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Caribbean Quarterly
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Table of Contents
    Front Cover
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    Back Cover
        Back Cover
Full Text

S~Vl 50 Nso~*...g

Politia E m As t o a D lop

*oj Anderso

Th Reacirn Mue Rae Se an Histoia
Teso in the Serc fo th WetIda

A Frot F : Te F u Q

04 Car Wade **



(Copyright reserved and reproduction without permission strictly forbidden)
Foreword iii
Rex Nettleford
En Espafiol
En Frangais
Political Economy Aspects of a Developmental State Framework for The 1
Nikolaos Karagiannis
Arguing Over the "Caribbean": Tourism on Costa Rica's Caribbean Coast 25
Moji Anderson
The Recalcitrant Muse: Race, Sex and Historical Tension in the Search for the
West Indian (Trans)subject 47
Shona N. Jackson
A Forgotten Forum: The Forum Quarterly and the Development of West
Indian Literature 63
Carl Wade
Books Received 91
Notes on Contributors 94
Abstracts 95
Information for Contributors F-,' 97
Latin Amenrca Clecto
^an ^tcr,o


Editorial Committee
Professor, the Hon. R.M. Nettleford, O.M. Vice Chancellor, Editor
Professor H. Beckles, Pro Vice Chancellor, Principal, Cave Hill Campus, UWI
Professor K. Hall, Pro Vice Chancellor and Principal, Mona Campus, UWI
Dr. B. Tewarie, Pro Vice Chancellor and Principal, St. Augustine Campus, UWI
Sir Roy Augier, Professor Emeritus, Dept. of History, Mona
Professor Neville McMorris, Dept. of Physics, Mona
Dr. V. Salter, C.S.I., Office of Vice Chancellor, Mona (Managing Editor)
All correspondence and contributions should be addressed to: The Editor, Carib-
bean Quarterly, Cultural Studies Initiative, Office of Vice Chancellor,University
of the West Indies, PO Box 130, Mona, Kingston 7, Jamaica
Tel. No. 876-970-3261, Tel Fax 876-977-6105
Email: veronica.salter@uwimona.edu.jm, or cq@uwimona.edu.jm
We invite readers to submit manuscripts or recommend subjects which they would
like to see discussed in Caribbean Quarterly. Articles and book reviews of
relevance to the Caribbean will be gratefully received. Authors should refer to the
guidelines on this web page. Articles submitted are not returned. Contributors
are asked not to send international postal coupons for this purpose.
Exchanges: Exchanges are conducted by the Gifts and Exchanges Section, Li-
brary, University of the West Indies, Mona, Kingston 7, Jamaica
Back Issues and Microfilm : Information for back volumes supplied on request.
Caribbean Quarterly is available on microfilm from Xerox University Microfilms
and in book form from Kraus-Thompson Reprint Ltd.
Abstract and Index : 1949-2001 Author Keyword and Subject Index available as
a hard copy.
The journal is abstracted by AES and indexed by HAPI


Caribbean Quarterly,Volume 50, No.3, Septemeber, 2004 contains four articles
and book reviews. As the Caribbean's flagship journal of culture, this issue of
CQ collectively examines aspects of Caribbeanness from the varying socio-cul-
tural perspectives of the authors. Nikolaos Karagiannis in Political economy
Aspects of a Developmental Framework for the Bahamas, hypothesises that
particular conditions in the Bahamian economic culture have led to tourism being
seen as an economic activity capable of creating income and jobs for the country's
inhabitants and earning important foreign exchange, but not as one of the most
dynamic sectors for its future economic development. He argues that tourism has
further subjected The Bahamas to outside dependence. He concludes by identify-
ing key strategic requirements and offers alternative policy recommendations.
Moji Anderson in her article, Arguing Over the "Caribbean": Tourism on
Costa Rica's Caribbean Coast, is concerned with the concept of Caribbeanism,
per se. Tourism in Costa Rica amongst Black Costa Ricans has definitely adopted
Rastafarianism as a primary selling card. This can cause both ambivalence and
contradictions in the politics of identity for the youth. But on another level it
shows the power and ability that new and cultural ideologies can have over not
only people in the region but also for tourists in search of 'irieness'.
The other papers emphasise the centrality of West Indian writings to the complexi-
ties of identity. In Shona Jackson's paper, The Recalcitrant Muse: Race, Sex
and Historical Tension in the Search for the West Indian (Trans)subject, she
argues that the critique of Wilson Harris' Palace ultimately has implications for
studies of Caribbean nationalism, Creole subjectivity, and our understanding of
'woman' as a complex and insufficiently elaborated historical category in Carib-
bean literary studies. The final paper by Carl Wade, A Forgotten Forum: The
Forum Quarterly and the Development of West Indian Literature, recognizes
that we now speak without hesitation of a West Indian literature. Wade argues that
this has happened over the last 60 years due to the tremendous contribution made
by Literary Magazines, not only Bim but also from its predecessors such as Forum
Quarterly that prepared the groundwork for Bim and ultimately, for the devel-
opment of West Indian literature itself. Three extensive book reviews complete
this volume.
Caribbean Quarterly,Volume 50, No.3, Septembre, 2004, content
quatre articles et revisions de livres. En temps que journal d'avant-garde de la
Caraibe en matiere culturelle, les articles dans cette edition etudient collectivement
certain aspects de la Caraibanite i partir des perspectives socio-culturelles varies

des auteurs. Dans I'article intitule Aspects d'Economie Politique Pour Un Cadre
de Developpement des Bahamas [Political economy Aspects of a
Developmental Framework for the Bahamas], Nikolaos Karagiannis prend
comme hypothese que certain aspects particuliers de la culture economique
Bahameienne ont porter les gens a voir le tourism comme une activity 6conomique
capable de creer des revenues et des emplois pour les habitants du pays et comme
source important pour gagner des devises etrangeres, mais pas comme l'un des
secteurs les plus dynamiques pour le developpement economique future du pays. II
declare que le tourism a contribute a assuj6tir les Bahamas d'avantage a une plus
grande dependance de l'exterieur. II conclut en identifiant des conditions
strategiques cles et offre des recommendations de politique alternatives.
Dans son article, Argumenter Au Sujet de la "Caraibe": Le
Tourisme Sur la C6te Caraibeenne de Costa-Rica [Arguing Over the
"Caribbean": Tourism on Costa Rica's Caribbean Coast,] Moji Anderson se
penche sur le concept du Cara'banisme. A Costa Rica, le tourism parmi les noirs
Costa Ricains a definitivement adopted la forme du Rastafarianisme comme
principal mode d'attraction. Ceci peut a la fois career une ambivalence et des
contradictions dans la politique d'identite parmi lesjeunes. Mais a un autre niveau,
cela montre le pouvoir et l'habilete que de nouvelles ideologies culturelles peuvent
avoir non seulement sur les habitants de la region mais aussi sur les tourists A la
recherche de 'irienite'.
Les autres essais mettent l'accent sur le r6le central des 6crits Caraibeens
dans les complexit6s d'identit6. L'essai de Shona Jackson, La Muse
Ricalcitrante: Race, Sexe, et Tension Historique Dans la Recherche du
(Trans)Sujet Carai'been [The Recalcitrant Muse: Race, Sex and Historical
Tension in the Search for the West Indian (Trans)subject], argument que le
critique du Palais de Wilson Harris a d6finitivement des implications pour l'6tude
du nationalism Caraib6en., de la subjectivity Cr6ole, et de notre comprehension
de la 'femme' comme une cat6gorie historique complex, insuffisamment
mentionn6e dans les 6tudes litt6raires de la Caraibe. Le dernier essai, 6crit par Carl
Wade, Un Forum Oublii: Le Forum Trimestriel Et Le Developpement de la
Litterature Caralbienne [A Forgotten Forum: The Forum Quarterly and the
Development of West Indian Literature,] reconnait que maintenant nous
parlons sans h6siter d'une litt6rature Caraib6enne. D'apres Wade, ceci est arrive
pendant les 60 demieres annees a cause des contributions importantes faites par
des Revues Litteraires, non seulement Bim, mais aussi par ses pr6d6cesseurs tel
Forum Quaterly [Le Forum Trimestriel] qui a prepar6 la voice pour Bim, et en
demiere analyse 6galement, pour le d6veloppement de la litterature Caraib6enne
elle-meme. Ce volume se termine avec trois revisions approfondies de livres.
Caribbean Quarterly,Volumen 50, No.3, Septiembre, 2004, contiene
cuatro articulos y anilisis de libros. Dada su calidad de diario insignia sobre la

Caribbean Quarterly,Volumen 50, No.3, Septiembre, 2004, contiene
cuatro articulos y anilisis de libros. Dada su calidad de diario insignia sobre la
cultural del caribe, los articulos en esta edici6n examinan de manera colectiva
aspects caribeios desde las diversas perspectives socio-culturales de los autores.
Nikolaos Karagiannis en Economia political: Aspectos de un Marco de Desar-
rollo para las Bahamas [Political economy Aspects of a Developmental
Framework for the Bahamas], plantea de manera hipotetica que las condiciones
particulares a la economic de las Bahamas han provocado que se consider al
turismo como una actividad econ6mica fuente de ingresos y empleos para los
habitantes del pais asi como para atracci6n de divisas, pero no como el sector mas
dinimico para su desarrollo econ6mico future. Argumenta que el turismo ha
hecho dependiente a las Bahamas del exterior. En su conclusion, identifica re-
querimientos estrat6gicos clave y sugiere political alternatives.
Moji Anderson en su articulo, Discusi6n sobre el turismo "Caribefo"
en la ribera caribefia de Costa Rica, [Arguing Over the "Caribbean": Tour-
ism on Costa Rica's Caribbean Coast] hace patente su inquietud sobre el
t6rmino Caribefio, per se. El turismo en Costa Rica entire los costarricenses de raza
negra ha adoptado la imagen de los Rastafari como tarjeta de presentaci6n, lo que
provoca tanto ambivalencias como contradicciones en la identidad de lajuventud.
Por otro lado sin embargo, muestra el poder y la capacidad que nuevas ideologias
y cultures pueden tener no s61o sobre la poblaci6n local sino en los turistas en
busqueda del bienestar caracteristico de dicho grupo ('irieness').
Los otros articulos hacen 6nfasis sobre el centralismo evidence en los
escritos de las Indias Orientales sobre las complejidades de la identidad. El
articulo de Shona Jackson, La Musa Recalcitrante: Raza, Sexo y Tensi6n
Hist6rica en la Busqueda del (Trans)sujeto de las Indias Orientales][The
Recalcitrant Muse: Race, Sex and Historical Tension in the Search for the
West Indian (Trans)subject], sostiene que la critical en Palace de Wilson Harris'
repercute en los studios del nacionalismo caribefio, la subjetividad criolla y
nuestro concept de "mujer" como una categoria hist6rica compleja y poco elabo-
rada en los studios literarios caribefos. El articulo final presentado por Carl
Wade, Un Foro Olvidado: The Forum Quarterly y el Desarrollo de la Litera-
tura de las Indias Orientales [A Forgotten Forum: The Forum Quarterly and
the Development of West Indian Literature,] reconoce que en la actualidad
hablamos de la literature de las Indias Orientales sin titubeo alguno. Wade sostiene
que asi ha sido durante los tiltimos 60 afios debido a la relevant contribuci6n de
las Revistas Literarias, no s6lo de Bim sino tambien de sus predecesoras, tales
como Forum Quarterly que prepare tanto el terreno para Bim como para el
desarrollo de la literature de las Indias Orientales en si. Existen tres analisis de
obras extensivas que completan este volume.
Translations by Latin American Caribbean Centre (LACC), Mona Campus

Political Economy Aspects of a Developmental State
Framework for The Bahamas


The political economy of development in The Bahamas is characterized
by trade relations that take place in a highly monopolised global market; policy
issues which are influenced by multilateral agencies and transnational corpora-
tions; a lack of focus and clear policies; and, "pork barrel" policies and interfer-
ence by the political directorate. Shaped by the hegemonic influences of Britain
and the USA, as well as domestic culture and social psychology, foreign invest-
ment has been assigned a large role in the growth process of the Bahamian
economy. In fact, foreign capital controls the country's productive structure, and
particularly its most dynamic sectors, and benefits very narrow sectors and activi-
ties. As a result, the country encounters unyielding domestic obstacles to its
selfsustained growth and development.
Against this general background, tourism has been seen not just as an
economic activity capable of creating income and jobs for the country's inhabi-
tants and earning important foreign exchange, but as one of the most dynamic
sectors for its future economic development. However, tourism has further sub-
jected The Bahamas to outside dependence. The result of this dependence makes
the country vulnerable and more susceptible to external shocks, as well as more
dependent on foreign exchange (Higgins 1994: 5).
The line of argument of the paper is as follows. The first part highlights
the political economy of Bahamian development. The second section seeks to
chart the Bahamian Developmental State framework, and discusses the mutual
benefits between tourism and agroindustry on the grounds of local production
growth, endogenous competency and competitiveness. The final part of the paper
identifies key strategic requirements and offers alternative policy recommenda-
tions, which the Developmental State view implies and suggests.
The Political Economy Of Bahamian Development: Past And Present
Historically, it is important to see the economic development of The
Bahamas in the context of a British West Indian Colony. Indeed, for Common-
wealth Caribbean countries, there was little affirmation of viability except within
the framework of the Westminster model and in the context of dependency
economic relations with the "Mother country". The fundamental economic phi-
losophy of the British Empire was based on the notion that the Colonies should be

complementary to the metropolis and contribute to British trade. In this regard,
Colonial administrators viewed agriculture as a productive activity with substan-
tial economic gains which would benefit the British Empire (i.e., agricultural
production provided the mainstay of export trade generating foreign exchange and
jobs). The output was not only a source of food but also an important source of raw
materials for British industry. Besides, to ensure the success of agriculture in the
Colonies, the British administration established a scientific network to support the
sector, which was "owned and controlled by virtue of their imperial authority"
(Eneas 1998: 22).
The ruling class in The Bahamas sought to hold onto socioeconomic
power through the acquisition and ownership of economic resources, and control
of the administrative arm of the Legislative Bodies. This ruling social elite, given
its vast ownership of the means of exchange, not only dominated domestic trade
but its historical ties to the metropolis sustained its dominance in the external
trade. Predictably, wealth remained skewed along racial/class lines, since the land
and resources that underpinned this agrocommercial model of accumulation were
in the hands of the ruling class. Consequently, the country continued its legacy of
subsidiarity to metropolitan business interests (even today, trade becomes not
simply evidence of the structural dependence of The Bahamas, but also serves to
support those relations of exchange which can only exist through the systematic
reinforcement of the country's structural imbalance) (Karagiannis 2002a: 48). In
addition, the mode of production and the organisational outlook of the state
generated a peculiar culture that was hardly geared towards constant restructuring
and diversification of the Bahamian production base (Marshall 1998: 4950).
After the Second World War, transformative impulses operated through
the specific postwar conjuncture of forces at the geopolitical and international
level. As a result, The Bahamas entered a new era of economic development, as
tourism became the engine that propelled the economy, and a new agricultural
system was gradually being introduced. Indeed, in the early 1950s, a second wave
of technology swept into The Bahamas in the form of large offshore companies
and branchplant firms under metropolitan ownership and control (Eneas 1998:
17). After 1960, more companies joined the ranks of the largescale agricultural
businesses (e.g., fruit and vegetables, diary products and poultry). The hope was
that these companies over time would turn towards agroprocessing activities, or by
their presence encourage foreign interest in this sector. The trend continued with
limited success through the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s.
However, these foreign-owned companies engaged in little processing
and established few linkages with other sectors of the Bahamian economy. For-
eign capital really could not objectively promote significant industrial develop-
ment in The Bahamas because of the way in which the social elite, government and
merchants bestrode the local economy. Besides, Britain, and later the USA, have
never encouraged real industrial development in The Bahamas. Consequently,

both agriculture and manufacturing industry were downgraded within the new
development thrust, while commerce dominated production (Marshall 1998: 70).
These developments coincided with the emergence of black petitbour-
geois elements and professionals in the social structure and political order. This
small black petitbourgeoisie had no history of enterprise or taking entrepreneurial
risks, but was to become the new political class by the time of Independence. At
the lower societal rung, the wider social populace were involved in a dizzying
variety of activities, like smallcrop agriculture and farming, fishing, handicraft and
the like. However, the socioeconomic order and the model of accumulation re-
mained intact in The Bahamas as the potential for a challenge was circumscribed
by the process of tutelage in selfgovernment conducted by British advisors (Mar-
shall 1998: 612).
Furthermore, the country's "tax haven" status coupled with "investment
by invitation" policies followed by successive Bahamian administrations (i.e., the
large role that has been assigned to private foreign capital in the growth process,
starting with the inflow of British capital just after the end of World War II and
later with the influx of finance from other sources, particularly the USA), the
government's dependence on taxes on international trade, and the commercial
oligarchy's interest in tourism and offshore banking, fostered a climate of mutual
cooperation between the state and the wealthy elite during the last four decades. In
fact, while The Bahamas has always had its "sun, sand and sea", it is only since the
early 1960s that tourism grew to a position of any preeminence (i.e., the "1960s
boom") (Karagiannis 2002a: 11). But the almost total dependence on external
sources for food, equipment and materials made tourism, and still makes it, largely
an "offshore" activity in which the country plays little more than a peripheral role
(Ramsaran 1983: 44). Besides, the growth of tourism industry in The Bahamas has
not been accompanied by endogenous development.
By the 1970s, lucrative and lowrisk opportunities for deployment of
wealth in commercial and servicesrelated activities had been created, and the
importtraders amongst them saw a space for their own social reproduction within
such policies that promised an expansion of consumption (e.g., retail outlets,
supermarket chains and hardware stores, especially in the capital Nassau) (Mar-
shall 1998: 71). What's more, merchant capitalists became entrenched in the
corporate makeup of the Bahamian society, increasing their resource ownership
and control in real estate, lands, hotels, distribution outlets, family businesses,
insurance companies and banks.
Clearly, the overriding goal was "stability" and, given the character of the
postcolonial political economy, "stability" came to mean "businessasusual". This
was not surprising since the state apparatus that had been used to underpin the
hegemony of British and local merchant capital was to become the instrument of a
petitbourgeois ruling class that, like the merchant capital, was not sited in any
production process. Besides, there was no prior entrepreneurial subgroup with the

