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On newness But what is the character of the "newness" that seems to attach itself to the Caribbean, the Other Americas, the Third World (the South, developing, underdeveloped, least advanced countries), not only to indicate their degree of economic (non)viability, but also to define their histories, their state building and politics, their cultures, their contribution to "world" culture?Are they only just being born into the world is the rhetorical question Glissant asks in The Poetic Intention.Glissant proposes, moreover, a positive reinterpretation of "newness"; one which transforms the handicap of being "born abruptly" into modernity and being summoned to instantly produce (states, literatures, knowledge) what other civilizations had centuries or millennia to do.In The Poetic Intention, "newness" is associated with an abrupt encounter with the bewildering, chaotic, disparate oppositions of the modern world.Worse, it elicits in some disbelief in the creative potential of the Caribbean past.However other, more positive, interpretations of "newness" are also evidenced in Caribbean and in Alter-American writing.
It also denies the "other" agency in world history through a decree of perpetual minority.
Indeed, peoples everywhere seem to find themselves in a "new world" marked by complex, multiple-layered identities and lived experiences which official historical narratives fail to render at certain levels, or even deliberately silence and erase.
This is where, from a literary perspective, "words with power" are called into the work-play (Frye (2)) of resistance and opposition, reconstructing history in "another way"; (3) articulating meaningful cross-road connections between history, memory, identity, myth and writing.
Birth, initially considered, is not a synonym of fragility.
It is delivery without time for transition through the three classic "ages of man".