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"La colonie du nouveau monde: Cond's Pessimistic Views of a Caribbean Utopian Community" by ProQuest

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      “La colonie du nouveau monde: Condé’s
     Pessimistic Views of a Caribbean Utopian
                   Community.”

      MARIE-JOSÉ NZENGOU-TAYO


       The Caribbean region has not been spared the effects of economic
globalization. Island-states are invited not only to link with the continental shores
of the Caribbean Sea but also to constitute an integrated regional political and
economic block. While, at the top, governments of the region are still pondering
the benefits of such a move, at the bottom, ordinary people of the region are
already making the most of their Circum-Caribbean connections. A discreet
migration, less publicised than the one towards the U.S.A and Canada, takes place
within the insular Caribbean and its continental central and southern borders. This
intra-regional migration, which has existed since colonial times (inter-island slave
trade) took a different shape after emancipation particularly in the
English-speaking Caribbean. The construction of the Panama Canal remains the
reference point of the islands-continent migration beyond linguistic borders.
However, while Martinican and Guadeloupean migration within the Caribbean is
seldom acknowledged because of its marginal and occasional nature, Haitian
migration unsettles the region. Since the mid-seventies, Haitian workers and
peasants have been taking boats toward Florida, the Eastern Caribbean and
sometimes as far as the Guianas. Their intra-regional migration makes the
headlines every now and then, and Haitian communities are present almost
everywhere within the region. Isolated and estranged from the local population,
these Haitians try to survive and assist their families back in the home country.
Invisible and humiliated migrants, they appear very often in fictional works as
symbols of the predicament of the region.
                  Maryse Condé’s 1993 novel La colonie du nouveau
monde (New World Settlement)1 set in Colombia offers a fresh look at the
island-continent migration. This paper discusses Condé’s representation of this
connection and her assessment of a utopian Caribbean project led by a
Guadeloupean ‘guru.’ It also examines the part ascribed to a group of Haitians
who join the c
								
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