presented and represented i n the novel's prismatic structure. This general phenomenon of transcendence, which recurrs at every l e v e l , recognizes and validates alternative s o c i a l r e a l i t i e s . P l u i e et vent's "discourse" embraces d i v e r s i t y and nonconformity within l i n g u i s t i c constructs such as "mother", "woman" and "Black", for i t neither assigns nor endorses f i x e d meanings. - 90 -In keeping with t h i s o v e r a l l perspective, Reine Sans Nom supports her daughter's choice of s e l f - f u l f i l l m e n t over motherhood despite s o c i a l disapproval. On l a (Victoire) blama beaucoup, et l a rumeur publique l'accusa de cracher sur son propre ventre, pour qui et quoi?...Mais lorsque Haut-Colbi s ' i n s t a l l a dans notre tourV e l i e (Reine Sans Nom) commenca a trouver que V i c t o i r e ne naviguait pas s i mal, apres tout. (46) Reine Sans Nom does not accept the conventional h i e r a r c h i c a l ascen-dancy of the "Mother" over the "Self" f o r women. She subscribes to an i d e a l of choice according to "context", and, i n t h i s case, V i c t o i r e ' s happiness and her own desire to have Telumee "aureoler ses cheveux blancs" j u s t i f y her daughter's choice. In her usual enigmatic way she exonerates V i c t o i r e by va l i d a t i n g her r i g h t to rejoice i n what happiness l i f e may offer. A ceux qui c r i t i q u a i e n t l a conduite de sa f i l l e ,elle repondait d'une petite voix toute amusee...mes amis, l a vie n'est pas une soupe grasse et pour bien longtemps encore, l e s hommes connaitront meme lune et meme s o l e i l , memes tourments d'amour... (46) In her book La Parole des Femmes; Sssai sur des romancieres  des A n t i l l e s de langue franqaise, Maryse Conde explores the r e l a t i o n -ship of man to Nature i n Plui e et vent. She i d e n t i f i e s the novel's fundamental union of man with Nature as an essential characteristic of myth. - 91 -Cette union fondamentale de l'homme et des elements de l a nature, aspects dif f e r e n t s quoique semblables d'une meme force v i t a l e , est une carac-t e r i s t i q u e essentielle du mythe.-^ Conde's view of the mythic as " l e chant general de l a terre" f a i l s to distinguish between A n t i l l e a n myths and those of the White culture. Rene M e r i l , on the other hand, does set up an opposition between the myths of the colonizers and those of the oppressed or colonized. He sees A n t i l l e a n myth as s p e c i f i c to the context of slavery. C'est de ne r i e n controler et de n'etre sur de r i e n - n i du passe, n i du present, n i encore moins de l'avenir - Kqui f a i t de l a societe a n t i l l a i s e l e l i e u reve des mythologies et des nevroses passeistes et f u t u r i s t e s pour supporter, dissimuler, f u i r un insupportable present. 15 The mythic or "l'imaginaire" constitutes a c o l l e c t i v e "symptomatic" reaction to what M e r i l terms "les mythologies de l a colonisation Reactionnelles"."^ ( l e s mythologies a n t i l l a i s e s ) surgissent...en reaction...au sens ou l'on d i t d'un malade q u ' i l r'eagit a son mal par l a f i e v r e ou l a nevrose.17 A n t i l l e a n myth developed i n response to the insufferable conditions of slavery. I t plays a cathartic r o l e i n the drama of Guadeloupe. Dany Bebel-Gisler also interprets myth as a defense. She views 'l'imaginaire et l e symbolique" as essential components of A n t i l l e a n - 92 -existence which subvert and combat the memory of " l a violence esclavagiste...cette h i s t o i r e i n s c r i t e dans l e corps et dans l a langue C r e o l e " . 