The Terror and the Time

Banal Violence and Trauma in Caribbean Discourse
Paula Morgan

ISBN 978-976-640-496-3
Pages and Dimensions: 
260pp 6 x 9



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US$32 (s)


The Terror and the Time contributes to the ongoing project of mapping the myriad ways in which contemporary individual and social scenarios and suffering are rooted in unresolved traumas bequeathed by the origins of the New World societies of the Caribbean. This study traces legacies of enforced and voluntary migrations: subjugation of language, custom and being, and violent rupture of ancestry and community, nation and ethnicity, family and sexuality. It draws its raw material from literature, personal narratives, print media and popular culture discourses to explore the interface between the psychological condition of having been colonized and the surviving cultural and material practices.

Part 1 deals with traumas of being and becoming; part 2 focuses on social suffering that results from state torture, aging and Alzheimer’s, child shifting, alcoholism and poverty. Morgan argues that modern Caribbean societies have been indelibly imprinted by the cataclysmic encounter between worlds and that substantial cross-sections of Caribbean populations are still reeling from the force of that wounding. This study probes the impulse of creative authors and cultural practitioners to revisit the seedbed of traumas and to variously respond with aesthetics of amnesia and negation, and/or to fashion therapeutic interventions through empowering narratives of resistance, self-fashioning, creativity and wholeness.

PAULA MORGAN is Senior Lecturer, Department of Literary, Cultural and Communications Study, University of the West Indies, St Augustine, Trinidad and Tobago. Her publications include Language Proficiency for Tertiary Level: Writing about Literature (co- authored with Barbara Lalla); Writing Rage: Unmasking Violence in Caribbean Discourse (co-authored with

Valerie Youssef); and The Culture of Violence: A Trinidad and Tobago Case Study and Reassembling the Fragments: Voice and Identity in Caribbean Discourse (both co-edited with Valerie Youssef).