Caribbean Minoritization in European Territory: Rereading Robinson Crusoe in Derek Walcott’s Pantomime

Document Type : Research Paper


1 Assistant Professor of English Language and Literature, Arak University

2 University of Tehran



In Pantomime, Derek Walcott presents his unique reading of Daniel Defoe's Robinson Crusoe, a novel that forms part of Western cultural memory. What Walcott as a non-European writer does is entering the realm of European language and literature and deterritorializing it in order to express his indigenous collective concerns. Because Robinson Crusoe contains colonial values, Walcott sees it as a proper starting point for confronting the centralism of Western literature and producing anti-colonial values. The present article applies the concepts of “major literature,” “minor literature,” “deterritorialization,” and “becoming” by Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari to explore Walcott’s method of dissociation from European tradition and discourse and examine the attempt to fashion anti-colonial discourse in the play. These concerns are discussed in such areas as Walcott's overall strategy in rewriting canonical works, the possibility that metatheatre gives to the postcolonial Walcott to minoritize in major literature, the deconstruction of colonial concepts, and the fundamental change in meaning and status of the subaltern.


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