1 8 In P l u i e et vent, the cane f i e l d s represent the ultimate paradigm of c o l o n i a l oppression. The omniscient power of the "Usine" permeates the l i f e of every Black worker. (les femmes) anxieuses d'arriver aux vingt p i l e s qui constituent une journee, vingt p i l e s de vingt-cinq . paquets, dix m i l l e coups de coutelas, quelques pieces de zinc aux i n i t i a l e s de 1'Usine, morue seche, hu i l e , s e l , farine France et rhum de 1'Usine, melasse de 1'Usine, sucre brut de 1'Usine au p r i x obligatoire de 1'Usine, passe-passe, deux sous pour un. (199-200) The physical loss of Reine Sans Nom and man Cia leaves Telumee i n a state of material penury. As a r e s u l t , she has no alternative but to offer herself as an exchange commodity to the White market ("Si je ne voulais pas mourir de faim, avant l a r e c o l t e , i l me f a l l a i t rentrer dans l e s champs de canne de 1'Usine" (195) )• Her work i n the cane f i e l d s brings Telumee face to face with the r e a l i t y of Black subjugation. La, dans l e feu du c i e l et des pi'quants, je tran s p i r a i s toute l'eau que ma mere avait deposee dans mon corps'." Et je compris enfin ce qu'est l e negre... (200) At t h i s point i n her l i f e Telumee reaches the stage of "une femme sans esperance". Yet even as she i s brought low by the degradation - 93 -of "slavery", the voice of c o l l e c t i v e Black strength reaches out to her. Le temps, e t a i t venuo de combattre l a sueur, l a fatigue, l a debandade deaJimes et brusquement, Amboise langa un caladja entrainant au-dessus du troupeau... (203) Hearing Amboise's song i n the f i e l d s shores up her resistance to despair. "Le chant" acts as a l i f e l i n e which re-unites Telumee with the positive aspects of her past. I t furnishes her with a window onto the Black heritage, and i n so doing strengthens her a b i l i t y to withstand oppression. "Le chant" i s an embodiment of A n t i l l e a n myth • which provides a catharsis f o r her suffering. ...soudain, je ne sus comment, ma voix me quitta et s'eleva tres au-dessus des autres, comme dans l e s temps anciens, pergante, vive et gaie, et Amboise se tourna vers moi avec etonnement, et mon visage e t a i t baigne de larmes. (204) This access to a c u l t u r a l i d e n t i t y i s also achieved through the r i t u a l of dance. Telumee and Amboise's ceremonial "housewarming" incorporates both song and dance i n i t s celebration. The movement of dance liberates the i n d i v i d u a l from the constraints of everyday existence. Dance possesses a transforming power which purges and cleanses the c o l l e c t i v e psyche. Amboise s u i v a i t (Olympe) a l a ^ trace, et lorsqu'elie semblait redescendre sur terre, i l imprimait a son tambour une detente qui l'arrachait de - 94 -nouveau a elle-meme, l a debarras'sait de ses membres, de son corps, de sa tete et de sa voix, de tous les hommes qui avaient pi e t i n e , lacere,dechire sa charite. E l i e tournait, se bai s s a i t , se r e l e v a i t , d'un geste s u b t i l i s a i t nos tourments, por t a i t nos existences aux nues pour nous l e s rendre, depouillees de tout fange, limpides. (209-210) This a r t i c u l a t i o n of mythic r i t u a l re-enforces the Black's sense of self-worth. The i n t u i t i v e knowledge of a strong c u l t u r a l heritage puts slavery into perspective as an imposed system. Black v i c t i m i -zation thus i s understood to be a condition of White oppression and not a condition of Black existence. ...nous nous sentions p a r e i l s au cabri attache dans l a savane, et nous savions que l a v e r i t e de notre sort n 1 e t a i t pas en nous-memes, mais dans 1 'existence de l a lame. (219) Myth functions