interest, the influence or the collective need for a state capable of facilitating and
enforcing productive investment on the part of those who appropriated the social
surplus. Businessasusual became a simple solution grounded in the need to placate
the fears of the elite, while providing governments with the income to improve
infrastructure and distribute patronage. Importtrading (which garnered high reve-
nue yields in the form of import duties and tariffs) and an increased role for
government in the Bahamian economy went towards satisfying "statusquo reten-
tion and regime consolidation". Consequently, the new Independence order had a
"reproduction requirement" that was very difficult to overcome, while the state
was remade in the likeness of both the complacent merchant class and the
petitbourgeois class (Marshall 1998: 634).
Furthermore, dispensing political favours to different strata in the Baha-
mian society was crucial to the project of "stability" taken on by the new political
class. The political order and the "reproductive logic" of existing social relations
did not necessarily require the state to promote robust industrial development in
The Bahamas. Petitbourgeois instrumental control over state power meant that a
significant part of state's resources had to be used for political needs that would
ensure regime consolidation along with extensive patronclient relations. Hence,
the expansion and deepening of industrial capital as a developmental project was
likely to remain stifled. Predictably, the Bahamian state found itself compromised
and torn between a conservative impulse that is, the need to preserve the existing
order and a transformative one given the prevailing narrow base of the country's
corporatecommercial economy (Marshall 1998: 689).
Evidently, Caribbean social formations in general, and the Bahamian
social formation in particular, have thrown up weak state structures, resulting in
skewed developmental agendas, poor government planning and oversight, and a
deepseated resistance to deepening local industrial production. Indeed, the failure
to engender the rise of a developmental state is a common feature of Com-
monwealth Caribbean countries; this particular feature, the "long historical ab-
sence of developmental states", has been a byproduct of their international
political economy. In the colonial period, the state remained mothercountryori-
ented. After decolonisation, it became patronagebased. At critical historical mo-
ments, the state failed to engender the rise of an industrial class or stimulate greater
local productive activity, and the state powerholders shied away from deepening
the process of capital accumulation in order to safeguard colonial interests, and
later, the political survival of the new political class (Marshall 1998: 434).
Moreover, civil administration has been infected not only by excessive
proceduralism, but also by racial, classist, and colonial values that have acted to
inhibit or frustrate government programmes. Lack of technical capacity placed
limits on the Bahamian economic transformation process. More importantly, the
compromised character of the Caribbean state in general, and the Bahamian state
in particular, inhibits its capacity to act as an agent for deploying power to assist in

broadgauged, longterm projects and strategies. This was manifest in the failures
and shortcircuiting of transformative impulses that occurred during the last forty
years or so (Marshall 1998: 44).1
Charting the Bahamian Developmental State Framework
An important point which should be made concerns the economic im-
pact of development policy visivis the other possible determinants of economic
growth (such as historical legacy, the role of the market and the state, the role of
foreign capital and foreign hegemonic powers, geopolitics, culture and social
psychology). Within such a holistic context, the construction of the Bahamian
Developmental State will be a deeply political and social process. The obstacles to
reform are quite formidable. Specific policy innovations, to be effective, require
radical institutional changes and, to the extent that they challenge the existing
configuration of socioeconomic power, the reforms face severe political chal-
lenges. Reforms must be guided therefore, in policy terms, by forethought and
coordination; in institutional terms, by rationalising and reshaping various depart-
ments and agencies of the state which are involved in industrial development,
investment and trade; and in the political arena, by shifting the balance of power,
both inside and outside the major political parties, towards those social groups and
strata favouring developmental solutions to socioeconomic problems. This is as
controversial as it is problematic in The Bahamas, given the absence of political
will and the difficulty in having such views channelled through political avenues
(Marshall 1998: 190).
Evidently, in The Bahamas, the disparate social elements and the leading
forces within the ruling coalition as a whole are staked on expanding the sphere of
commercial activities, improving the employment prospects of tourism, and im-
plementing socially ameliorative programmes. State managers and their advisers
are still to grasp that building endogenous competency and raising overall com-
petitiveness is a socioeconomic transformation venture that goes far beyond their
faith placed on optimistic outcomes of neoliberal adjustments. However, the
pursuit of developmentalist objectives is only possible in The Bahamas if policy
formulation moves beyond the "businessasusual" ad hoc solutions to correcting
macroeconomic framework conditions, and deals effectively with the conflicting
goals of shortrun capital gains and longerterm socioeconomic development (Mar-
shall 1998: 194).2
Thus, local agroindustrial development would need regime changes
which bring into power new elements, for example, economic technocrats, indige-
nous entrepreneurs and manufacturers, and progressive intellectuals. These ele-
ments must possess the necessary aptitude for meeting the enduring economic and
political challenges, and hold the potential for agreeing to a developmentalist
ideology which accepts that the state with effective levers of intervention must
take a leading role in restructuring the economy, targeting sectors, raising the
quantity and quality of agroindustrial investment, and fostering links with civil

society. This implies that a combination of plan and market is going to be required
as well as the need for effective statecraft and new statesocietal alliances. Besides,
indigenous entrepreneurs may need to enlist the support of the Bahamian state,
especially in their effort to move into the industrial sector (Marshall 1998: 191,
Indeed, state policy and influence will have to be decisive factors. Given
the country's need for greater sources of foreign exchange, strategic planning
should be limited to local agricultural and manufacturing sectors. In essence, the
Bahamian Developmental State's mandate should contain the following kernel

* to provide a sense of overall direction to the overall evolution of the
economy. The vision which should guide the industrial strategies and poli-
cies is summarised as agroindustnal growth, rejuvenation, industrial upgrad-
ing and structural transformation;

* to "guide capital", both local and foreign; and

* to coordinate investment both to expand local agroindustrial production and
to strengthen forward and backward linkages between all sectors of the do-
mestic economy.
Obviously, in order to assure realisation of these national development
goals, an economically active state must play a significant role. Likewise, welledu-
cated welltrained and efficient technocratic planners play key roles. The govern-
ment provides the "national purpose" framework and a strong domestic platform,
while the technocrats supply planning and overview. This "national purpose"
proves possible to bring together social and political forces in the interests of a
socially defined agenda. Besides, the growthoriented transformation must lead in
a corporatist direction and strategic partnership between the Bahamian Develop-
mental State, forwardlooking firms, and various social segments. A broadbased
consensus is also required, and could afford scope for strategic planning. Further-
more, if such thorough alternative strategies are to solve such problems, they
presuppose participation. Indeed, participation is a vital element ensuring that
sufficient motivation, creativity and human effort are forthcoming to guarantee
that such technically proficient strategies can be successfully carried out in The
In formulating policies for economic restructuring and diversification, it
is essential, therefore, to recognize the critical elements of the system in terms of
deriving a longterm strategy. Simultaneously, it is necessary to juxtapose certain
facts relating to the structure of the Bahamian economy in order to provide what
might be called "an integrated development perspective of the system", and to
show the relative position of endogenous strategic components. Failure to do so
can easily lead not only to shortrun, highly partial considerations, and shortterm

measures dictated by pressing problems (e.g., job creation, unsteady growth,
balanceofpayments constrains) but also to the adoption of ad hoc approach to
development which may be in basic conflict with the goal of a stronger economic
fabric (Ramsaran 1983: 378; Karagiannis 2002a: 15). Attention will have to be
drawn to the part played by tourism in the Bahamian economy, as the lack of an
overall integrated policy has limited its contribution to the country's social and
economic development.
In order to maximise the benefits from tourism, the sector must provide
an effective stimulus for local agriculture and agroindustrial production. However,
the benefits from tourism growth have been inadequately exploited because of
insufficient linkages with domestic food, beverage, and other commodity produc-
tion sectors; and failure to upgrade complementary and related service industries
like information services and communication. The fact that decisions relating to a
particular sector (e.g., tourism) tend to have broader implications for the national
economy as a whole requires a clear examination of the interacting influences
between the promising activities from the point of view of endogenous compe-
tency, and those that may provide shortterm benefits but offer little hope as a
secure basis for future national wellbeing.
Prospects for future growth in The Bahamas have been frustrated and
lowered significantly due to foreign exploitation and underutilisation of existing
resources, in addition to economic difficulties the country has repeatedly faced.
The underutilisation of part of its productive capacity is proof of this considerable
growth potential. As the Bahamian economy operates at well below its level of
physical and human capacity, policies to increase aggregate demand can yield
substantial economic gains.
Thus, a first requirement of a thorough development strategy is that the
expansion of tourism represents a net addition to the effective use of resources
and, therefore, to the overall growth of the system. Besides, aggregate demand
must be sufficient enough to stimulate production up to the adequate rate of
capacity utilisation. However, growth of local production must go hand in hand
with special consideration of the country's external trade. In connection with this,
the competitiveness of the Bahamian economy must come to the fore (Lopez
1998: 6).
In order to expand industrial production and employment, firms must
have the financial means to invest in the necessary machinery and capital equip-
ment, critical kinds of science and technology initiatives, learning, and skills
training and upgrading; and shortrun bottlenecks preventing a fuller utilisation of
capacities have to be taken care of. These bottlenecks may include a lack of the
necessary resources and skills, difficulties in obtaining finance, and a lack of
business confidence.

Hence, a second requirement of the proposed Developmental State strat-
egy is that selective economic policies should provide the resources and stimuli to
carry out the investments in both working and fixed capital, infrastructure, and the
modem factors of development necessary to raise output and to improve the
production and commercial conditions of firms and hotels at national and local
levels (Cowling 1990: 24; Lopez 1998: 1112). Active fiscal policy ought to carry
out the investments necessary to improve the supply conditions of businesses and
to support the other expenditures associated with the selective policy. Monetary
policy ought to ensure that sufficient financial resources are channelled to firms
and to intermediary agencies at reasonable interest rates. Besides, it should be
considered that the increase in output would translate into higher profits and
savings (Lopez 1998: 12).3
However, bottlenecks at the firm or macro level often hamper a more
efficient capacity utilisation. These bottlenecks must be seriously considered,
would require addressing a number of issues simultaneously, and accordingly a
medium and longterm development strategy should have as a basic requirement a
close link with a deliberate industrial strategy. Such a directed state action should:
(1) consolidate and improve existing production lines; (2) select and give priority
to investments in new and technically promising activities; and, (3) adjust quickly
in anticipation of, and in response to, global changes in demand and technological
innovation (Lopez 1998: 1213; Beral 2000: 107).
Indeed, industrial targeting should single out areas of emphasis in se-
lected fields, and should be directed towards developing the national industrial
core and upgrading overall competitiveness. It should be concentrated on a few
focal areas having favourable prospects for development, and be selectively de-
signed so as to support a small group of key dynamic firms managed by modem
entrepreneurs. Even a small group of key propulsive industries can be instrumental
in emphasising the accelerators of endogenous competency and growth, exert
pressure to adapt on other supply firms, and introduce modem concepts of policy
making and labour relations. The various spheres of policy (e.g., industrial policy,
regional policy) should be directed towards consolidating these focal areas, cor-
recting the imbalances which continually emerge in the wake of restructuring and
repositioning, reconciling contradictory elements therein, and smoothing the path
for industrial growth.
What has been asserted should not be taken to imply a rejection of the
problems that could arise with the proposed development strategy. But to face
them, a sound economic approach ought to complement shortrun measures with a
thorough plan for the future, which includes a longterm industrial or structural
change strategy aimed at diversifying local production, strengthening technologi-
cal capabilities, and promoting innovation. Greater levels of production, employ-
ment and profits that would be achieved in the short term owing to the fuller use
of available resources, would actually spur a transition to a more structurally

efficient economy. Part of this increased production and income in The Bahamas
would go to higher expenditure on the modem factors of endogenous competency
and lead to faster development of skills of the labour force. Not only higher profits
would allow additional investment but also a greater proportion of income growth
will be channelled towards investment. Hence, in the future, it would be relatively
easier to incorporate more modem technology and increase productivity, while at
the same time raising accumulation rates (Lopez 1998: 1819).4
Obviously, for purposes of designing endogenous competency strategies
to achieve the development of productive forces and the transformation and
diversification of the structure of Bahamian production, technically proficient
strategic planning is absolutely necessary indeed, it is inevitable and should be
directed towards the creation of new conditions and processes to be effectively and
directly determined by the planning authorities. Strategic planning is a pragmatic
attempt to increase the country's longrun capacity to transform itself by building
up the infrastructure and the requisite skills. It is this national strategic planning
that can determine the capacity of the Bahamian economy for selfdetermined
selfsustained growth and development. In the development of these strategies, a
Developmental State generates not only the capacity to spread the use of modem
knowledge and industrial techniques into all elements of the economic transforma-
tion so as to spur local industrial activities, but it also creates a dynamic basis for
engagement in the world economy through higher levels of exports (Thomas
Moreover, contrary to the "current orthodoxy", it appears important to
emphasis that it would not suffice to establish technologically modem export
sectorss. Exportoriented production may benefit very narrow sectors and generate
limited resources. Yet, Bahamian exports have never developed on an initial
platform of production for domestic needs and internal requirements. Instead,
domestic production should be oriented towards satisfying domestic demand in
the first instance, with export specialisation occurring as an extension of this. The
aim should be to bring about a general improvement in the competency and
efficiency of the economy, in the level of technological infrastructure it relies on,
and in the quality of workmanship and service, so that more and more activities
may become increasingly competitive.
Modem production techniques, precisely because of their flexibility,
make it possible to manufacture in small series on a viable basis. Targeting and
flexibility are possible, especially if they can draw on modem industrial planning.
Given the growth of production of local industries and the improvement of
national competitiveness, demand for imported capital and goods could decline
and exports of local products expand. Assuming predominance of clear focal areas
and initiatives carried out by both a competent administrative machine and dy-
namic local firms, a large part of the additional goods produced will be devoted to
exports. Consequently, the country would make a greater and better use of its

productive resources and capacity, while at the same time easing the constraints on
its balance of payments.
In addition, as indigenous technology is the basis for an organic integra-
tion of domestic production and demand structures (i.e., human capital formation
coupled with consistent technical progress), investment priorities and the choice of
technique are determined by the strategies of transformation and diversification,
and by the product choices to which these strategies give rise. The overall purpose
is to increase the capacity of the Bahamian economy to respond at the level of the
government, firms, and the population as a whole.
This is a more feasible and realistic suggestion in light of the fact that
these strata and decision makers which serve the powerful interests of the
hegemonic centres and the dominant transnational corporations are those which
tend to reject the concept of endogenous development in The Bahamas, and seek
to maintain the economic and political order of a dependent productive structure
by siding with backwardlooking segments, officials and policy makers; by en-
gaging in modern experiments with neoliberalism; and also as a result of deterio-
rating terms of trade, and the astonishing technological developments taking place
in the leading industrial economies. However, only under such a national strategic
planning system and wellconceived and vigorously executed development pro-
grammes trade will serve a different function, because the Bahamian economy
itself will be reoriented to serve different purposes.
Lastly, any economy is underpinned and imbued by social values, codes
of behaviour and ethics, which are in turn reflected in the structure and functioning
of government sector institutions and private sector firms. As political will may
not be clearly agglomerated and administrative capacity is inadequate in The
Bahamas, governments have not been successful in indicating a clear course for
the public sector to adopt. Yet, the adjustment of its social and political conditions
to the country's urgent social and developmental needs cannot be avoided. If The
Bahamas is to develop growthoriented learingbased productive activities, there-
fore, it would be necessary to adopt a number of measures to remodel its key
social, economic, and institutional factors that will be required to provide the
necessary underpinning (Clayton 2001: 15). More importantly, these thorough
development strategies assume a much better state action, and would require an
efficient and competent administrative machine. But so does any strategy capable
of overcoming barriers and laying down the basis of endogenous competency and
growth in any developing economy.
Devising the necessary action to stimulate sustainable tourism develop-
ment and industrial regeneration, while raising the quantity and quality of produc-
tive investment necessary to allow the fullest and most efficient utilisation of
existing resources, seems to be a more sensible way to confront the future. Such an
approach seems, certainly, a better option for the endogenous development and
competency of the Bahamian economy than a frantic search for accelerated,

"Westemstyle modernisation" a "vision" that decision and policy makers in The
Bahamas aspire to. The alternative and more realistic development paradigm
would require the pursuit of Developmental State strategies and policies. This is
what the Bahamian economy needs (Lopez 1998: 19).
Issues of Selection
Initially it is important to divide consideration of the key issues related to
the structure of Bahamian economy into three sections: (1) issues influenced by
government policy and general policy issues; (2) issues influenced by specific
industries or sectors; and, (3) marketdriven issues.5 On this account, we limit
strategic intervention to those parts of the Bahamian economy where government
intervention is going to have its most significant potential impact on the dynamism
of the economy as a whole. The criteria are obviously dynamic and forwardlook-
With this background in mind, it is imperative to develop and strengthen
the links between tourism and agroprocessing industry,6 which appear viable,
advantageous, warranted, and strategically important in a longterm perspective,
and which will set up incentives and open up possibilities for a wide range of new
economic activities, for the following reasons (Cowling 1990: 19):
* a large market exists for agrobusiness in the tourism industry, as there is
growth in tourist consumption of local food and beverage. Additionally,
The Bahamas is close to one of the world's major markets, the United

* they can allow the local capture of a high percentage of valueadded, and
thus generate profits and contribute to the process of capital accumulation;
* such developmentpromoting links will be accompanied by a higher degree
of domestic resource and capacity utilisation, will build strategic alliances,
and diagonally integrate with tourismrelated and nonrelated activities;

* they will give a great boost to the rejuvenation, diversification and structural
transformation of the Bahamian economy;

* they will enhance the local skill/knowledge base, stimulate technical
progress and innovation, create entrepreneurial and managerial talents, and
increase productivity and, in turn, will impart the momentum for "economic
* it is a realistic and feasible proposal for the Bahamian endogenous develop-

