Europe and post-colonial creativity: a metaphysical cross-culturalism
a1 Résidence ‘Petit Paradis’, 1/072 Quai de Rome, 4000 Liège, Belgium
In Shakespeare's The
Tempest, the meeting between Prospero and Caliban is an allegory of a Renaissance colonial encounter. Although Prospero emphasizes his gift of language to Caliban, he deems him incapable of ‘nurture’ (cultural progress). After the Second World War, the Barbadian novelist Georges Lamming saw in that gift the possibility of a ‘new departure’, which in the following decades was to modify not only Caliban's prospects but most emphatically the European, and specifically, the British cultural scene. I intend to illustrate this transformation through the contribution of postcolonial writers to the metamorphosis of the ‘Great Tradition’ of the English novel. The changes are formal, linguistic but also evince a metaphysical cross-culturalism best exemplified, among others, in the fiction of the Guyanese-born, British novelist Wilson Harris.