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This essay concerns the Caribbean writer’s crucial confrontation with colonial literary models. In it, Kevin Frank argues that the central protagonist of David Dabydeen’s The Intended, the unnamed narrator, resembles the author in that he is torn between cultures (English, East Indian, and West Indian), and torn between two kinds of utility: one base, mechanical, and calculating, and the other, romantic. The latter predicament, Frank demonstrates, is a natural consequence of the convergence of romantic and utilitarian ideology underpinning British colonialism. Moreover, Dabydeen’s ambivalence about his allegiances and literary heritage is similar to that of one of his literary models, Joseph Conrad. Indeed, Dabydeen’s poetic ambivalence is part and parcel of postcolonial, Caribbean writer's inevitable confrontation with colonial literary models such as Conrad.


This article was originally published in Anthurium: A Caribbean Studies Journal.I



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