The above proposal which must take place within the framework of
thorough development planning takes into account the interrelations among a
number of"stylised facts" such as domestic resources, capital, social structure, the
level of technology and skills, scale and transformation.7 Indeed, economies of
scale and learning will bring about multiple effects on, and changes in, the
structure of the Bahamian production. The object, of course, would be to increase
valueadded to the prioritised sectors and strengthen intersectoral linkages, which
would then be capable of spilling their expansionary forces into other sectors and
A realistic strategy for The Bahamas must aim at adaptation and innova-
tion led development of certain specific sectors which will have multiple short
and, especially, longrun productive effects, and will bring about structural trans-
formation and diversity, further economic growth, and higher productivity. This is
clearly an issue in the Bahamian context. The mutually beneficial relationship
between the tourism industry and the agroindustry can provide the foundation
which an alternative endogenous development strategy can build on. With a
rigorous priorities formation, scarce resources will increasingly be allocated
efficiently, productivity and profitability will increase, and the propulsive and
dynamic sectors will become increasingly attractive to the private sector.
Moreover, even though employment and operating costs are high, the
average total cost will progressively decrease due to higher levels of production
and economies of scale. Coupled with this has to be considered that investment in
human resource development, skills and talents, managerial competency and
innovation will result in new/better practices and operations quality. With modem
knowledge, the relevant training, managerial excellence, entrepreneurship, profes-
sionalism and commitment, food, beverage and other commodity production
sectors will provide good prospects for demand expansion and technical progress.
Within this context, comprehensive development policy will fuel these sectors
towards growth, and lead them into a viable, competitive and profitable future.
Finally, the above alternative framework links the Bahamian economy to
the world economy, and involves promoting further growth through the export of
manufactured goods (i.e., food products) to the large North American and other
markets. By focusing on higher levels of exports, the strategy allows domestic
manufacturers greater scope for exploiting economies of scale, and imposes a
competitive discipline on domestic firms that forces them to increase efficiency,
quality and profitability.
Adopting the Strategic Approach
It is clear from the previous discussion that a coherent strategy is neces-
sary for the endogenous development of the Bahamian economy. In doing so, the
government should adopt a strategic view of prospective industrial development in
the Bahamian economy and provide a range of support mechanisms to those

sectors deemed to have a key role to play in the future. Indeed, strategic industrial
policy targets and centres around strategic sectors, which can be expected to fuel
future economic growth. By recognizing differentiation of sectors and industries,
policy can address the problems that are rooted in the development of these sectors
and industries, and thus become effective.
First of all, a "central core" is needed a powerhouse dedicated to raising
both the quantity and quality of investment expenditure towards establishing the
targeted sectors. This core planning staff should consist of a small, entrepreneurial
team rather than a vast bureaucracy we must avoid squandering people and
resources over a whole range of bureaucratic activities. The team should be
recruited partly from within the Bahamian Civil Service, but also from business,
professionals, and the academic and scientific world: a "new look" Bureau would
need some welleducated, welltrained, and efficient technocratic planners. With the
assistance of consultants, the government forms a consensus on the best policies to
Strategic industrial policy will be built around the twin pillars of Treas-
ury and Manufacturing Industry; the former with a relatively shortterm demand
perspective, the latter with a longerterm supply perspective. The new Bureau of
Industry should be organised around the requirements of a Strategic Planning
Agency with a longterm commitment and the powers to intervene decisively and
take the necessary policy action (Cowling 1990: 24).
The next step of industrial policy is to increase the domestic technologi-
cal infrastructure, machinery, equipment and knowledge which are absolutely
necessary and needed for the establishment of these targeted propulsive industries
in The Bahamas. Instead of subsidising unsuccessful businesses, the Bahamian
government can finance and direct the development of technologies that can be
used by the specific manufactures to improve their efficiency, profitability, quality
and competitiveness. These firms will rely on utilising the modem knowledge
ideas for materials, product designs, manufacturing processes and commercial
products and transforming it into new technologies and products. In addition to
funding R&D, this alternative development strategy includes government support
of technical knowledge and new manufacturing techniques, especially to the small
firms, which often lag behind in technological development.
Along with tourism promotion, the mutually beneficial relationship be-
tween agroprocessing industries and tourism as a means of diversifying local
production and attaining food security should be strengthened and extended. The
production of high quality products and a sustained supply of them could provide
tourism industry with sufficient indigenous food and beverage. Indeed, the growth
of demand for an authentic Bahamian flavour (tourist consumption plus food and
beverage souvenirs) provides the opportunities for the growth of supply of local
specialties by local producers.

Improvements in production result from investments in plant and
equipment, and a combination of R&D, skills and innovation. Expenditures from
the Bahamian budget must be directed to planned investments in infrastructure and
human capital, technical change and its implementation. However, private invest-
ments on the modem factors of competitiveness are also desirable and absolutely
necessary. In fact, investment in advanced training and the continuous develop-
ment of scientific and managerial manpower in The Bahamas can overcome many
of the characteristics of labour force impediments to greater productivity, and will
accelerate the adoption of new and more advanced techniques applied to produc-
Arguably, decision and policy makers in The Bahamas have formulated
no longterm strategies incorporating all these relevant issues. However, the
Bahamian economy needs broad industrial strategies on the grounds of longterm,
dynamic efficiency. A national economic strategy should be imposed, with the
market playing a substantial, indeed crucial, role. Yet, the transfer of this alterna-
tive strategy for The Bahamas to highly competitive environments may be self
defeating in the absence of active state policies required for its effective im-
A much greater commitment to understanding the extent to which the
tourism sector can contribute to the longterm development of The Bahamas, and
especially how this can be achieved, seems essential. Tourism cannot be con-
sidered in isolation: the extent to which the tourist spending leaks out, the degree
to which local supply of food and manufactured products and other service sectors
can be stimulated, the country's carrying capacity and public services, the impact
of tourism on the society and the environment, all need to be considered in an
overall framework'9
Above all, such a thorough development strategy requires continuity,
consistency, and commitment to the process and direction of endogenous de-
velopment. It also requires a high degree of incentivecompatibility of state policies
and development and economic performance, as well as the creation of in-
stitutional arrangements that constitute a stable political and economic environ-
ment in which consensusbuilding concerning development strategies works
(Ahrens 1997: 119, 126). Without such commitments, capacity, competence,
accountability, professionalism, seriousness and effectiveness, suchpolicy will
founder on shortterm expedients, the inefficiency and ineffectiveness of the civil
service, the power of the transnationals or the mindset of the people.
Industrial strategy has not been seen to be pivotal in the Bahamian
economy; thus, it has never been developed in a systematic or coherent fashion as
a centrepiece of the government's approach to economic policy making. State
interventions have usually been seen as reactions to pressing problems (i.e., a kind

of tyranny of the short run in the government's decisionmaking process), and the
policies which flow from these interventions appear to be consonant with the
market failure analysis. Consequently, the general concept of a developmental role
for the state is rather alien to the general economic and political culture in The
Bahamas. Further, interest group politics and patronage in The Bahamas explain
why policy is often flawed in both formulation and execution. This convergence of
economic and political functions in the Bahamian state, and the primacy of various
political pressures and certain private interests, have had disastrous effects in the
economic sphere.
During the last two decades or so, neoliberal policies have been the
central routes to modem economic solutions of the Bahamian economy. But there
are serious doubts about whether these economic policies have been translated into
significant socioeconomic development, endogenous competency, and industrial
competitiveness. While appropriate macroeconomic policies can contribute much
towards enhancing the performance of the Bahamian economy, nevertheless such
policies only deal with the "symptoms" of deeper structural problems. For this
reason, the construction of a productionbased approach to economic development
and a much sharper focus on strategic industrial policy are seen to be necessary to
resolve these deeper problems, and would offer a concrete alternative for the
Bahamian economy. Some alternative policy recommendations for the Bahamian
development discourse in general, and food industry in particular, are outlined
Macroeconomic Steering
Given the importance of macroeconomic steering, there are a number of
measures that the government could take in an attempt to facilitate conscious
development efforts. A proactive fiscal policy would: (1) emphasise a prudent
public expenditure management and planning (i.e., longterm planned investments
in human resource development and utilisation, skills, R&D, technological capac-
ity, technical change, innovation and information); (2) attempt to reduce nones-
sential overconsumption; and, (3) consider alternative sources of government
By curtailing high consumption, the amounts of local savings available
for investment purposes could be markedly increased. In addition, various national
savings plans and savings vehicles can increase the levels and shares of Bahamian
savings. The savings thus enforced could be channelled by the government into
productive prioritised investments. Furthermore, higher levels of output and in-
come ensuing from a higher degree of capacity utilisation and a better utilisation
of equipment can be the source of higher levels of savings required to match
higher levels of investment (which will bring about further increase in output and
income levels and so on).10

Monetary policy, on the other hand, ought to: (1) ensure that the overall
development effort is not to be thwarted by endemic shorttermism, speculative
ventures, and "capital flight" (that can actually starve the real economy of invest-
ment capital); (2) provide a stable financial framework for the successful imple-
mentation of government policy; and, (3) ensure that sufficient financial resources
are channelled to dynamic industries and to intermediary agencies at reasonable
interest rates. This will require significant state intervention in the capital market
by means of both direct control measures and interest rate policies. In particular,
the Bahamian government will have to issue direct instructions to the banks, close
off the options available for rent seeking and capital flight, and guide prioritised
investments by selective credit policies.
As financial institutions have a critically important role in this growth
process, it is particularly important that they are wellmanaged, have a clear set of
strategic goals, and promote longer time horizons. In this regard, the government
must take steps to ensure that the financial services sector is properly supervised
(Clayton 2001: 16). Therefore, appropriate monetary and exchange rate policies to
facilitate productive initiatives (as well as higher levels of national savings to
finance higher levels of investment) are also essential.
Moreover, for too long, it has seemed as if it is the level of foreign direct
investment that is dictating the Bahamian development policy. As foreign direct
investment is necessary for the functioning of the economy of The Bahamas, the
approach towards foreign investment initiatives should be designed in the context
of the longterm strategy for overall development. Besides, to find the appropriate
role for foreign investment in the development process is a necessary complement
to the strategy for expanding local production.
Investments on the Local Accelerators
Recent developments in the financial markets have significantly encour-
aged endemic shorttermism and various speculative ventures. These develop-
ments, in conjunction with weak or absent state supervision, can foster a
dysfunctional business culture and a "casino economy" mindset, in which insider
trading, conflicts of interest and more direct forms of corruption can increasingly
become common (Clayton 2001: 16).
Investments in The Bahamas have usually been inadequate in failing to
provide sufficient resources for future production as well as in bringing about the
full utilisation of existing resources. Consequently, a lack of effective demand and
inadequate levels of investment spending and innovation constrain potential sup-
ply. Entrepreneurs appear to have lost their "spontaneous urge" to invest in
longerterm projects and have themselves developed a rentierlike appetite for
shortrun capital gains.
Further, some support the view that high wages (and therefore high total
cost of economic activities) in The Bahamas is a serious barrier which discourages

productive investments. The only logical alternative, then, is to consider the
capacitycreating aspect of government spending, and the Bahamian government
should rely heavily on higher levels of state investment. Indeed, planned invest-
ments on knowledge, technological innovation, training and research must provide
the industrial requisites to thoroughly support the prioritised sectors and activities,
and boost the overall competency of the Bahamian economy, towards higher rates
of economic growth and "high wages high productivity".
This catalytic role by the government must seek to strengthen the knowl-
edge base of the Bahamian society as a whole, by improving education and
training; creating the University of The Bahamas; stimulating research and devel-
opment; encouraging the development and diffusion of entrepreneurial skills; and
supporting and financing information systems for use by the different actors in the
economy. The key issue here is that investment responsibilities should be closely
tailored to the needs of the business sector with a view to loosening the fetters and
accelerating the pace of private sector investment (again, private investment on the
"accelerators" of endogenous development and competitiveness is highly desir-
able and essential).
Strategic Management and Planning
The growth in dominance, the global perspective and ambitions of the
major financial and industrial corporations may cut across the interests of any
particular nation. The fundamental issue relates to the asymmetry of power be-
tween these large corporations and local communities. This power can be used to
secure their own objectives, often at the expense of communities (Cowling 1990:
12). This is an important issue in the Bahamian case. Besides, the direction in
which the Bahamian economy is pointed at present seems to be somewhat random,
depending on the current state of the global market rather than based on longterm
development planning. Therefore, we have a basis for recommending a framework
of, and establishing a role for, strategic planning in selected policy arenas in The
Bahamas (it is also argued here that, under modern economic conditions, and
perhaps more generally, comprehensive centralised planning is both infeasible and
The second and related reason for requiring strategic planning is the
systematic shorttermism of the market system, given that financial institutions
usually adopt a shortterm perspective with regard to investment, and impose this
perspective on firms (industries, hotels, resorts, etc.), especially the small ones.
Consequently, small or new establishments may be severely constrained in their
investment ambitions by the shortterm perspective of the financial institutions,
since it is these firms (and hotels) which will find difficulties to fund their own
This sort of financial environment is hardly conducive to the rational
planning of the longterm future of the industrial base. Shortterm decision making

is crowding out longterm issues, and leaving businesses weaker in the long term.
Hence, within the Bahamian economy, we need to establish an institutional
structure to plan for the future. Just as there are systemic arguments for relying on
the creative dynamics of the market forces to play an important role in the
Bahamian economy, there are parallel arguments for imposing on these market
forces coherent strategies, within which they are allowed to operate (Cowling
1990: 1112, 1314).
For Bahamian production to achieve its full potential, it is imperative that
the state should stay focused and draw up thorough strategies for implementation.
The key point is the need for a strong developmental role for the state in order to
raise the momentum of industrial change, and to ensure that such change fully
reflects broader national interests. Most fundamentally, a mixture of inward and
outwardorientation is suggested here, defined in terms of endogenous growth,
productive capability and competitiveness, which should constitute the foremost
priority of state action. Equally, the Bahamian government has a role in broaden-
ing stakeholding via support for the participation of as many Bahamians as
possible in the ownership of the country's productive resources.
Effective functioning of the market and sound management of the na-
tional development agenda require the moulding of specific institutions, charged
with the responsibility to organise the critical interactions between state and
industry. Indeed, contrary to the orthodox analysis, the government and private
sectors can cooperate in a range of different arrangements, each contributing what
it does best and both participating in the financial returns, within the context of a
socially defined agenda. This institutionalized publicprivate partnership will allow
the Bahamian state to develop independent national goals and priorities, and to
translate these broad national goals into effective policy action.1 However, the
consistent pursuit and transfer of specific strategies and policies to new environ-
ments will be selfdefeating in the absence of appropriate politicoinstitutional
conditions and reforms required for their effective implementation.
Production and Operations Quality
In this technological age, a quality emphasis should encompass the entire
organisation of the Bahamian production, from suppliers to customers, including:
equipment layout; purchasing and installation of proper machinery and
equipment; layout strategy (e.g., capacity needs, inventory requirements, etc.);
facility location and expansion; sanitary arrangements and utility specifications;
refrigeration specifications; supporting facilities and utilities; products technology
training; maintenance training; implementation of quality control programmes;
and justintime decisions and scheduling.
For both Bahamian firms and the Bahamian economy as a whole to
,compete effectively in the global economy, products and services must meet
global quality and price expectations. As the country (and the whole Caribbean

area) faces crucial challenges, especially in light of strong international competi-
tion, it is essential to ensure that quality standards and value for money are
improved. Inferior products will harm the firms' revenues and profitability, and
will further deteriorate the balance of payments of the Bahamian economy (Heizer
and Render 1996: 7980).
Politicoinstitutional Changes
In this paper, it is argued that industrial/sectoral strategies and policies in
The Bahamas should be concerned with the longterm aim of altering (both) the
direction and pace of domestic development. However, it is unlikely that sig-
nificant state intervention would be warranted given the inadequate technical and
managerial capacity of government institutions; the institutional impediments to
the country's economic development.
Clearly, Bahamian public administration has traditionally been domi-
nated by the bureaucratic mentality and ethos. For the most part, too, it has been
underpinned by rigid structures and practices. For these very important reasons,
the pursuit of an interventionist strategy as well as a successful and effective
policy reform (a set of wideranging changes) would require the politicoinstitu-
tional structure and means to formulate, implement, and enforce developmental
policies and productionoriented selective interventions in certain key sectors of the
Bahamian economy.1
First, a small, determined developmental elite, which surrounds itself
with skilled development planners and technocrats, is absolutely necessary in
order to devise and implement effective national strategies.13 Besides, if the
Bahamian state is to become developmental, it is essential for the government to
reduce "pork barrel" intervention and patronage so as to insulate decision makers
and technocrats from the excessive influence of powerful interests. This executive
"new look" elite would possess accurate intelligence, inventiveness, commitment,
effectiveness and active, strategic and sophisticated responsiveness to a changing
economic reality (Evans 1992: 148).
Potentially weak state governments may be captured by powerful inter-
ests, and can hardly implement institutional structures that decisively promote
structural changes and economic reforms. In addition, changes in the structure of
class relations during the last decades induced erosion of political institutions in
The Bahamas. In contrast, Developmental States are distinguished by "strong"
politicoinstitutional structures.14 Building a strong technostructure and embedding
it into a network of cooperative and consultative relations with targeted dynamic
industries and other social segments is both feasible and operational in The
Bahamas. 15
Moreover, competitive wages for welleducated, welltrained technocrats
can attract more talented individuals and increase capacity, integrity and pro-
fessionalism. Indeed, the executive technostructure must be in a position to recruit

from among the best and the brightest people of outstanding talent based on
meritocratic criteria. Once the central bureaucracy acquires a reputation for attract-
ing the most competent and talented, the system can develop a momentum of its
own. It continues to attract such people (even at lower salaries than the private
sector) because selection is based on meritocracy. Its personnel can be motivated
by the belief that what they are doing promotes the national development and
welfare. This sense of "national mission" can motivate the executive technostruc-
ture to stay focused and use its powers in line with "national purpose" goals. The
more the government intends to intervene and to play a leading role, the more
important are the staffing, responsibilities, professionalism, authority and motiva-
tion of the central core. On the other hand, external pressure on appointments and
patronage should be eliminated (Wade 1990: 371).
Secondly, the involvement of business elites and social segments in
public policy making through institutionalized channels represents an adequate
means to establish a statebusinesssociety interface by which the mutual exchange
of information can be encouraged, risk sharing facilitated, bureaucratic autonomy
and flexibility enhanced, and a consensual process of policy formulation realized.
This combination of social connectedness and bureaucratic autonomy (which
Evans (1995) calls "embedded autonomy") may represent the institutional basis
for effective and accountable state involvement in the Bahamian economy, while
being independent of societal pressures (Ahrens 1997: 125).
Thirdly, in order to make state activities more effective, both effective
procedures and increased participation are of vital importance. Indeed, this new
institutional structure must allow for participation at all levels. Besides, loose and
transparent links between the Strategic Planning Agency and Ministries and Gov-
ernment Departments involved in the industrial strategy and investment planning
(e.g., Education and Training), and sectoral agencies and local authorities/boards
would decentralise much of the work of the central core.
To be successful, our planning must be democratic and our institutional
structure must allow for participation at all levels. Indeed, participation by the
"social partners" can improve the organisation of production and help restrain the
power of interest groups which have access to government decision making
(Cowling 1990: 28).
Fourthly, preconditions for the practicability and success of these radical
policies and alternative strategies in The Bahamas may include: the government's
credible commitment to a productionoriented strategy (which includes agriculture,
industry, and the entire services sector); an improved quality of state action; the
replacement of the shortterm perspective of the Treasury and the financial institu-
tions with one much more favourable to productive investment expenditure and
industry; recognition of the importance of state capabilities, capacities, efficiency
and effectiveness; accountability, autonomy, and manageability of the executive
developmental elite; mechanisms of consensual conflict resolution as well as