as a network to support the in d i v i d u a l when h i s s e l f -image i s threatened by external forces. As a c o l l e c t i v e show of force, myth i s also enough to threaten White authority. Amboise's song translates t h i s latent menace of Black power. Et son chant monta s i haut ce matin-la que les commandeurs a cheval,-dans l e l o i n t a i n , s'assurerent de l a presence d'une arme, sous les fontes de leurs s e l l e s . (205) Once again, Black experience comes f u l l c i r c l e to be re-united with the "feminine", as subjective presence ceases to be defined solely - 95 -i n r e l a t i o n to authority. By not speaking Creole to the Desaragnes, Telumee imposes herself as absence within the Doxa, thus undermining i t s authority. Telumee ne s'oppose pas a ses maitres car e l i e n 1attend d'eux n i legitimation n i excommuni-cation. E l i e est, et de ce f a i t , leur resiste . 1 9 The female characters i n the text are equally recognized by t h e i r absence from the place of "Woman". The a r t i c u l a t i o n and va l i d a t i o n of r e l a t i v e "contextual" truths acts as a catalyst i n the subversion of the dominant discourse. The textual tapestry of Schwarz-Bart's images does not portray d i v i s i o n : "the synaesthesia essen t i a l l y ( i s ) 20 a r e f l e c t i o n of r e l a t i o n s not dichotomies". Plu i e et vent describes an unfolding dynamic whose momentum enfranchises the "other" from the confines of an abstract, masculine " o b j e c t i v i t y " . - 96 -Footnotes - Chapter IV 1. Jean Bernabe, - "C-ontribution a 1'e'tude' .de l a d i g l o s s i e ./-•.; l i t t e r a i r e " , p. 12-4-. 2. I b i d . , p. 124. 3. Heliane e t Roger Toumson, "Sur l e s pas de Fanotttey" p. 18. 4. S a l l y S i l v e r s , A b i g a i l C h i l d , "Rewire//Speak i n Disagreement", i n P o e t i c s J o u r n a l , No. 4, (May, 1984) pp. 70-71. 5. Ernest Pepin, "Le Jeu des f i g u r e s r e p e t i t i v e s dans l'oeuvre", P. 90. 6. Heliane et Roger Toumson, op. c i t . , p. 19. 7. Ernest Pepin, op. c i t . , p. 90. 8. I b i d . , p. 91. 9. I am not u s i n g the term " S p i r i t " here i n the Jungian sense but r a t h e r t o denote the animating p r i n c i p l e or " w i l l " . 10. Dany, B e b e l - G i s l e r , Leonora,L'Histoire enfouie de l a Guadeloupe, ( P a r i s : E d i t i o n s du S e u i l , 1985), P. 64. 11. I b i d . , p. 303. 12. I b i d . , p. 303. 13. Ernest Pepin, op. c i t . , p. 92. 14. Maryse Conde, La Pa r o l e des femmes, p. 66. 15. Rene M e r i l , "Mythologies a n t i l l a i s e s " , p. 38. 16. I b i d . , p. 37. 17. I b i d . , p. 37. 18. Dany, B e b e l - G i s i e r , op. c i t . , p. 303. 19. Ernest Pepin, op. c i t . , p..96. 20. S a l l y S i l v e r s , A b i g a i l C h i l d , op. c i t . , p. 75. - 97 -Conclusion The name "Lougandor" establishes one more bridge between the realm of human experience and that of Nature, f o r i t s etymon "Lougan" s i g n i f i e s "un carre de terre". The Lougandor t r a d i t i o n i s one of a wisdom rooted i n the body: the founder of the lineage ("Lougan"/ " l a t e r r e " / the "feminine" body) i s Minerve, the roman goddess of wisdom. Pluie et vent relates the reunion between what i s "known" to man and what l i e s just beyond his reach ("les e s p r i t s " , " l e miracle"): "Les Lougandor ont toujours aime survoler, i l s s'accro-chaient des a i l e s et i l s se hissaient" (32). The Lougandors, a matrifocal family, are the medium of t h i s reunion. Through t h e i r re-appropriation of the unknown, an "other" r e a l i t y , they are able to create a discourse which embraces the t o t a l i t y of existence. The weaving