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By Emily Greenwood

Afro-Greeks examines the reception of Classics within the English-speaking Caribbean, from approximately 1920 to the start of the twenty first century. Emily Greenwood makes a speciality of the ways that Greco-Roman antiquity has been placed to inventive use in Anglophone Caribbean literature, and relates this neighborhood classical culture to the tutorial context, particularly the way Classics was once taught within the colonial tuition curriculum. Discussions of Caribbean literature are inclined to suppose an opposed courting among Classics, that's handled as a legacy of empire, and Caribbean literature. whereas acknowledging this imperial and colonial backstory, Greenwood argues that Caribbean writers corresponding to Kamau Brathwaite, C. L. R. James, V. S. Naipaul, and Derek Walcott have effectively appropriated Classics and tailored it to the cultural context of the Caribbean, making a specific, neighborhood tradition.

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Extra resources for Afro-Greeks: Dialogues between Anglophone Caribbean Literature and Classics in the Twentieth Century

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2 See Lamming [1960] 1992a: 37–8; and Walcott 1998: 77. An Accidental Homer 21 World, on the one hand, and the situation of the modern Greek nation constructing the terms of its relationship with ‘Old’ Greece, on the other hand. Starting with Fermor, I explore the role that travel writing played in the construction of the Caribbean as the New Aegean. Since both Froude’s and Fermor’s accounts had appealed to Homer’s Odyssey as a legitimizing text for their travel accounts, the second section explores Walcott’s fashioning of a New World Odyssey and relates it to Caribbean tropes for the reception of this text.

More obscurely, describing the flora in the countryside outside Point-a`-Pitre, Fermor has recourse to the recherche´ iconography of ancient Greek cultic sculpture to illustrate the symmetry of the fruit on the pawpaw tree: ‘Under fleshy cartwheels of leaves the fruit of the paw-paw clustered round the perpendicular trunks as thickly and symmetrically as the breasts of Diana of the Ephesians’ (7). The choice of comparandum reveals much about the horizons of expectation that Fermor envisages for his audience, who are presumed to be more familiar with the representation of Diana (the Roman counterpart of the Greek goddess Artemis) in Ephesian cult than with the paw-paw tree.

70. 57 Ahmad 1992: 123. 58 On Walcott’s inclusion in the canon, see Melas 2007: 116. Introduction 19 authority is threatened by its inability to respond adequately to the emergence of regional canons and, consequently, to cover the ambitious topic of ‘World’ Literature. In the context of Figueroa’s affinity for Horace the provincial poet and Brathwaite’s view from the Roman provinces in X/Self, I point out the irony that anglophone Caribbean writers have recalibrated the canon so that they are the natural successors of Horace, or Ovid (who are doubly off-centre, given the end of Rome’s empire), writing from the provinces and holding the cultural centre.

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