political and social stability through transparent and efficient procedures; the
organisational design of, and the incentives within, the public sector and the
institutional environment: incentives to pursue collective ends while restraining
arbitrary action, favouritism and corruption (Ahrens 1997: 116).
Lastly, particularly in the course of a fundamental redirection of the
existing pattern of local development, as in the case of the Bahamian economy,
simply matching such a radical policy framework to existing political institutions
will be counterproductive. Effective governance is "a dynamic process that re-
quires continuing fmetuning and adjusting institutions and policy solutions to
changing technological, social, political and economic environments" (Ahrens
1997: 119). To the extent that a chosen path falls short in this respect, this will
need changes and adjustments in certain policy areas. However, it is difficult to
retain a disposition against change in a world where basic conditions are subject to
constant mutation.
Without these preconditions, no matter the new structure of institutions,
such a radical development policy for The Bahamas will founder on shortterm
expedients, the deficiencies and conservatism of the civil service, the power of the
transnationals and foreign interests, or the mindset of the people.
This paper has sought to establish the Bahamian case for selective strate-
gic action; it has described the form an endogenous development strategy should
take; it explained important issues surrounding the potential for food industry
development; and, it outlined the way of creating a network of appropriate in-
stitutions. Finally, suggestions were made for an alternative Developmental State
policy framework for The Bahamas.
It would generally be wrong to consider that the Japanese economic
policy making could, or indeed should, be transplanted to the Bahamian economy
which is characterized by quite different historical and cultural circumstances.
What is important to learn from the Japanese case is the approach to the problem.
To begin to be successful will require a high quality of state intervention and a
certain degree of commitment by the Bahamian government to local development.
There is no need for vast bureaucratic machinery and procedure: the
approach is clearly entrepreneurial. Such an approach will utilise and maximise
the productive resources available for the development of food industry; promote
crosssectoral links, and create economies of scale across a range of industries and
firms; aggregate demand for the accelerators of development and growth; and,
finally, identify inefficiencies and gaps to adequately develop and use new prod-
ucts and processes enabling both public and private policy making to be better
The current conditions in world economy may increase the potential
advantages of pursuing governed market policies. Indeed, contrary to the "current

orthodoxy", the accomplishment of these strategic development goals requires
better state action, and this is most likely achieved from Developmental State
policies. This is what the Bahamian economy needs. What really matters is not the
"extent" of state intervention but the "quality" of such intervention.


1. For a complete discussion see Marshall 1998: chapter 2.
2. The conflict management side of state intervention is very important and relevant here, and there-
fore should not be ignored.
3. Both analysis and development suggestions are based on the views of Kalecki (1971) and Kaldor
4. For further analysis see Kaldor (1978).
5. Obviously, there is a strong relationship between them.
6. Besides, organic farming has a rigorous basis in science and should be seriously considered.
7. The "infant industry" argument for intervention is very important and relevant here, as full expo-
sure to competition is likely to precipitate a dramatic reduction in the size of these industries.
Indeed, protection and other measures will have to be used in order to provide the industries
concerned with the extra time and resources to learn, develop and organise themselves. Be-
sides, research suggests that nations which do best in the global arena are those which with
strong domestic platforms can manage change and use their institutional arrangements to pro-
tect their national economies from international vagaries and disorder (Tyson 1992; Chang
1994, 1995; Singh 1995,1998; Boyer and Drache 1996; Karagiannis 2002b).
8. However, this approach allows "considerable autonomy in determining the mode of operation,
and adjusting it as experience accumulates". The main objective is "a dynamic economy rather
than sticking to a set of rigid rules imposed by a central bureaucracy" (Cowling 1990: 25).
9. Many of these issues require sensitive handling by all concerned.
10. Again, both theory and development recommendations are based on the views of Kalecki (1971)
and Kaldor (1978).
II. In fact,
Institutions can formalise the commitment to such [development strategies], and their structure,
procedures and personnel can act to ensure that such commitments cannot easily be reversed,
they are simply ratifying [plans] already established. The history of planning shows how frag-
ile was the commitment, despite the creation of many new institutions [in The Bahamas], and
[the lack of teeth of these institutions was quite obvious]. With clear goals, and a determination
to pursue them, institutions with teeth should be forthcoming (Cowling 1990:23).
12. It is argued here that, even under the current conditions of globalisation and the pressures from in-
ternational organizations such as WTO, IMF and World Bank, governments still have the pol-
icy spspace for Developmental State action. In a rather similar vein, Chang claims that:
Intelligent governments should try [...] to use TNCs in a strategic way in order to acquire necessary
capital, technology, marketing networks, and so on. What exactly the "strategic way" means
will depend on various factors, such as the country's relative bargaining position, the techno-
logical nature of the industry, the role of the particular industry concerned in the bigger scheme
of industrial development, and so on (Chang 2003: 266).
An intelligent government pursuing a strategic industrial policy will not have a "uniform" policy to-
wards TNCs across industries, as many neoliberal economists recommend. Each industry
serves different functions in the greater scheme of industrial development, and it would be fool-
ish to have either uniformly restrictive or uniformly liberal policies towards TNCs across differ-

An intelligent government pursuing a strategic industrial policy will not have a "uniform" policy to-
wards TNCs across industries, as many neoliberal economists recommend. Each in-dustry
serves different functions in the greater scheme of industrial development, and it would be fool-
ish to have either uniformly restrictive or uniformly liberal policies towards TNCs across differ-
ent industries. This also means that the same industry may, and indeed should, become more or
less open to FDI over time, depending on the changes in the various internal and external condi-
tions that affect it (Chang 2003: 267).
13. This arrangement minimises the impact of interdepartmental squabbling that can slow down pol-
icy making in The Bahamas.
14. "Strong" in the sense that the government is able to credibly commit itself to "national purpose"
policy making; serious and capable of signalling its commitment to sustainable economic devel-
15. "Embeddedness" does not mean cosy relations between the state and individual private firms, but
a strategic government-business interface that is distinguished by trans-parent consultation, co-
operation, and coordination mechanisms (Ahrens 1997:126).


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velopmental State?" Asian Development Review 15, no. 1: 111-46.
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ing". In Globalization: A Calculus oflnequality, edited by D. Benn and K. Hall, 88-127. King-
ston: lan Randle Publishers.
Boyer, R., and D. Drache, (eds) (1996), States against Markets: The Limits of Globalisation, Lon-
don: Routledge.
Chang, H-J. (2003), Globalisation, Economic Development and the Role ofthe State. Penang, Malay-
sia & London: Third World Network & Zed Books.
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Media Publishing.
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Cambridge University Press.
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Modest Proposal". International Papers in Political Economy 5, no. 1.
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velopmentalism. Basingstoke & London: Macmillan.
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Arguing Over The "Caribbean":Tourism on Costa Rica's
Caribbean Coast

Through examination of a village on Costa Rica's Caribbean coast, this
article suggests that the "Caribbean can be used as an ideational notion enacted
through a politics of aesthetics, food and body. The "use" ofthe "Caribbean" and
the "Rastafarian" gives insight into a particular, ambivalent and contradictory,
politics ofidentity at play by Afro-Costa Ricans, at the village- and national levels.
It also shows the use of the tourism industry as a resource for understanding and
representing notions of the self community and belonging.
"The place just turn Caribbean a few years ago. Cahuitan man
Tourism has pushed back the outer limits of the "Caribbean." The Central
American nation of Costa Rica now has its piece of the "Caribbean" in the part of
the country settled by Afro-Caribbean migrants. Consideration of the tourism
industry in a small village on the Caribbean coast of Costa Rica shows that the
"Caribbean" goes beyond the strictly territorial or the physical towards ideational
and conflicting notions that inform notions of self and belonging.
We see this from looking at how Cahuita has been made into a tourist
destination. This article considers the "Caribbeanisation" from three perspectives:
Cahuitan "Rastas" who depend on tourist women for their livelihood; Euro-
American tourists; and tourism entrepreneurs, foreign and local. Various under-
standings of "Caribbean" are at play, meanings changing and yet retaining basic
similarities across perspectives, and are enacted though the politics of aesthetics,
food and body. The use of "Caribbean" gives us insight into the politics of identity
at play inside and outside the village, and is borne out particularly in the contested
use of the image of the "Rasta."
Cahuita's history is an important part of the story of the black presence in
Costa Rica.2 While Afro-Costa Rican history is generally thought to begin in the
late nineteenth century with the mass immigration of Afro-Caribbean workers for
the construction of a railroad from Costa Rica's Central Valley to its Atlantic
coast, and to become part of the banana industry that was to follow in the Atlantic
province of Limon,3 Cahuita's story of origin is determined by neither of these
important events. A village on Limon's Caribbean coast, bordered by coral reefs
and white sands, Cahuita was founded by Afro-Caribbean turtle fishermen in the
early nineteenth century. As the village grew (with migrants predominantly of
Jamaican origin), isolated from the rest of Costa Rica by geography and a central-
ized and discriminatory government, the inhabitants' focus turned to agriculture,
finding particular success in cacao production. In the 1970s however, a plant

fungus destroyed the chocolate trees, and Cahuitans were forced to find another
means of subsistence. The interest of North American hippies in Cahuita's white
sands, palm trees and Afro-Caribbean culture turned its inhabitants reluctantly
towards tourism as a means of survival.
Where Cahuita's story is similar to the wider Afro-Costa Rican one is in
the negotiation of discrimination in which they have had to engage. They too have
had to struggle against Costa Rica's racially exclusive national myth of origin the
"white legend" and state actions against their distinct traditions (see, for example,
Sharman 2001, Harpelle 2001, Melendez & Duncan 1972, Duncan & Powell
1988, Anderson 2002). One of the resources for this battle has been tourism.
"Rastas" in Cahuita
Cahuita's crossroads: dusty streets, a few wooden buildings on stilts,
more that are boxy-looking concrete, and two bars' sound systems shouting at
each other across the street. A hundred metres away, Cahuita's main attraction,
the National Park: the Caribbean Sea beats the white shore, while behind it a
sandy path runs through dense trees and foliage. The street is quiet, although the
bars are not: they are blaring salsa and reggae at each other. Few people on the
street: young white men and women with backpacks easily overtake dreadlocked
men who swagger slowly along the road On the bar verandas, female tourists chat
to young dark-skinned men, while others sip their drinks and contemplate the
view.In a restaurant overlooking the sea, a mural on the main wall laden with red,
green and gold and images ofRastafarians.
A tourist alights from the San Jose bus in the crossroads and makes for
the sea She notices the attention she is receiving from the young men at the bus
stop. When she shows that she understands neither English nor Spanish, one
dreadlocked young man asks her in German whether she would like a guided tour
of the Park. She tells him she will think about it. First, however, she stops at an
adjacent restaurant for a cool drink; she notices that he has tagged along,
ignoring the owner's pointed glares at his naked torso andftet. As she listens to the
reggae music and contemplates the Rasta-symbol-sufJused mural on the restau-
rant's wall, she asks the dread why there is so much Rasta culture in Cahuita. He
grins and tells her that Cahuita is just like Jamaica.
The exact arrival of Rastafarianism to Cahuita is hard to pinpoint. One
informant claimed that he was one of the first and only "Rastas" in the village, and
that he introduced reggae music into Cahuita in 1976, courtesy of an African-
American friend who brought him reggae tapes and posters of Bob Marley. Most
accounts point to a later arrival the early 1980s, ironically around the time that
Bob Marley died and the influence of another local man (now deceased) who
returned from a stint working on a cruise ship with a new hairstyle, music,
smoking habits, and philosophy. Fellow Cahuitans' reactions seemed to have
ranged from disinterest to shock and repulsion, especially of dreadlocks: the

apparent physical neglect evidenced in the hairstyle linked the Rasta to the reviled
"hippies." Notwithstanding the early strong adherence to Afro-Caribbean culture
their elders had brought with them, by this time the majority of young Cahuitans
were more interested in salsa and merengue, the types of music enjoyed in the rest
of Costa Rica and other countries in the region. However, a handful of young men
in Cahuita were drawn to Rastafarianism by what informants described as its
naturality, and by the music that seemed to be its soundtrack; they adopted the
hairstyle, listened to and in the case of the first informant, played the music.
Rastafarianism in its entirety may not have made the trip across the
Caribbean Sea, however. There seems to have been little profound knowledge of
or adherence to Rastafarianism in its religious sense the attraction seemed to have
been to the outward manifestations of the religion a selective appropriation of
the "style of Rasta" rather than the specificities of the doctrine upon which it was
based. A frequent visitor to Cahuita in the 1980s, himself very interested in
Rastafarianism, was disturbed by the ignorance of its; tenets by the "Rastas" he
met there. When he tried to "reason" with them, he was disappointed they told
him that they knew little about the details of the religion, and noncommittally
accepted his offer to lend them reading material.
The man who claimed to have been one of the first "Rastas" in Cahuita
did indeed acquire books on the subject, learned about and believed in much Rasta
teaching, and grew his dreadlocks for eighteen years (until they reached his knees).
However, he did not call himself a "real" Rasta, as he was unwilling to sustain the
discipline required by the religion. According to him, "real" Rastas, those who live
in the jungle, grow their own food, abstain from alcohol and shun money, do not
exist in Cahuita. He was a "dreadlocks": he could not be a real Rasta because he
liked drinking and goin' crazy in the streets." Nor do contemporary self-pro-
claimed "real Rastas" follow the basic tenets of Rastafarianism. One, who made a
living selling cocaine, told me that he was one of the two real "Rastas" in Cahuita;
when challenged on the fit between the sale of cocaine and the principles of
Rastafarianism, he concluded that there was none.
In local lore (and in accounts of foreign women in Cahuita in this period)
it was the response of female (mostly European) tourists, already with some
exposure to "Rastas," that encouraged the "Rasta" presence. Locals say that the
young men noticed their attraction, and increasingly began to assume the outward
appearance of a Rastafarian in order to gain the reward of a liaison with a foreign
woman, which could lead to travel, material goods given to them as gifts, and
opportunities for sex. Cahuita's "Rasta" therefore, was in a sense elicited by
attitudes and desires of foreign, overwhelmingly white, women.
Most men who sported dreadlocks in Cahuita readily admitted to me that
they were not "real Rastas": one repeated the indiscipline defence of the older
"Rasta." A Dutch Rastafarian in Cahuita gathering data for a comparative study of
Rastafarianism in Jamaica and Costa Rica tried to engage young "Rastas" in

discussions of the significance to them of Rastafarianism, Jamaica and Africa
Many responded defiantly, "What you mean? I am Costa Rican!" Cahuitan "Ras-
tas," then, are aware that Rasta "authenticity" lies elsewhere. The young men
called themselves "dreads," rather than "Rastas," acknowledging the primarily
visual element of their appropriation of Rastafarianism; importantly, however,
they made no effort to make this distinction to the tourist women. "Es el
paquete!" ("It's the package!") said one cheerily, selling his dreadlocks and
himself as a commodity alongside the white sands, the coconut trees, and the
National Park's coral reef Hence the pick-up lines of some men, who ask women
directly: "do you want to be with a Rasta?" This suggests a blithe awareness and
acceptance of the "commodification" railed against by various scholars (Crystal
1978, Ford-Smith 1995, Sanchez Taylor 2000, etc) and the need for considera-
tion of agency in complaints about "c9mmodification" of culture and bodies (see
also Selwyn 1996, Tilley 1997, Abram & Waldren [eds.] 1997). Far from the
assumption of victimhood to which critics of the commodificatory nature of
tourism subscribe, some dreads consider themselves the creators and managers of
this attraction: not victims, but savvy "businessmen" selling a product that has
undeniable appeal to a certain set of consumers.
Central to these men's self-presentation was an adherence to Rastafarian-
ism's "naturality." While they take on naturality as it relates to the body, how-
ever, they are less inclined to appropriate the ideas behind it. Topless dressing, the
rejection of shoes, and as one local woman observed, "the dirtier the better," are all
means men adopt to present themselves as "natural," although not all are absolute
requirements. This naturality is a contrast to most Cahuitan men, who are gener-
ally of neater appearance, dressing in trousers and shirt. wearing shoes, with
closely cropped and combed hair. However, there is no eschewal of processed
foods and material goods, or knowledge of the biblical injunctions justifying
naturality as a way of life.
Cahuitan dreads also secularise Rastafarianism's ganja consumption,
although they share the escape and comfort elements of smoking. There is an
almost constant smell of ganja in the air in Cahuita, as young men (not only
dreads) smoke in bars, on the beach, and even at the bus stop in the centre of the
village, a very public claiming of space. They smoke to "feel good." Others
complain about this public use of ganja, claiming that "first time" (ie, in the past)
use was private and limited. Nowadays, however, "we could sit right here, and one
of dem would sit down between us and smoke," an older man at the bus stop told
me disapprovingly.
In some senses, then, "Rastas" are self-consciously engaging in a mi-
metic performance of a distinct aesthetic. Their "creative imitation" (Adams 1996)
of the Jamaican Rastafarian draws on and assumes the "character and power of the
original" (Taussig 1993: xiii). What is produced is a "virtual Rasta," as Adams
(1996: 20) argues for the "not quite real" "virtual Sherpas" created in the Himala-

