Notes from a small island
A weblog by Jonathan Ali

Friday, April 23, 2004  

Creole not an arbitrary political imposition here. There is something real, perhaps even inevitable, about it. The mixture in Trinidad is unavoidable, and seems to far outstrip such mixture in any other multi-racial society....

Indeed, what is perhaps important is [challenging] current modes of creolisation with a higher ideal. There is no question about whether creolisation will occur, it is on what basis. Creolisation should not mean an indiscriminate degradation to the lowest common denominator, which eventually simply means sex and violence, the lowest common denominator of humanity, with which everyone can identify.

There can be--and there has been--a higher type of creolisation, which seeks to weld together the best and most demanding aspects of our various cultures. It is not based on innocence and instinct alone, but on difficult learning. In literature, for example Naipaul, Harris, Walcott, and others have created a magnificent Creole literature. In some areas of the high arts, such as dance and painting, we may see this higher form of creolisation as well, demanding both conscious learning and the cultivation of unconscious instinct.

-- From a nice, solid article in today's Express by Kirk Meighoo on that oft-misunderstood, much-maligned phenomenon, creolisation. (Naipaul himself has said, I believe, that there is no such thing as creolisation. I think he's wrong, but don't ask me what creole is: all I can say is that I know it when I see it; and I see it every time I look in the mirror.)

posted by Jonathan | 9:52 AM 0 comments


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