together of the woof of the " s e l f " and the warp of the "other" i s what creates the tapestry of Guadeloupian experience that i s Plui e et vent. The medium, or the weaver, i s Telumee, and she works with the threads of "speaking experience" passed on to her by Reine Sans Nom. Telumee makes comprehensible i n human terms that which the Doxa has rejected or repressed. Her "regard" liberates the object as i t pierces the persona or outer "face" - the Doxa's f i c t i o n . ... je (Telumee) regardais••;. .man Cia, a l a recherche de ce qui en e l i e d i f f e r a i t des autresr :humain^ '. . . et plus je l a voyais, plus je l a trouvais p a r e i l l e a tout l e monde, une quelconque petite v i e i l l e de Fond-Zombi. (58) - 98 -Telumee incarnates the complexities of a "feminine" approach to existence. She i s the "verre en c r i s t a l " , the textual matrix of integration; a mirror of the novel's c r y s t a l l i n e or prismatic structure. P l u i e et vent retrieves both women and Blacks from the role of "object" as i t upholds the r e l a t i v e "truths" of their alternative voices. The novel i s an acknowledgement of the Guad«loupian's i n -t r i n s i c self-worth which becomes a part of the c o l l e c t i v e unconscious at the moment of reading. Je pense, voyez-vous, comme les A f r i c a i n s , que lorsqu'un vieux meurt, toute"1- une bibliotheque di s p a r a i t . . .c'est une espe^ce de ^ memoire que j ' a i voulu r e s t i t u e r . . . P l u i e et vent i s a story of regeneration; a regeneration of the female " s e l f " . Telumee's a f f i l i a t i o n and i d e n t i f i c a t i o n with " l a terre" provides her with the support to counter her al i e n a t i o n as "Woman" i n patriarchal discourse. Both the land and woman have been granted the power to produce l i f e . While each must endure the vagaries of existence ( s o u f f r i r ) and u l t i -mately die (mourir), each has the power to begin the process once again (renaitre). The three verbs fuse into one another and highlight the theme of endurance: endurance of the land and of the island of Guadeloupe, but more important, endurance of the s p i r i t of the Caribbean and of i t s people,-^ Telumee's a r t i c u l a t i o n of her own discourse, the "Miracle", i s what - 99 -guarantees the su r v i v a l of her people. An i n t e g r a l part of the Lougandor heritage i s a re j e c t i o n of " l e discours f e t i c h i s t e regnant". When Telumee i s o b j e c t i f i e d at B e l l e - F e u i l l e as a "faiseuse de bechamel" she need only return to Fond-Zombi, where Reine Sans Nom confirms her existence as "une personne humaine" (102). I t i s the Blacks' c o l l e c t i v e recognition of t h e i r value as individuals which w i l l ensure the su r v i v a l of t h e i r race. . . . s i Dieu blame et s ' i l tue, q u ' i l tue...mais ce q u ' i l ne peut empecher c'est qu'un negre l u i montre de quel poids pese sur l a terre, a ses yeux, l'ame d'un autre negre. (180) Pluie et vent was the f i r s t novel Simone Schwarz-Bart wrote alone ( i n 19&7 she published Un P l a t de pore aux bananes vertes i n collaboration with her husband, Andre Schwarz-Bart). Her second solo e f f o r t , T i Jean 1'Horizon, appeared i n 1979- T i Jean 1'Horizon recounts the mythic voyage of i t s here, T i Jean, across A f r i c a . T i Jean r e l i v e s the adventures of the Guadeloupian c o l l e c t i v e unconscious as he effects a return to his primal roots: "Mother" A f r i c a . Where-as Pluie et vent explores a woman-centred strength, therefore lending i t s e l f more re a d i l y to an analysis from a "feminist" point of view (since i t deals with the sphere