yas in response to and interplay with the desires of foreign visitors to Nepal.
However, it is less a case of"ontological becoming" that Adams (1996: 21) claims
it is for Sherpas than a product created for seduction and commercial purposes,
producing, in effect, a "virtual Cahuita" for the visitor, as well as a means of
enacting multiple levels of critique.
Cahuitan men's particular appropriation of Rastafarianism is not a unique
phenomenon by any means. On the one hand, it forms part of what one scholar
calls "international black culture" (Sansone 1997: 461). Young black men in
Brazil's northeastern city of Bahia have adapted the "stylistic paraphernalia"
associated with reggae and Rastafarianism (and hip-hop) (Sansone 1997: 475) to
create an identification that speaks to their experiences of marginalisation and
discrimination in contemporary Brazil by subverting racial stigma and "aestheti-
cising blackness" (Sansone 1997: 461). Indeed, Cahuitan young men also listen to
hip-hop and try to emulate the rapping and dress style of this genre; we could see
dreads as another group of young black males using Rastafarianism's style as part
of the global black culture to counter racial stigmatisation.
It could be argued that this globalised Rasta style reflects a growing
sense of common consciousness across the transnational spaces of the African
diaspora. But "Rasta" has also cross racial lines. Indeed, Rastafarianism is not only
about blackness. Interestingly, there is a widespread and generalised link between
tourism and the appropriation of Rastafarian symbols, even in tourist destinations
far removed from Jamaica and its heritage. Young men in Indonesia who engage
in liaisons with female tourists, for example, adopt the dreadlocks as part of their
self-presentation (DaWes & Bras 1999). While the number of dreadlocked youth
is quite small, reggae music itself is integral to the life of these young boys,
perhaps because, "this presentation of self seems to be the most successful on the
dating scene" (1999: 283).4 This suggests a fit between the "natural" that tourism
discourse often trumpets, and the "naturality" of Rastafarianism, which combine
to form an inexorable pull for the tourist. Pruitt & Lafont (1995) suggest a similar
intersection of travel and Rastafarianism in Jamaica. Perhaps Rastafarianism has
expanded its metaphorical bounds into being a signifier/metonym of the tourism
experience in general (or at least, those varieties of tourism based on appreciation
of the natural environment)?
While some argue that reggae's globalisation has led to the "decontextu-
alisation" of Rastafarianism, transformed from a "revolutionary code into an
aesthetic commodity"(Cushman 1991: 38), and that Rastafarianism has suffered
"the banalisation of [its] basic symbols" (Curtius 1995: 89), the most thoughtful
scholars, rather than subscribe to either/or dichotomies, point out that Rastafarian-
ism has highly variegated manifestations, globally and locally. Indeed, it has from
its very origins, owing to the possibility of "multiple readings" (Hepner 1998:
212) of its "fundamentally ambiguous symbols" (Yawney cited in Hepner 1998:
213). Therefore, while some in Cuba, for example, have adopted the "style," some

have taken on the "religion" (its beliefs and rituals), and others its "philosophy"
(oneness, equality, justice) (Hansing 2001: 737-405). In a survey of Rastafarian-
ism in the Caribbean, Europe and the Pacific, van Dijk notes that the socio-politi-
cal implications resistance to domination and materialism; pride, solidarity and
freedom have usually been of more appeal than its religious "underpinnings"
(1998: 194). Examples of its dissemination also show that greater salience lies in
its immediately visible oppositional character: its adherents mark their difference
from the status quo through the body, what Hebdige calls its "visual iconography"
(1979: 199).
Yawney best explains Rastafarianism's outemational resonance: its
"power to focalise and even mediate certain sociocultural tensions" (1994, cited in
Hepner 1998: 213). It does this in three contexts in Cahuita: between the dread and
the tourist, between the dread and Cahuita, and between the dread and the nation.
If Rastafarianism provides a "psychology of Blackness and somebodiness" (Mur-
rell 1998: 10), dreads emphasise the former for tourists, the latter vis-a-vis the
village, and both vis-a-vis the nation. Whereas vis-a-vis tourists the tension is
centred around stereotypes of the black male, in relation to the village Rastafarian-
ism as a means of social rebellion is more apt, while facing the nation, both
blackness and somebodiness are important, as the emphatic, dreadlocked, black
"Costa Rican!" Those who appropriate the visual iconography of the Rasta are
well aware of their community's and nation's distaste of it, and choose to engage
this marginality, in the knowledge that they do not hnve to adopt the "Rasta" style
to attract tourist women.
Dreads are also, by their bodily comportment and behaviour, negotiating
"traditional" understandings of what it is to be a man in Cahuita. What in the gaze
of the tourist identifies them with the "natural beauty" of the place, in the eyes of
older Cahuitans separates them sharply from it. The most common description of
the "Rastas" in Cahuita by other Cahuitans is "wutless" ("worthless") and "nasty"
("disgusting"). They are "nasty" because their appearance is associated with a lack
of hygiene. They and others who engage with foreign tourists have no worth
because they are not subscribing to Cahuitan notions of gender-appropriate behav-
iour. They are not engaging in productive labour as their parents did; rather, they
spend most of their time at the beach, bar, or on the street, chatting, drinking and
flirting with foreign women. Their behaviour is particularly inappropriate as men,
as they are "always running' behind' di white woman dem, looking' for them to
mantener ("keep") them," instead of being economic provider for women as
Cahuitan gender ideology dictates. The men are well aware of this scorn, and
while dreads tend to profess disinterest in the opinions of their critics, some
mitigate their responsibility and deviation from the Cahuitan norm, even as they
posit an alternative masculinity through their physical and behavioral difference.
Their opposition is actually often ambivalent, departing from but often making
recourse to longstanding village norms. In this way, it mirrors Rastafarianism's

departure from and continuity with pre-existing beliefs in Jamaica (see, for exam-
ple, Chevannes 1994, 1995).
Appropriation of the Rastafarian trope in Cahuita is also a response to
blocked opportunities, as Hebdige (1979) noted in the UK, although this is seldom
articulated explicitly. Rastafarianism's ascetism ("No one expects a Rastaman to
be rich," as Pruitt & Lafont say [1995: 432]) facilitates its adoption, since the
young men in Cahuita have few financial resources. Faced with a lack of public
services and the perceived discrimination of the nation-state in their village and
more generally in the province (see JAPDEV A 1965, Jermyn 1995), young
Cahuitans see their chances of social mobility along conventional lines as dim and
hindered, which often leads to disenchantment with formal education and to
searches for alternatives. These boys want to accumulate at least some symbols of
prestige, and paradoxically, adopting this ascetic image is a means to this end. If
they are successful in attracting and attaching themselves to what Loke (2000)
calls the "Western currency" of affluence, mobility and prestige held by the
Euro-American tourists, they will participate in the symbols of prestige and status
that are important in Cahuita, such as travel, goods (as gifts from the women), and
so on. Therefore, while "Rasta" is a readily "readable" symbol of opposition, a
visual indicator of marginality, it is, surprisingly perhaps, also an attempt to
comply with village norms of status.
The men know too that "Rastas" are criminalized by wider Costa Rican
society. They are considered violent menaces: an embodiment of the perceived
deviance of the province. Given the uneasy relationship between the larger society
and blacks in Costa Rica this distaste is unsurprising. So strong is the association
between criminality and Rastas that a 1993 police operation to eliminate the drug
trade in Limon's principal city, Port Limon, was dubbed "Operation Rasta." It is
difficult to pinpoint the emergence of the vilification of the Rasta, but it seems to
be an almost inevitable phenomenon, at least in its initial presence (Yawney 1995,
Chevannes 1994, Cashmore 1995). San Jose could be an uncomfortable place for
Rastas: one recounted the traffic accident he caused as drivers rubbernecked at the
sight of him and his three dreadlocked friends on ajosejino street, and said that he
had been jailed "for my dreads" in the capital.
While we can see the growing of dreads and the appropriation of Rasta-
farian cultural capital as the easiest means of "gringa-chasing" (as a guidebook
described their behaviour [Blake & Blecher 1998: 215]), as in other parts of the
world (Jamaica [Pruitt & Lafont 1995], Barbados [Phillips 1999], Cuba [Hansing
2001], Indonesia [Dahles & Bras 1999]), it stems from young men's struggle for
place and identity, and achieves this through an exogenous cultural form. Pryce
noted the same among "Rastas" in late 1970s England, where the "misplaced
generation" (1979: 108; my emphasis) those born in the Caribbean and raised in
the UK adopted Rastafarianism's style and ideology as a means of challenging
the status quo, glorifying the despised, and finding a sense of identification and

purpose (1979: 151). However, in Cahuita, the attachment to local place is
stronger than the UK Rastas' Pryce's young men were more involved with
Rastafarianism's teachings, positing Mrica as their spiritual home. In Cahuita
there is no mention of Mrica; indeed, some will defiantly state their connection to
Costa Rica while they wear their dreadlocks thus rooting themselves while
performing a global aesthetic. "Rastas" are also mirroring the displacement inher-
ent in the philosophy itself just as it speaks to a displacement from Africa to
Jamaica, in Cahuita it speaks to the displacement from Jamaica to Costa Rica,
which has had its own ramifications for its local-isation. Further, as absence and
presence are contained simultaneously, so are continuity and disjuncture in both
Cahuitan and Jamaican Rastafari.
Caribbeanising Cahuita: Tourists
Tourists are attracted to the "natural beauty" of Cahuita, but the "Rasta"
is now focal to tourists' understanding of Cahuita, although little of the complexity
of Rasta mimesis and position is visible to them. The stereotype has shifted over
the years, from a landscape of the "traditional" (or "first time") Caribbean to one
that emphasises "Rasta culture" Caribbean, a strongly androcentric, racialised and
sexualised image. While other Cahuitans see "Rastas" as nasty and wutless, the
white tourist woman has a quite different reaction. Euro-American (post)colonial
ideology has tended to link the black male with naturality and sexuality. There is
an obvious connection here between the Rastaman's naturality and sexuality, and
an equivalence among Rastafarian/Caribbean/black, which merge into a signifier
of black male sexuality.
Tourists, of course, cannot be pigeonholed: they have a multitude of
motivations for visiting a place. However, my research shows that tourists' attrac-
tion to Cahuita was indeed always based on their conceptions of a typical "Carib-
bean" that has changed over the years. For both sets of tourists, the physical
environment was the most important draw (see also Amado 1994: 2). However,
tourists who had visited Cahuita in the 1970s also stated their attraction as based
on other versions of the "typical" Cahuita: first-time houses (wooden,stilted) and
food (Afro-Caribbean staples such as yam, breadfruit, ackee and saltfish) and \
knowledge (of plants and natural medicines), and an unspoilt "innocence." They
speak like Urry's "counter-tourists," visitors who find their pleasure in deviating
from the beaten track towards marginal, little-visited areas (1992: 178). Their
reminiscences focus on the difficulty of access to Cahuita, and recall the lack of
electricity, sleeping in locals' homes because of the absence of hotels, the genu-
inely warm relationships with the locals, and the customs that had to be followed.
One Canadian woman, for instance, recalled herfaux pas gently corrected by the
daughter of her host: dressed in a tank top at the family dinner table, she was
discreetly passed a long-sleeved blouse.
Interviews with contemporary tourists reveal that, as well as the appeal of
the smaller numbers of tourists in the village (Urry's [1990] "romantic gaze"),

their appreciation of the village was based on the transnational imaginary of a
more contemporary "Caribbean": the sun, beach, mixture of peoples, reggae
music, and the relaxed atmosphere. While still a factor,less emphasis was placed
on first-time customs. Many informants explained the appeal of Cahuita as its
"Rasta culture," which collapsed all of the stereotypical imagery of the Caribbean
into that of Rastafarianism reggae,? marijuana, laidback atmosphere, Rastas, and
the colours red, green, and gold. In fact, one could posit Rastafarianism's symbols
and even the Rasta body as a metonym for the Caribbean itself Indeed, in the eyes
of tourists, Cahuita=Jamaica=Rasta. One shop owner told me: "You know how
many people ask for Bob Marley T-shirts? Plenty tourists come looking for
Jamaican things, and ask for Jamaican restaurants too." When asked whether they
preferred Costa Rica's Caribbean coast to its Pacific coast, most tourists expressed
a preference for the former: "culture" was the decisive factor for them.
No tourist ever made explicit the basis of their own attraction to Cahuita
as "physical consumption" of the "Rastas" themselves. However, from almost
accidental comments on Cahuita's dreads it is clear that the "Rasta" body is a great
attraction such as that by a young woman from the US who interrupted a cynical
conversation between myself and two elderly Canadians about the interest Euro-
American women gave to these men. She said, "but there is something about
them, you know? Something... just... se:ry." There was an inexplicable, compel-
ling and attractive mystique to these men. Many second-hand stories were further
clues, usually concerning a "friend" who had found great interest in the "Rastas."
For instance, one tourist recalled visiting Cahuita with a group of twenty young
women from the USA (by way of San Jose). About three of them became involved
with "Rastas," apparently: the other students were variously shocked, envious and
awed that the young women had "actually done it." One student kept in touch with
the man she had met in Cahuita, and returned from San Jose to visit him. Although
her plan to stay in Costa Rica in order to spend more time with him did not
materialise for unknown reasons, she was immortalised in a scrapbook compiled
by her fellow students as "most remembered for deepthroating a Rasta."The desire
of the tourist to consume the attractions is broadened here to include not just a
visual, romantic gaze, where the tourist wants to appreciate the object in solitude,
privacy, and sees the object as semi-spiritual (Urry 1990). Urry only allows for
experiences of "extremes of heat, [the] taste [of! unexpected dishes... heightened
passions, hearing] unusual sounds, encounter[ing] new smells" (1992: 172).
Here, the consumption is physical, so that the women have an "embodied experi-
ence" (Abrams & Waldren 1997: 7; 8 see also Veijola & Jokinen 1994, Johnston
2001). Some tourists' desire to go "backstage" (MacCannell 1973), into the
private world of the native, leads them into the black man's bed (as Meisch says,
the native's bed is the ultimate "backstage" for a tourist [1995:452]).

There has been a great deal of discussion of the representation of women
in tourism discourse in order to attract tourists to countries' shores (e.g., Enloe
1989, Mullings 1999, Ford-Smith 1995). However, there has been less attention to
the representations of men as an "attraction" (Mullings 1999 is one exception).
Here, consideration of postcards made by a German couple upon their return home
and sent to a friend in Cahuita will belie Enloe's (1989) claim of the female body
as the quintessence of the exotic.
Albers & James (1988) argue that the particular meaning of travel pho-
tography lies not only in the choice of subject, but in the ways it is represented (see
also Urry 1990: 138-40). Postcards, along with photos the most widely dissemi-
nated "tourist icon" (Markwick 2001: 417), are a "multi-faceted icon of the tourist
experience" (Edwards 1996: 201), and can be semiotic clues to notions of exoti-
cism and authenticity of the expected audience. Here, the meaning is constructed
through metaphorical and metonymical interplay. In the examples discussed be-
low, the postcards made by the Germans present their notions of what Cahuita
"is," and crystallise their highly sexualised, stereotypical notions of Cahuitan
masculinity, of which Rasta symbolism is an important part.
The most popular of all the postcards produced by the Germans, selling
well among both male and female tourists, pictured three Cahuitan men straddling
a tree trunk, lined up one in front of the other. All are dark-skinned black men,
sport dreadlocks and are topless. They all smile cheerfully at the camera, and one
holds a coconut. Without delving too far into Freudian-style analysis, but in
agreement with Markwick who states that the "meaning communicated by any
given image may be multi-layered and requires systematic unpacking to reveal and
understand the messages," (2001: 435), the long, thick, brown tree trunk between
the men's legs, the coconut ready for consumption, the naked torsos, all invite a
sexual reading. The postcard, adorned with dreadlocked, semi-naked, well-mus-
cled men, could be telling the viewer that these men are ready and willing for...
anything: the classic "bio-sexual-sensual-genital-nigger" (Fanon 1986: 202).
Mullings notes that in touristic depictions of black women, connections
are made between brown-skinned and easy, black and servile (1999: 74). Here, the
association between the black man and sexual availability is clear, although the
servile element is attenuated. However, the archetypal black man with natural,
exotic masculinity noted by Mullings in her discussion of representations of
"rent-a-Dreads" in Jamaica (1999: 76) is clear here. The seemingly incongruous
juxtaposition of the coconut suggests that the man is another object to be admired
in Cahuita. This use of "natives as scenery," posits objects and people as "inter-
changeable stereotypes" (Dann 1996: 70). With the animate object, like the inani-
mate coconut, the observer can go one step further into the physical consumption
of the man. This and all the other postcards are framed by what look to be
drawings of bamboo and photographs of an array of natural life and food and

drink, ranging from butterflies to lizards to boiled lobsters. This literal frame
suggests a metaphorical one as well encouragement of the viewer to perceive the
postcards' main images within the "frame" of objectification of the people pre-
sented there. These men are smiling, possibly well aware that they are Cahuita's
Other postcards suggest more typical representations of Cahuita that
speak to the exoticisation of the village both as a natural history wonder and as a
place frozen in its Caribbean history. One consists of a "grid" (Markwick 2001:
423): four small pictures of houses in the village, all built in the turn-of-the-twen-
tieth-century Jamaican style, brightly co loured wooden houses set on stilts, and
decorated in the style associated with first time. A third postcard consists of a
photograph of Cahuitan calypso band members, juxtaposed with a \ picture of
Cahuita' s white sand beach framed by coconut trees. Again we note the juxtapo-
sition of animate and inanimate.
The only representation of females is of those in the calypso band and a
fourth postcard that shows three girls (the oldest appears to be about eleven years
old) who range from mestiza to light-skinned black, resting on a tree trunk. The
focus in these postcards is clearly not on female sexuality the absence of women
is an indicator of the prevalence of black male sexuality in "making" Cahuita in
the eyes of tourists. All black males presented in these postcards bore dreadlocks.
The "Rasta culture" of which these dreadlocks are a part is also suggested in the
appearance of the word "Cahuita" above the heads of the calypso band members:
the name of the village is spelt out in red, green and gold lettering.
The "Caribbean" read by the (especially) female tourist mirrors transna-
tional understandings of the contemporary Caribbean, in which there is a dash of
the "traditional" and a healthy helping of "Rasta culture." Female Cahuitans are
virtually invisible: the racialised sexuality of the "Rasta" body is the most central
aspect of this "Caribbean." He serves as what Dann (1996: 70) would call a
"cultural marker," the grand signifier of the "host culture":
"Rastas," in essence, are Cahuita. Perhaps surprisingly, tourists' desire
for a mediated foray into the exotic is not only sated by foreign-owned restaurants.
It is also satisfied in the consumption of the "Rasta," since the women already have
some transnational notion of the "Rasta." The liaison with him then may certainly
be a dipping into the new, but it is in a sense mediated by an understanding gained
of"Rastas" through transnational cultural flows
Caribbeanising Cahulta: Tourism Business Owners
The focus on the "Rasta" by tourists and "Rastas" themselves has been
problematic for tourism business owinrs in Cahuita, for whom this "embodied
Cahuita" should ideally be rejected. There are other processes at work here too.
Businesspeople are divided amongst themselves, most notably between Cahuitan
and Euro-American resident. The creations of the former are constructed to show

their place within the nation of Costa Rica through their own, locally relevant
understanding of the "Caribbean," which is determined by and reflects their
ongoing negotiations of place within the village and the nation. Conversely, the
Euro-Americans engage more in the transnational images of the Caribbean, easily
identifiable by tourists. These different "Caribbeans" are represented as material
embodiments of these distinct imaginaries.
The majority of business owners do not share tourists' exotic notions of
the "Rasta." They find them counter to the norms of the village; while their
complaints are less based on criminalisation than are those of the larger society, for
both groups they are beyond the bounds of acceptance. As we have seen, "Rastas"
in Cahuita are associated with inappropriate behaviour. Thus, businessmen have
been unwilling to promote their village as a place of "Rastas." The head of the
Cahuita Tourist Board (CTB), for instance, communicated his disapproval to a
European tourist magazine photographer who wanted to put a picture of a local
dread on the front page. He told the man firmly, "that is not Cahuita." Nonetheless,
much to his chagrin, he had heard rumours that that dread was mentioned specifi-
cally in German tourist guidebooks as one of Cahuita's main attractions.
Advertisements by the CTB, although making some use of the "exotic,"
focus more on the natural environment than on the people, although they do play
on Cahuitans' "natural" friendliness. The general reluctance to focus on the people
of Cahuita perhaps relates to a rejection of the association between "Rastas" and
Cahuita. A direct link is made between the Caribbean and Cahuita Cahuita is the
Caribbean and the directness of that link is echoed in the intimacy that the CTB
encourages in the tourist's experience of Cahuita ("live Cahuita"):
"Viva el Caribe: Come and live the Caribbean, our exotic land-
scape, our coastal rainforest and its wildlife attractions. Our
smily [sic] locals will always receive you in the warmest and
[sic] welcoming way...Come and live Cahuita." (Advertisement
in Costa Rican English-language newspaper, Tico Times, di-
rected at tourists and foreign residents) "Enjoy all the intensity
of the Caribbean. Enjoy Cahuita. Enjoy its National Park, and
its great diversity of species... Enjoy its pristine beach [sic t
Enjoy its wonderful coral reef. Enjoy." (Tourist brochure)
There are no images or mentions of the Rastafarian. Inside the brochure,
positioned to be unavoidable, is a brief history lesson. Cahuitans have an impor-
tant history, even though it is only partially acknowledged by the wider Costa
Rican population (see Duncan & Powell 1988, Duncan & Melendez 1972, Jime-
nez & Oyamburu 1998, Anderson 2002). This historical sketch locates the Cahui-
tans' origins outside the nation, but shows the development of their place within it
over time a place, moreover, legitimised by the state:

"The first afrocarribeans [sic]... settled in Cahuita in 1828 in [a]
fishing camp[]. At that time, it happened that M. Alfredo Gon-
zalez Flores, former President of the Republic from 1914 to
1917, while sailing back from an official visit to... Talamanca,
suffered an accident at Tuba Creek; he together with his crew
then walked in the forest searching for help and thus reached
Cahuita; the inhabitants of the village then helped them with
food clothing and accommodation; to thank them for such a
noble act, M. Alfredo Gonzalez bought them a land [sic] in the
amount of 500 Colones in order that they could erect a new
village; those people then settled at that location then called the
Bluff and now known as Cahuita; that new settlement was
announced in the gazette issue of July 9, 1915."
The passage is substantially longer than the excerpt presented here an unusual
amount of detail for a tourist brochure. The length and content suggest that this is
a highly strategic, even political, move. The tourist brochure is not usually the
place to make statements of this kind -
however, the authors, who put their names at the end of the passage (as
another claim to visibility and presence), have grabbed the unsuspecting tourist in
a discursive ambush in order to make a claim for a place in the nation-state, all
while accepting and explaining their cultural difference. The reader is also made
aware that the establishment of this place was endorsed and encouraged by the
leader of the nation in the early twentieth century. Their association with the
country's highest representative, and their "noble act" of saving him, creates and
justifies their place. The notation of Cahuita's founding in the July gazette confers
added legitimacy to the belonging of its inhabitants in the nation: Cahuita was
codified and included in the machinery of the state.
The atemporality ("1828... at that time... from 1914 to 1917") is only
explicit in the English version. The Spanish version does not use the equivalent of
the phrase "at that time," thereby allowing the possibility of time elapsing between
Smith's arrival and the appearance of the President. Although it is impossible to
tell whether this difference owes to translation glitches or intentional manipula-
tion, it could be an example of what Greenhouse (1996) calls a "counter-discourse
of time" in a game of time politics that presses Cahuitans' case for legitimacy
through the juxtaposition of their founder with the most powerful man in the
Cahuitan businessmen and -women fight for their distinctive definition
of the Caribbean. They want the Caribbean to include almost all the markers that
were already associated with it, the exotic environment, palm trees, friendly
natives, and even reggae music, but no "Rastas." One of the few representations of
people in Cahuita by Cahuitan businessmen and -women that did exist seemed to
explicitly reject "Rastas." A poster depicting a black man and a white woman

dancing in the moonlight was erected on Cahuita's main road as an advertisement
for one of the nightclubs (called La Vida Noctuma. or "Night Life") in town. It
was notable not only for its depiction of people, but for the type of man it
portrayed. The man was most decidedly not a "Rasta" he wore a short Afro and
was dressed in a short-sleeved shirt tucked into pants (as any respectable man
The owner of the club (not a "Rasta") chose that content because "that
happens in Cahuita." He himself was one of the most successful businessmen in
Cahuita, and had had a long-term relationship and a child with a European woman.
His sign constituted denial of the phenomenon of "gringa-chasing Rastas." The
aim was not to deny that local men became involved with foreign women in fact,
here it was celebrated but to reject the centrality of"Rastas" in the phenomenon.
A veneer of respectability was thus cast onto the phenomenon; a distancing from
the reviled version of it that had "Rastas" at its core.
Interestingly, several months later, on the new CTB website, an adver-
tisement for Cahuita's Carnival bore headshots of two "Rastas." The "Rasta"
image had been "allowed" in limited circumstances by Cahuitan businesspeople.
Given their association with music, and the existence of a calypso band in Cahuita
of which most members are themselves dreadlocked, a "legitimate" space had
been allowed for "Rastas" in the sphere of music. They were in both cases
presented in such a way as to do minimal damage to the prevailing conceptions of
their worth and place. The "Rastas" on the website were placed in a particular way
- only their heads were shown, along with the legend advertising the Carnival.
There was no attempt to present them as sensual bodies rather as perfonning
musicians. The CTB's presentation of "Rastas" is a resignification of prevailing
interpretations of the "Rasta" by locals and the nation, and throws another mean-
ing of "Rasta" into the semiotic mix. "Rasta" here is used as part of a strategic
opportunism to further the financial interests of the village and the CTB. Space has
been ceded, but a degree of resistance against their representation by outsiders and
against "Rastas" themselves is maintained by their presentation in a very specific
and limited context.
Cahuitan businesspeople fight external business interests intent on pro-
moting the metaphorical association between "Rastas" and Cahuita. For example,
T-shirts and souvenirs were on sale sporting the colours red, green and gold, and
pictorial representations of "Rastas." There was even a T-shirt on sale that pro-
claimed: Cahuita Rasta Town. These items were from San Jose or Port Limon,
and show the currency of the "Rasta" in definitions of the Caribbean with which
local businesspeople are unhappy. These products are responding to a real de-
mand, as we saw in tourists' requests for Bob Marley T-shirts (etc), but there was
an inherent danger of promoting the village as the "Caribbean," as this created
expectations that all elements of the imaginary would be present.

Cahuitan tourism business owners do not form a monolith. Cahuitan
businesspeople were also engaged in a struggle amongst themselves. Individual
entrepreneurs (non-Rastas) also tended to focus on the Rasta as an emblem of
Cahuita. For instance, women involved in a T-shirt design micro-enterprise
painted Rastas onto T-shirts they intended to sell to tourists, as they joked deri-
sively about the wutless men in town who "call themselves Rastas" but were
ignorant of Rastafarianism's meaning. These women were unconvinced of the
"authenticity" of these men, but were willing to use their image as a commodity
with which to appeal to the imaginary of tourists in any case. Their rationale was
to join the potentially lucrative commodification of "Rasta" in which the men
themselves engaged.
Local Cahuitan businesspeople's reluctance to enter too deeply into the
stereotype of the "Caribbean" is also evident in some attitudes towards the sale of
Mro-Caribbean food. They were unwilling to sell food considered typical to the
region, such as rice and beans, cassava and yam, and so on, to tourists. The owners
of one cafe did not serve Afto-Caribbean food, apart from a sweet called ginger
cake (similar to Jamaican "bullah"), because the tourists wanted food with which
they were familiar. Informal surveys of tourists however, suggested a different
conclusion: they expressed a willingness to try the first-time fare. There was only
one restaurant run by a local that served Aflo-Caribbean food, and it was always
well patronised by tourists.
Resident foreigner entrepreneurs' makings of Cahuita bring up pregnant
contrasts in notions of the "Caribbean." The Cahuitan businesspeople show their
resignification of the "Caribbean" in their rejection of what would be considered
by outsiders as traditional or transnationally "typical." For instance, their hotels
(called cabinas) are cement, square buildings what one guidebook called "identi-
cal concrete box[es]" (Pariser 1996: 509). The buildings erected by resident
foreigners (from Europe and North America), however, approximate the first-time
aesthetic: some are wooden, on stilts, and use palm fronds on their roofs. Cahuitan
business owners present an alternative "Caribbean" by not rooting themselves in
their own past, while the Euro-American residents, most of whom were first
attracted to the village by the first-time appeal, are more willing to dip into that
past. They indulge more in the transnational understandings of "Caribbean" too, in
naming these enterprises: "Cabinas Hibiscus," "Bananas (restaurant)," "Coco
Miko (boutique)," and "Cabinas Iguana." In contrast, locals' establishments tend
to bear the names of their owners: "Cabinas Wallace," "Cabinas Thompson,"
"Gilbert's Piscina Natural ("Natural Pool")," "Miss Mary's (restaurant)" and so
The significance of these contrasts lies in their relationship to the larger
struggle for identity and place in evidence within Cahuita and between Cahuitans
and the nation. Cahuitans' and Afro-Costa Ricans' struggle to locate themselves in
Costa Rica has taken the form of accommodations and resistances sometimes

simultaneously. Part of this struggle could arguably be said to manifest itself in
this ambivalent presentation of the "Caribbean" in Cahuita, which will speak to
exoticisation on some levels and not others. The discursive exoticisation that
seen through texts, for example is a level on which many Cahuitans can engage,
but a practical, more visible and material expression of the "typical" Caribbean is
not. Indeed, as early as 1989, officials from Costa Rica's national tourism agency
(ICT) urged Cahuitan businesses to present a more "Caribbean" image. And one
Cahuitan man declared that "the place just turn Caribbean a few years ago,"
suggesting a move away from Afro-Caribbean heritage before the advent of
tourism, and some inventiveness as a result of tourism. "Well, we lose some part
of our culture and den we get another part. We [didn't] eat the food but we get the
reggae," he said. The tastes of broader Costa Rica had been taking over Afro-Car-
ibbean practices when Cahuita "got" reggae in the late 1970s/early 1980s. Early
tourists, some of whom became today's resident foreigners, had arrived during the
shift from "traditional" Caribbean towards the mainstream, encouraged by such
development as the construction of the road to Port Limon and beyond in the
1970s. Locals' reconfiguration, and in some cases, re-imagination, of the "Carib-
bean" will inevitably differ from that of resident foreigners. They do not share in
the "Caribbean" aesthetic to which the resident foreigners subscribe and which
dictates palm fronds and stilted buildings. This may be part of the ongoing search
for place: too much difference from the rest of the nation-state is not desirable, as
it may keep them outside its bounds.
But there still remains a desire for distinction and difference, although
within the nation-state, as the brochure containing Cahuita's history indicates. The
bounds of Cahuita are maintained to a degree through the naming of the new
establishments. The time politics, as with the "Rastas," is ambivalent. Although
they reject the past through an "aesthetic refusal," cabina owners conjure up the
past within the present with their stamp of ownership on the new buildings they
erect in the stead of the "first time" aesthetic. Hence, the new concrete blocks are
named after the person who erected it, or after his/her family. As their ancestors
did on arrival- naming natural features of the landscape Kelly Creek, Dixon Point,
etc they do now, naming unnatural, untypical, human-made creations. Both are
acts to claim ownership, to claim belonging to a place. With the contemporary
naming of buildings we again see the dialectic between rootedness and displace-
ment. They have displaced the aesthetics of old but have rooted their names -
themselves in this very displacement.
The complexity of this identity struggle is also evident in the rejection of
Afro-Caribbean food. The rejection is not just one manifested in the refusal to sell
it to foreigners, but one that has entered the kitchens of most Cahuitans. Older
Cahuitans lament younger Cahuitans's preference for Euro-American styles of
food. This is considered a clear indicator of the loss of Cahuitan culture, given that
food is one of the primary markers of Afro-Caribbean culture for Cahuitans. The
complication in the negotiation of identity is clear, however, when we consider

that this lamentation of loss also comes from the lips of those who serve their
family pasta and canned tuna.
The fact that most Cahuitans describe themselves as negro ("black")
rather than "Mro-Caribbean" also adds confusion to the mix. Some Dutch students
conducting a survey of the village asked each respondent their ethnicity. Black
respondents looked at them incredulously and pointed to their skin "can't you
see? I'm black!" was the typical response. A woman in her forties said with
emphatic pride, "Yo soy negra!" ("I am black!") when asked to describe herself
Afro-Caribbean, or its translation, afro-caribeno, seems to be a name very closely
associated with the "outside": the tourist industry, for example.
The resident foreigners themselves show their own dialectic between the
present and the absent in their Caribbeanisation of Cahuita. They are showing their
notions of this imaginary through aesthetics which at once show their attachment
to the place that they are in, Cahuita, and their displacement from it, and allows
them to produce a different Caribbean landscape. While they show a greater link
to the first-time aesthetic, they are also evincing and responding to transnational
ideas of the "Caribbean," ideas that originated elsewhere and to whose imaginary
they have been exposed. This displacement ftom Cahuita serves them well on a
practical level, as they are better able to provide for the needs of tourists than
locals who do not benefit as directly from this link with Euro-American notions of
the exotic. Locals also respond to the transnational imaginary of the "Caribbean";
ftom all appearances, however, they are engaged in a more active negotiation of
how that relates to Cahuita than the resident foreigners.
We have seen a variety of different "Caribbeans" informing notions of
self, other, place and time. These Caribbean landscapes are sometimes in tension,
sometimes in harmony. They seem to share, however, dialectics of presence and
absence, continuity and rupture, even as they clash with each other. For locals, the
Caribbeanisation of Cahuita is part of an identity struggle aimed at the larger
nation and other Cahuitans, in which they engage in discourses that use but go
beyond tourism Before the full-scale rush of tourism the people of Cahuita seem
to have been leaning away from their heritage towards salsa and merengue,
Spanish and so on. But, as with the Amazonian indigenous peoples of Ecuador,
tourism made certain "identity practices" attractive for the rewards they would
bring (Rogers 1996:109). Tourism provided a means of retaining elements of their
culture that had been slipping away, most notably the English language. It also
provided a means of negotiation wherein Cahuitans could retain their distinctive-
ness ftom the mainstream, not as vilified "blacks," but as "Afro-Caribbean."
MacDonald (1997) demonstrates a similar phenomenon for the residents of Skye,
who used tourism to counter external images and construct alternative visions of
their history and culture.

Tilley noticed the negotiations ongoing through the prism of tourism in
Vanuatu, where the engagement between tourist and local was a dialogic encoun-
ter about self-worth and self-evaluation in which statements were made about
"who they are" and where they are (1997: 84). The dialectic of accommodation
and resistance is quite clear here: a rejection of the black in line with dominant
society, but resistance even within the appropriation of the "Caribbean," where
they apply their own distinctive meanings. The tropes of the Caribbean are partly
appropriated, partly reoriented to form a valuable resource that would eventually
be recognized (however awkwardly) at the national level (see Anderson 2002,
Chapter 2). This is an incomplete, contested process, however, since many Cahui-
tans still identify as negro rather than Mro-Caribbean. This dialectic continues as
part of the motor of identity negotiation in the village.
The re-imagining of a place as "Caribbean" for its touristic potential has
occurred in Cartagena, Colombia. The mestizo 61ite drove this process, using the
"Caribbean" as a marker of peacefulness, democracy, and a place of mixture to
contest Colombia's violent image (Streicker 1997). Streicker posits the re-imagin-
ing of Cartagena as potentially liberatory, by providing opportunities for the poor
(blacks) to fashion new forms of class and race structures. Caribbeanisation in
Colombia also becomes a struggle at the national level, as it is used to challenge
the region's subordination (1997: 120-1).
Interestingly, before tourism became the mainstay of the village there
were some hints of a desire for a regional, and ethnically mixed, identification. In
Palmer's interviews in the 1970s, a Cahuitan community leader spoke to a regional
identity that would lead away from the "black" towards "mixture." He spoke of a
Talamancan identity: "here in Talamanca there's Jot just going to be unity among
black people, but among Indians and blacks and whites. We are all Talamanque-
fios... Unity as human beings is really important" (Palmer 1993: 224). ijl( seems to
be speaking to Sharman's claim for the need of an identification among Afro-
Costa Ricans that speaks to their phenomenologicall experience," which would
reflect the mixture of cultural influences in the region, and de-emphasise blackness
(Sharman 1998: 56-7). The black Costa Rican novelist and intellectual Quince
Duncan felt the shift was necessary for all Mro-Costa Ricans because, "blacks are
losing, so we need to include the rest of Limon" (personal communication). It is
not clear how much of the push for 10 talamanquefio was the strategic thinking of
a leader, and how much was reflected in the identifications of Cahuitans at the
time. It would seem however, that that broader identification is represented by the
"Caribbean's" metaphorical and geographical implications. Now, Cahuitans' use
of the "Caribbean" is a strategically used identifier for particular purposes, seen as
partially externally derived and -oriented yet locally relevant, and yet not account-
ing for all the identifications of Cahuitans. Because in Cahuita there is still
retention of the "black" that Sharman and Duncan see being (and/or should be)

Sharman sees the shift as a potential source of strength from which
limonenses could face the central government (Sharman 1998: 57-8). He hopes too
that it will eventually lead to the elimination of "constructed racial categories"
entirely (Sharman 1998: 57). It is not clear, however, how to define the "pheno-
menological experience" he finds essential to the relevance of chosen identifica-
tions. The "flexibility" that he feels is crucial in the negotiations of identity may
have led to the appropriation of the "Caribbean," even though he could argue that
it is not Cahuitans' "lived experience." The permeability of the boundaries be-
tween the "local" and the "global" due to the diasporic imagination render the field
of phenomenological experiences perhaps too vast for the assumption of bounda-
ries between lived and otherwise.