of the "object"), the motivating'face i n T i Jean 1'Horizon, i s the development of male or " p h a l l i c " power, (the realm of the "subject"). - 100 -La seule chose q u ' i l s remarquerent, ce f u t l a fagon dont sa petite queue se dressait au milieu des combats de son age...Emerveilles, les gens prir e n t p l a i s i r a provoquer sa colere juste pour v o i r l'organe se mettre debout, herisse, tendu comme une fronde...le Bon Dieu fournit toujours davantage que 1'esprit de l'homme ne peut imaginer, i l f o u rnit tant et plus et v o i l a , 1'enfant d'Eloise (Ti Jean) avait herite d'une verge en or.'...^ However, without Telumee's vindication of the "other" r e a l i t y (the "feminine", " l a terre", " l a Guadeloupe"), T i Jean would not have been assured a centred position of "subject" from which to enact his perilous voyage. I t i s Telumee's "feminine" discourse which permits T i Jean to hasard and to survive re-engulfment by the Mother ( A f r i c a ) . A major theme of Pluie et vent which re-emerges i n T i Jean  1'Horizon i s that of "communion" between the s e l f and the other. Le regard de l'homme ne s u f f i t pas, murmura (Ti Jean) un jour en souriant, et i l faut etre au moins deux pour s'assurer d'une chose, fut-ce de l a r e a l i t e d' un b r i n d' herbe... -5 Both novels highlight interaction or networking as the main purpose of Language: "Une langue est avant tout communication".^ Schwarz-Bart 's works i l l u s t r a t e Language i n i t s f l u i d i t y , as they release words from the dichotomy of male discourse. Pluie et vent stands as a testament to courage and l i b e r a t i o n against the repression and ali e n a t i o n of the dominant ideology. The novel provides a source of l i m i t l e s s strength to the muted, tentative voice of the "other". - 101 -Footnotes - Conclusion 1. Heliane et Roger Toumson. "Sur l e s pas de Fanotte", p. 15. 2. Karen Smyley Wallace."The Female and the Se l f i n Schwarz-Bart' s P l u i e et vent sur Telumee Miracle^" p. 430. 3. Roger Toumson,. "Pluie et vent sur Telumee Miracle: Une reverie encyclopedique: Sa structure, son projet ideologique", p. 65. 4. Simone Schwarz-Bart, T i Jean 1'Horizon, (Paris: Editions du S e u i l , 1979), P. 30. 5. I b i d . , p. 270. 6. Heliane et Roger Toumson, op. c i t . , p. 19. - 102 -Bibliography  By and on Simone Schwarz-Bart Antoine, Regis. "La Martinique et La Guadeloupe en 1980" Europe No. 612, A p r i l , 198O, pp. 3-7. " Bebel-Gisler, Dany, Leonora. L'Histoire enfouie de l a Guadeloupe. Paris: Editions Seghers, 1985. Bernabe, Jean. "Contribution a 1*etude de l a diglossie l i t t e r ' a i r e . I I Le cas de Pluie et vent sur Telumee Miracle". Textes et Etudes Documents /, (Centre UnjCversitaire A n t i l l e s >'. Guyane)1 No. 2 (1979), PP.' 103-130. Conde, Maryse. La Parole des femmes: Essai sur des romancieres des  A n t i l l e s de langue francaise. Paris: L'Harmattan, 1979. Gozani, Jack. "La l i t t e r a t u r e e c r i t e d'expression frangaise a. l a Guadeloupe et a l a Martinique". Europe No. 6l2, A p r i l , 1980. PP. 37-^5. Danielson, David J , "Telumee Miracle and the Creole Experience". International F i c t i o n Review, Vol. 3» No. 1, January, 197-6, 35-46. ~ Federation Internationale des Professeurs de Frangais, L i t t e r a t u r e  de langue francaise hors de France. Belgique: Editions J. Duculot, 1976. Gamarra, P i e r r e . "L'Horizon Caraibe". Rev. of T i Jean 1'Horizon  Europe, No. 6l2, A p r i l , 1982, pp. 37-45. Glissant, Edouard. Le Discours a n t i l l a i s . P aris: Editions du Se u i l , 1981. Maitland, Susan. "Happiness i n Guadeloupe". 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