The Cahuitan case leads us away from notions of there ever being a
unitary limonense identity what Sharman would call "a shared phenomenological
experience of the world" (1998: 56) much less one beyond constructions of
"race." Cahuita's example suggests that something is being created in a tangle of
elements that may well differ from other parts of the province. It also reveals that
the contestations and incoherences amongst and within Cahuitans themselves -
make the empowerment he speaks of neither a simple nor inevitable process. What
we can say, however, is that Cahuita's position at different poles of different
continue near the margin of the nation-state, and yet near the centre of the tourist
gaze gives Cahuitans a unique and uncertain place within the nation that provides
them the opportunity for critique but also creates those incoherences.


1 This is a substantially revised version of the paper, Arfuing over the "Caribbean": Tourism and
Identities on the Caribbean Coast of Costa Rica, presented at the 2n Caribbean Culture Confer-
ence, University of the West Indies, Jamaica, January.2002.
2 For more information on the history of Costa Rica's Caribbean coast, see Palmer (1993), LeFever
3 For Afro-Costa Rican history, see Koch (1975), Harpelle (2001), Melendez & Duncan (1972), Put-
nam (2002), inter alia.
4 It would have been interesting to know how many YOlmg boys uninvolved in the pursuit of tour-
ists demonstrated such an affinity to reggae music and Rastafarianism.
5 Hansing states that these are not exclusive categories.
6 Chevannes (1994) and Cashmore (1995) claim that in the USA and UK respectively this negative
image has ceded to acceptance.7 Cohen (1997) suggests that rather than or as well as the
"gaze," attention should also be paid to the aural, the attraction of music. She claims that mu-
sic's role in tourism can be an important one, informing the place image, influencing how peo-
ple identifY, categorise and represent places: in effect, a place can be produced through
music.This is most certainly the case with Cahuita and reggae music, where the music


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The Recalcitrant Muse: Race, Sex and Historical Tension in
the Search for the West Indian (Trans)subject


In his introduction to Wilson Harris's Palace of the Peacock, Caribbean
literary critic Kenneth Ramchand writes, "the novel arises from an almost literal-
minded obsession with expressing intuition about 'the person'" and "the structure
of societies men have built for themselves..." (Ramchand 1968, 3) Harris's
motive with the novel, a re-imagination of the 16th and 17th Century search for El
Dorado in South America, is to deny that any society has "an inevitable existence"
(3). Moreover, Ramchand suggests that what concerns Harris is "a series of subtle
links" which compose and are natural to the West Indian. (3) Harris himself has
said that his task is to "visualize a fulfillment, a reconciliation in the person and
through society, of the parts of a heritage of broken cultures" (3). As critics have
argued, Harris ultimately narrativizes the "quintessential" myth of pre-Columbian
exploration of Guiana in order to reinscribe a "Caribbean psyche". He achieves
this through experimentation with West Indian and European cultural and narra-
tive forms which allows him to write a Caribbean psyche into a discovery myth
that has operated in Euro-wester historical narratives through the denial of that
very subjectivity. As numerous literary scholars have noted, a major strategy of
Harris's in positing an "integrated" psychic subjectivity is the consistent blurring
of geographic and historical boundaries and boundaries between the self and the
other, until the novel's close when the characters come to recognize themselves in
and as the other or psychic double they have externalized and objectified through-
out the novel.
One of Harris's primary ways of laying the ground for a shared Carib-
bean psyche is through the mixed racial/cultural status of his principal male
characters. Through this mixing of racial differences and the implied mixing of
different (cultural) modes of being, in characters who serve as the "real and
psychic" doubles of each other, Harris presents an "integrated" psyche. This
psyche is evident at the end of the novel when the seven explorers are all spirits in
the "palace of the peacock" (the literal metaphor for this psychic integration) in a
shared, post-death, psychic state represented by the music they all "hear" and their
recognition of each other as part of "one undying soul" (Harris 1960, 152). The
novel, however, raises a set of questions about the reconstitution of a Caribbean
psyche and an essential Creole subject. While Harris's effort is extraordinary and
his method makes it difficult for one to argue that it either does or does not work,
it appears to be a highly masculinized reconstruction of a Caribbean psychic

subjectivity achieved through a renarrativization of a moment of oppression that
Harris's text cannot reconcile and which maintains for particular individuals,
certain objective-historical positions. I suggest that it is "masculine" not because
all except one of the principle characters is male. As scholars have noted, Harris
tries to confuse male-female distinctions to represent dual essences in each indi-
vidual. But, it is precisely the modem narrative technique of blurring boundaries
that I argue maintains particular social and historical tensions in the novel. Not
only is the blurring of boundaries a problem but also the initial distinctions Harris
must represent in order to deconstruct them, and ultimately, the blurring does not
succeed, which is why I suggest it is masculinized. I argue that Mariella, the
central female character, is the figure that extends beyond the space of the text to
reveal the critical tensions surrounding the folk, herself, and the land in Palace
because of how the intersection of race and sex at different historical junctures
objectively positions figures like herself in ways that illuminate the historical
anxieties that surround them. She is a recalcitrant figure which resists the histori-
cal confusion Harris uses as a narrative method to create a wholeness. Mariella's
figure produces a series of questions regarding creoleness, gender and subjectivity
(a transcendent psychic subject): what is creoleness from the first recognition of
its existence as a social and (larger) cultural category represented as it is here in its
pre-history? Does/can Harris alter the position of "woman" as a site for the
"imaginary of culture", especially since the "rape" of Mariella and of the land
mimics the relationship of woman to land in nationalist discourse? And, if the
land is gendered, as in the numerous references to Donne raping it as he does
Mariella (the woman) in the collapse of two substantively different types of rape,
then how can there be a transgender subject at the end of the novel and through
what means can that subject be identified? Her figure opens a space of doubt as to
whether or not historical difference can be reconciled at the same time that a
historical encounter/moment is rewritten from the position of a historically si-
lenced subject. These tensions are the (consequences) of mapping the modem day
result of conquest onto the past, the grafting of particular subject/object positions
onto another by transposing them in time, while failing to mark certain historical
distinctions. In a Creole context, as former colonized peoples write their history,
questions still arise as to who can write and with what terms and techniques so that
certain historical displacements are not maintained in order to facilitate certain
voices or contemporary visions. The result of Harris method is that particular
object positions stand and must in order for others to be reinvented, in literature
and in history.1
By trying to posit a reconciliatory Creole existence at the moment that
made (it) possible (conquest), Harris forces two cultural realities to reside in the
same historical period (modernity).2 It is the disjuncture created by this that does
not allow all difference to fade into wholeness in the "palace of the peacock".
Mariella's figure produces a series of questions regarding creoleness, gender and
subjectivity (a transcendent psychic subject): what is creoleness from the first

recognition of its existence as a social and (larger) cultural category represented as
it is here in its pre-history? And, if the land is gendered, as in the numerous
references to Donne raping it as he does Mariella (the woman), then how can there
be a transgender subject at the end of the novel and through what means can that
subject be identified? While Harris claims to blur male-female distinctions, he
maintains one historical "truth" by keeping all of the conquistadors male. It is a
"truth" which leads to questions about the ahistorical category woman that he
holds for Mariella, without interrogating how Mariella understands herself as an
Amerindian woman. We only see her in relation to Donne and the land (the
collective folk having abandoned at this point) and the fact that "woman" has
circulated in history in ways that restricted those like Mariella (non-European and
non-white) from being included in this categorization. In short, is it possible to
rewrite or to change the historical referent for an entire category? What is the
larger function of "Mariella" in the text since her presence as a woman appears to
be a means to an end rather than something Harris can address? For the repre-
sentation of both gender difference and subjectivity, the problem remains as
language, which Harris has struggled with, as a register and repository of social,
historical, and cultural meanings that cannot ultimately be transcended by Caroll's
music. Further, critical readings of the novel compound these problems in Har-
ris's work and create new ones. This paper identifies and explores these problems
as they arise in the novel and in particular, in its critical life by interrogating
representations of the land, "Mariella", the folk, and the psyche.
'Possessing' the Modern Dream
Writing about Palace, critic Michael Gilkes has argued that the novel is
a "deep cycle of exploration within which the writer attempts a reconstitution of
the Caribbean psyche" (my ital., Gilkes 23). One of his main concerns is the
relationships with the land that Harris establishes. In keeping with critic Hena
Maes-Jelenik's claims, Gilkes has said that the novel is an attempt to reintegrate
this psyche through "an interior journey." In achieving this, Gilkes further claims
that Harris necessarily erases the historical and geographical boundaries that
would have existed at the time expeditions to El Dorado occurred. The novel, he
suggests, not only involves a recreation of an "innocent" preconquest exploration
of the region, but also "the modern Guyanese dream of repossessingg the interior':
a phrase which can be taken to mean both the developing of an extensive ...
hinterland, and the establishment of a genuine sense of cultural and psychological
roots" (my ital., 24). I begin with Gilkes's reading to introduce the problem of
history. Gilkes's almost casual characterization of the "modern" Guyanese dream
fails to address how the dream, as a "modern" one, functions in Harris's recasting
of it. By first referring to it as modern, Gilkes imposes a historical teleology (of
modernity) that Harris's modernist strategy of blurring the linear invocation of
past, present, and future tries to avoid. While the problem may lie with Gilkes's
interpretation, there is Harris's admitted preoccupation with the modern Creole
experience and the agreement by many critics that it is a Creole Caribbean psyche,

which did not exist (in its contemporary state) at the time of the exploration, that
Harris tries to reconfigure. Gilkes does not problematize "modem" in this sense.
He also does discuss the grafting of the "dream" of one historical period onto
another or that fact that it is achieved through a notion or language of, the second
major problem in Gilkes's phrasing, possession. Can the "modem" Guyanese
dream be represented as one of repossession and that repossession objectified or
symbolized in the land, given the current struggle of different groups to change the
real, discursive, and historical relationships that some groups have with the land?5
If the folk are so thoroughly identified with the land, are they the ones trying to
repossess it? Further, who can be in the position, in the alienated, external/internal
position of re-possessor and can Mariella as an Amerindian woman, as all women,
be an agent in and of this?6
In Palace, the Amerindian 'folk' seem to be so worked into the back-
ground that they are not an active part of the repossession of this "modem" dream
because they are always already identified with the land as initial inhabitants
which does or doesn't equal possession depending on which cultural world view
one adopts and which language it is expressed in. This suggests the need for the
experience of being reconnected to the land to be represented in a language other
than that of possession. While the problem with "land" in the text is on multiple
levels, discussing this interracial attempts to possess land or (prior) title to the land
as a reconciliatory dream, continues, not intervenes in the modem narrative of
historical progress and possession.
The problem of having the reclamation of a creole heritage articulated as
a desire to possess the land is compounded when Gilkes begins to make specific
claims about the folk in the novel. He writes "like Donne, the crew recognize that
only the Amerindians have any real title to the land, and in seeking the Mission
(called Mariella) they are in fact yearning for a sense of belonging to the land..."
(24). Gilkes establishes that Amerindians are an "other" life which the crew,
"yearning for a sense of belonging to the land" seeks to possess in a "veiled
desire...for permanent direction" (24). Gilkes draws the reader's attention to a
passage in the novel when the dreamer says "we're all outside the folk...nobody
belongs yet" and where the narrator, Donne's double, continues to warn the
explores of their fear, "a fear of the substance of life, a fear of the substance of the
folk" which is tied to "the true substance of life" and "the unity of being" (Harris
1960, 59). Gilkes interprets this contemplation of life, desire, and the folk, by the
narrator, in the following passage:
Donne and crew therefore represent the complex mixture of
cultures and races which constitute modem Guyana, crowded
together, living on the 'narrow boat' of land on the coast, while
the Amerindians, true heirs of the land, continue an elusive,
little regarded existence in the vast hinterland. The journey, in

the novel, is an imaginative attempt to discover and come to
terms with their other interior life. (my ital., 24)

What Gilkes describes is a modem Creole reality of racial and cultural
mixing against the backdrop of the land which in the preceding quotation, is nearly
equated with the Amerindians. The Amerindians form the backdrop against
which a (national) Guyanese, modem condition (dream) can be represented. This
is true despite Harris's attempts at mixed race identities in the "narrow boat." But,
Gilkes does not go on to discuss what this (historical) positioning of the folk and
crew mean because his larger emphasis is on psychic and spiritual reconciliation.
Whether the confusion lies with Gilkes's compounding of the problem as a critic
or with Harris's narrative, Gilkes's reading suggests that in the text, the Amerindi-
ans are already a part of the land by virtue of being "natural heirs." This position
is problematic for the following reasons: they are always already positioned as
part of what must be possessed and that position is explicated in particular cultural
terms; and Harris has already mixed Amerindian blood with that of the conquista-
dors so the they are both the natural possessors of the land and part of the desire
for conquest. But, the Amerindian in fact serves, in Gilkes's reading, as a natural-
ized other, naturalized through an association with the land and through the crew's
own desire for reconciliation which reads the Amerindian-land relationship or
position as natural. Gilkes's problematic interpretation of Harris work suggests
that while Harris's text does blur nearly all boundaries, there are critical problems
that attain.
Gilkes's unwitting reading of Amerindian's as central but outside posi-
tions them as liminal beings, a position they have held throughout the history of
Guyana and one that has resulted in the politicodiscursive containment of them in
the Indian and black dominated scene of racialized politics in Guyana today. The
"mixture of cultures and races which constitute modem Guyana" are depicted
against the idealic landscape of space and propriety which allows Amerindians to
be spatially (and naturally, to the extent that their relationship to the land is
naturalized) differentiated from the crew. In many ways, as "the folk", they
remain spatially apart from or outside the psychic space being constructed while
still being posited in the narrow space of cultural mixing, the boat, that precedes
the representative space of integration, the "palace of the peacock." In Harris's
text, while there is integration, there is a kind of other that must serve as the locus
for that and at the novel's end, wholeness is achieved when the folk "disappear"
from the text, a disappearance which Harris's narrative codes as psychic integra-
Critic Maes-Jelenik also writes of where she sees a relationship between
greed and the differential identification of people with the land. She writes, "the
equation of self with space in Palace of the Peacock occurs at a crucial stage in the
fashioning of Donne's vision of consciousness, when he recognizes at last the

'essence' that informs the inner depths he has been confronted with while climb-
ing the waterfall." (Maes-Jelenik 1976, 15) Maes-Jelenik goes on to discuss
Harris's preoccupation with space which he views as "our weakest resource" but
also something in which all potential in man can be realized. Essentially, Maes-
Jelenik suggests that the spatial representation, which I read as a racial one, has
other implications for marking difference among the novel's characters. Further,
from Maes-Jelenik, it is possible to argue that one's racial composition, and its
geographic representation, determines the extent to which one is "greedy" and this
greed is played out in the desire or lack of desire for conquest.7
Taken together, both Maes-Jelenik's and Gilkes's readings of Palace
suggests a relationship has been established between land and identity. It is no
longer a matter of what Harris intended but, the novel, in its critical life, is
re-presented as containing these relationships, with Gilkes's being more problem-
atic than Maes-Jelenik's. Both readings leave open the question, is there some-
thing fundamentally different in the Amerindian identification with land than that
which the crew come to possess? What does this say about displaced, postcolonial
peoples and anti-colonial struggle? When and where is and can that struggle be
over land and when must it be over something as in Michelle Cliffs novel where
weapons are used to recover something else that is tied to but not equal to loss of
land and cannot be got back solely by recovering it?8 While the "space" in which
Harris's "drama of consciousness" takes place is both symbolic and real, it is a site
of difference as much as it is one of reconciliation. This is why the recurring
theme or language of "possession" is problematic. One could ask, are Gilkes,
Maes-Jelenik, and Harris problematizing the historical positioning of Amerindi-
ans or strictly dehistoricizing it? The novel is supposed to undo (historical)
reality, to reiterate Ramchand's claims, but this undoing may also be a dehisto-
ricizing and although "racial" categories are mixed, the novel still retains, an
"outside" even if only at the level of consciousness. The Amerindians are identi-
fied through a space (land) which has already been figured into a language of
domination and while it may mark their difference, the question remains where is
the location of difference and how does one bring it into language? One modem
day Amerindian writer has claimed that it is the lack of recognition of an Amerin-
dian concept of land ownership (vastly different from a European one) which has
denied and continues to deny them rights. Positioning them here as some "sub-
stance" to be possessed, while already possessing, whether real or psychically,
continues to deny them this. Further, the only way that a desire to possess, on their
part, can be realized is through a mixing of blood, as the blood part of each crew
member that, intimated or real, he is not reconciled with. 1
In Maes-Jelenik's reading, because of their location in and identification
with the land, the Amerindian folk are not the greedy ones, they are simply always
already one. Both Gilkes and Maes-Jelenik describe what Sandra Drake has
referred to as the subject-object split necessary for conquest, but the consciousness
that emerges must be questioned. What conscious is projected onto these bodies

and how is this related to in reality and in dream? Like his failure to deal with
Mariella as a woman, Harris does not deal with how the folk understand their
relationship or identity through the land. He does not achieve any kind of Amer-
indian subjectivity and the land fails as any sort of lens with which to view it. This
overdetermination of identity through land further becomes compounded later
when Mariella as land, place and woman is considered.
The Recalcitrant Muse
In Gilkes's reading of Palace, the land and the people become collapsed
and naturalized not only through spatial othering but through gender when he
begins to analyze the relationships among Mariella (as woman and place), the folk,
the land, and the old woman the crew captures. Not only is Gilkes's articulation
of these relationships problematic, but they also suggest problems in Harris's
representation of them. Gilkes makes specific reference to the sexual metaphors
that proliferate in the novel, suggesting that they "relate to Donne's rape of
Mariella (like his rape of the land) and serves as a reminder that the capacity for
joy is also the capacity for pain" (29). Gilkes continues, "the dreamer is in this
way made aware of his own lack of wholeness..." in reference to "...the dreamers
own imperfect manhood and self-knowledge" (30). He then contrasts the
dreamer's imperfection with the land and forest and the people in harmony with it.
While Gilkes foregrounds this subjection of the land and of the Amerindian
woman, he does not complicate the relationship that is established in the novel. In
Palace, the land, or its subjection, is feminized through the Amerindian woman
and this feminization becomes a precondition of its own subjection or rape. I am
not at this point referring to the (troubled) masculinity of Donne that Harris
establishes, or the fixed idea of an oppositional relationship between masculinity
and femininity he utilizes. I am suggesting that to identify woman with land so
entirely, at particular historical moments, regardless of cultural belief, is to instan-
tiate a relational subjection where each referents place validates, explains or
codifies the other's.
In this revealing moment in Gilkes's interpretation, he naturalizes a series
of positions or acts, without querying what, for example, it means to establish a
metaphoric link between two substantively different types of "rapes" with no
sense of how, except for her killing Donne in a dream, Mariella interprets her
position. The question remains, what kind of femininity exists at this moment and
is a subjection, naturalized in this fashion, transcended by critical claims like
Sandra Drake's that "Mariella is God", in which Drake emphasizes what she sees
as the strongest aspect of Mariella's character in the ability to create. (Drake 69)
And, where does this femininity stand in relationship to "the dreamers own
imperfect manhood" which must be posited at least initially, in order for Harris to
deconstruct it to show that it incorporates a male and female dual essence. (Gilkes
30) Gilkes does not interrogate passages in Palace like Da Silva's assertion that
"The buck woman can't speak a word" (Harris 1960, 94). While the old woman

cannot speak because as the narrator notes, Schomburgh the translator is gone, the
old woman in this passage, and hence Mariella, who is also part of Mariella by
extension of Harris's claim that she is all women, is caught in a semantic negation
of her being. She is at once buck, a term which is a linguistic reduction of
Amerindian identity which others them socially, discursively, and geographically,
especially today. And, "woman" cannot exist inside the former category "buck".
This leads to questions about the category woman that Harris sets up and whether
or not he can rewrite its historical referent (European), by making Mariella equal
all women or "the embodiment of woman", as Harris himself claims. (Harris 1999,
One important passage in Harris's work where his narrative style and
method are truly worked out, has been the focus of much critical attention. It is
one that Gilkes works into his own analysis. Writing about the old woman, Gilkes
says, "the old Amerindian woman becomes, in the men's eyes, a seductive siren-
their longing for the Folk and the security of the land-whose disturbing presence
encloses them all, like the rapids... but also guides them to safety" (31). Here,
Gilkes is interpreting a passage from Palace where Harris's technique is elabo-
rated through Mariella's figure: "her crumpled bosom and river grew agitated with
desire, bottling and shaking every fear and inhibition and outcry. The ruffles in
the water were her dress rolling and rising to embrace the crew" (Harris 1960, 73).
The quotation demonstrates the close relationship of woman to land and the
alienated position the men hold. But, the woman is also a "seductive siren" who is
the embodiment of their "longing for the folk...and the land."
Through the contraction of Mariella's character into an ambiguous or
"double natured" muse, she becomes a multiple signifier which can only be read
or understood through these relationships. Even her own relationship to the folk
must be expressed in terms of her ambiguous function as a narrative sign of desire,
difference, and belonging. Mariella is woman and land (and to some extent folk
through reference to her as 'buck') and also the sign of these things. But, we have
no sense of her own subjectivity because as a sign, she is mediated by a series of
oppositional relationships and naturalizing gestures. Maes-Jelenik has interpreted
the above passage saying, "the word 'embroideries' refers at once to the waves of
the river, the design of the Arawak woman's kerchief, and the 'wrinkles on her
brow'" (Maes-Jelenik 1982, 13-14). She further holds that the passage is part of
the "creation of a 'native consciousness'" which Harris ultimately achieves
through the union of crew and folk. (14) What Maes-Jelenik describes is the link,
established by Harris and elaborated by Gilkes of Mariella's subjection to the land
as facilitator of the social network formed by them all and the space that is
consequently reflected in their interactions as they move, psychically, to its perfec-
tion or embodied wholeness. This moment in Palace and critical attention to it is
one in which land, history, and woman, are unalterably troubled.

Gilkes's and Maes-Jelenik's interpretations can also be read against
Harris own claims about what he sees his work doing. In the "New Preface to
Palace of the Peacock," Harris describes Mariella:
...Mariella (whom {Donne} abuses) embodies a plurality of
woman. These are made visible as terror-making faculties and
the regenerative womb of time when the skeletal fabric and
artifice of history's masquerade acquire luminous density in the
music of living landscapes... Finally with respect to Mariella's
embodiment of women and a womb of potentialities beyond
every frame of abuse comes a revelation of the 'bone-spirit' in
the woman dressed in nothing but her hair. Such artifice rooted
in nature is particularly subtle in its orchestration of elements.
...In pre-Columbian legend 'ear' and 'eye' and 'head' could
assume different personalities to be combined into a music of
the senses (Harris 1999, 56).
Gilkes sees Mariella as a "regenerative womb," an "artifice rooted in
nature." In her capacity as sign, Mariella's identification is collapsed with the land
but her subjectivity or how she experiences herself as a woman, is not represented
and cannot be through her representation, as a productive element of the land. In
Harris's rationalization of her appearance in the text as a pre-Columbian figure, he
does not detail how the myth he utilizes relates to women and necessitates this
position via the land. He describes parts of the body as they are important in
legend, but not how he moves from that to women. This is not to suggest that
pre-Columbian myth cannot identify woman with land, but that the recuperation of
that "myth" here leaves Mariella subject to a number of cultural and textual
traditions which, placed side by side in this manner, only compromise the identifi-
cation. Her position (via the land) at the critical moment Harris recuperates,
therefore, radically alters (through representation) that original position.
In Maes-Jelenik's reading of Palace, which she calls a psychological
novel, she focuses on Harris's use of language in the novel as a way of "altering
contexts" in the reconstitution of the past, through particular images from the
"Guyanese experience" (Maes-Jelenik 1976, 19). In this focus on language, she
makes claims about Mariella's figure that problematize both readings which say
that Harris erases distinctions between men and women and claims, including my
own, about women's subjection and subjugation in the novel. However, through
Maes-Jelenik's claims arguments can be made about othering and racial difference
despite Harris's deliberate foregrounding of the mixed-raced ancestry of the
Maes-Jelenik sees Mariella functioning as a "double-natured muse" (23),
an "obsession" for the explorers, which exists as part of them. (21) For example,
she holds that because the book operates with the twin reality of death in life and
life in death, when Mariella kills Donne in the dream she must save him later and

for this reason emerges as the old Arawak woman who guides the crew. Accord-
ing to Maes-Jelenik, Mariella is the link among the members of the crew, a shared
bond of kinship, and the "catalyst that drives them" (34-35). Through her ties to
Carroll, in the figure of his mother and sister, "she is the Amerindian muse who
represents her people and their relationship to the crew. As a muse Mariella is
captive to both her people and the crew; she cannot yet unite fully with anyone"
(my ital., 34). While Maes-Jelenik moves from this claim to discuss the other
manifestations or elements of Mariella, she foregrounds here Mariella's position
as a dual other, an Amerindian other and a female other. These positions of
difference derive from her function as a muse, ubiquitous but always unreconciled.
The text in a sense restricts Mariella to dualistic representations but her function as
a multiple sign complicates this subject-object dichotomy. Her figure, which is
both Amerindian and woman, cannot be fully elaborated in this because she only
exists as both. Yet, when these identities are articulated together, she is the "buck
woman" whose raped position is fixed in the land. In this space of cultural mixing,
what or whose cultural terms or language can she be represented in, without being
fixed in the same category of woman, or locked in the double negative, "buck
woman"? And, what parts or elements of her will be united in the destruction of
difference? It is her representation as a muse which makes her a recalcitrant figure
because it compounds the sign (the different tensions surrounding her), making
her resistant to the kind of psychic wholeness Harris posits. As a generative sign
(womb) whose meaning is not fixed, her figure continuously embodies and pro-
duces her own difference.11 She therefore has significance or meaning beyond
Harris's constructs and for critical inte rotation which works through the terms or
relationships already set up in Palace.
"In whatever form she appears," writes Maes-Jelenik "Mariella is a
catalyst that stimulates N or the crew to vision and memory." (35) The Amerin-
dian are part of the crews "deeper, unconscious self" which they realize in death.
(35) The point to be made here is that despite the reconciliatory potential that
exists for Mariella and all members of the crew, Mariella occupies an object
position as a transformative muse which forces all relationships with her to be
articulated in dichotomous terms as muse-object/crew-folk-subject. Subject posi-
tions are available for Mariella only as part of some whole, like the crew or the
folk, but not as Mariella, precisely because she is caught in these dichotomies.
When Maes-Jelenik writes that "like the crew she contains opposites such as age
and youth, innocence and guilt," I understand it to mean that it is not just
Mariella's position as "muse" (object) that makes her captive, but that it is this
position of being double, of being expressed through the language of psychic
doubling the other characters operate in as mirrors of each other, that make her
captive. If my understanding of Maes-Jelenik's reading is acceptable, it would
suggest that there is no way to "read" Mariella, in the novel, apart from the
relationships that continuously fracture her. Her relationships with the folk, for
example, is initiated or told from her pre-engagement with the conquistadors as an

(AmerIndian) woman. It becomes one thing to recognize Mariella as an Amerin-
dian woman and the position she holds among her people as such and still another
to recognize her as an Amerindian woman who circulates in the lives of the
conquistadors, apart from the folk. In the former context, her identity as Amerin-
dian and as "woman" is stabilized in a culture which provides the ideological
context for it but in the latter, she is subordinated in terms of both (gender and
race) as the "buck" woman who cannot speak, whose "rape" symbolizes the rape
of the land, and as the circe "who makes them all go deaf' (36).
In referring to Mariella as a muse for both crew and folk, Maes-Jelenik
uses this term as a way of stabilizing this slippery figure. Later, Maes-Jelenik
writes that "'otherness' is the contrasting element which the crew ignore within
themselves and pursue outside. It is associated with Mariella and the folk, and
with their own as well as Donne's roots" (43). She continues, "the word that links
together the various shapes of otherness is 'namelessness'." Following this, she
notes that this "nameless otherness" is not "an ideal of perfection" but that "the
other" is in fact "a moving and often illusive reality...the reverse side of life or its
lost and forgotten, but persisting past" "in this "drama of consciousness" (Ibid.).
The question that arises from Maes-Jelenik's reading is, namely, what does it
mean to identify the folk with namelessness, to suggest that they are the external
manifestation of a reality or past that the crew carries in their ancestry? And, a
larger questions, is the problem with Maes-Jelenik's reading or Harris's repre-
sentation, or both? The Amerindian exists as an other by not only being posi-
tioned as that which is desired but in language by virtue of being categorized as
'the folk', as a collective which cannot include the crew or even Mariella. We
need to ask for whom are they nameless and what happens at the end when all is
reconciled? Are they given a name, do names no longer matter, or do they vanish
into the nameless otherness of a transcendent subjectivity which is only transcen-
dent because it is in a nameless state, in other words, because it escapes language?
This shapes a larger question about the limits of psychic reconciliation. Is a
preconscious namelessness the way to express the being or reality of a people who
don't experience consciousness as a subject-object split that precedes any recon-
ciliation through conquest? Where is the locus of their own desire in this? If
reconciliation occurs through desire, what can they be reconciled with other than
themselves, assuming they desire this? In representing the crew, Harris is not
representing the folk because as folk, as other, they cannot be represented in the
same terms to which the crew and Mariella's character by association, are con-
In her look at Harris's work, critic Sandra Drake writes, "Mariella
symbolizes Nature, the Americas, the Amerindians, the land itself. The parallel
with the rapaciousness of Donne the conquistador figure assaulting the American
earth is clear, with Mariella and Donne as Female opposed Male, the Euro-Ameri-
can to the American, the Coastal-European society to the interior" (Drake 67)
According to Drake, these are not real, but "archetypal opposition" that concern

the Caribbean's relationship to Europe (67) which "until recently was conceived
by the West as that of colonial power to colony" (5). Drake sees Harris's novels
as an "implicit critique of the 'series of adventures' in Harris's words, which he
thinks present a misleading and dangerous way of conceptualizing history" (5).
While the novel stands as an implicit critique, Mariella's position as a multiple
sign, and the alienation, from the text, of the folk, problematize Harris's narrative
representation of particular kinds of historical action and thought. We understand
little about what kind of woman is being opposed here and where this woman goes
when she is reconciled. While Mariella is not representative of a real historical
character, she does represent a cultural narrative move to imagine a subject with
real implications or possibilities for West Indian Creole Culture today. The
question remains, how much historical truth can be known, invented, or erased
from the parallels and archtypical positions that form the base of Harris's method?
Conclusion: Modernism as Historical Problem and the Caribbean Literary
Wilson Harris's Palace of the Peacock is an extraordinary novel. Palace
confronts linear concepts of time which literary critic Nana Wilson-Tagoe have
acknowledged as a longstanding problem for West Indian writers. Time, in
Harris's work, is not "a linear movement" nor "history...a chronicle of progress
and development" (Wilson-Tagoe 4). The novel redefines the "subject of history"
(6) by writing those others who have not been allowed to be subjects, showing
their centrality in various historical narratives. Wilson-Tagoe writes, "his appre-
hension of the spirit which unites men in a common pursuit...reveals an engage-
ment with dimensions of history beyond... conquest. His immaterial vision opens
a gateway to ... paradoxes of space, personality, and vision which make up a
multidimensional and fluid perception of the region's history" (10). Sandra Drake
elaborates on this writing that Harris manipulates the modern, rationalist, subject-
object division through which the grand historical narratives are achieved. In
short, Harris forces two historical realities to reside in the same moment and the
resulting paradox produces a narrative in which a Caribbean psychic subjectivity
can be represented.
In her work on Harris, Drake writes, "in the taking away of difference the
subject comes into being" (52). Drake suggests that through doubling, the depic-
tion of parallel possibilities, Harris philosophy of hope in human psychological
affairs is revealed. (52) "At all levels," she continues "the underlying technique is
to establish opposition as a fundamental attribute of reality. The vision of paradise
with which the book concludes constitutes a resolution of this opposition" (52).
"The pursued 'folk' in this novel represent the experience of the self in harmony
with the universe" (88). Drake points to the progression in Harris's works and the
function of reconciliation at the end. But, despite his aims, are literal and histori-
cal potential the same and how are "parallel possibilities" achieved differently in

each? For Amerindians, is the "experience of self in harmony" realized in the
pursuit and can it exist without it, without desire?
In conceiving of his work and its potential, Harris has written, "... we
need a narrative that helps us to sense the partially or linear progression and brings
home to us in genuine stages of creativity ... the simultaneity of the past, the
present, and the future in the unfinished genesis of the imagination" (244). He
continues, "Fiction is the place where the continuities between cultures can be
elaborated and the 'inner dynamic of universal civilization can be renewed'"
(242). Harris argues for this kind of narrative fiction and acknowledges that we
are "still susceptive to conquistadorial habit" (239). But, despite the promise of
fiction, there are still the literary traditions which West Indian writers must
negotiate with and which Harris, in refashioning, becomes a Caribbean modernist
writer even as his position provides a corrective to traditional modernist repre-
Addressing this dilemma, Simon Gikandi has said of writers like Harris,
"They realize that the time inaugurated by the European coloni-
zation of the Americas sets up a modem tradition of repre-
sentation which still haunts the Caribbean. ...Caribbean writers
cannot adopt the history of European modernism, especially as
defined by the colonizing structures, but neither can they escape
from it because it has overdetermined Caribbean cultures..." (3)

Deriving insight into the problem form Harris's work, Gikandi continues, "As
Wilson Harris, possibly the most self-conscious Caribbean modernist, has argued,
modem 'implies an ongoing and unceasing re-visionary and innovative strategy
that has its roots in the deepest layers of that past that still address us'" (4). It is
this link with the "layers of the past" and the ways in which Harris negotiates with
them that concerns this paper. The paper does not assume that this problem of
writing is simply a trap Caribbean writers fall into when they engage and trans-
form grand historical and cultural narratives. But, Caribbean Modernity, as these
writers suggest, is a double-edged sword and even Harris himself is not free form
the remnants of the "conquistadorial habit" in language and in history. Any act of
writing by a West Indian author presumes a subject and a historical past, however
mediated in the writing. We need to ask of this literature, is there a difference and
otherness that is completely intractable? Must it be transcended and how do we
deal with the different ways in which people have come to inhabit and transform
their own ethnicities, initially positioned against hegemonic British (French,
Dutch, Portuguese or Spanish) culture. Who of the mixed faces in the West Indies
can write this and what do former minority peoples do to each other in this
rewriting? In seeking to articulate a Caribbean, Creole historical subject inside

modernity, Harris works within a developing Caribbean literary modernism. But,
however distinguished, modernism fails, in this instance, as a viable way of
realizing a new, synthetic Caribbean Creole subject, precisely because it provides
no way, in this instance, to deal with the fact that each historical category demands
its own mode of elaboration. As yet, there is no way to deal with the Caribbean
'woman' as an insufficiently elaborated historical figure still caught in a discourse
of signs and images, maintained in textual moments like Antonio Benitez-Rojo's
Caribbean "vagina" or "womb of darkness". While Palace does raise important
questions, ultimately, we must ask of Harris's work, can reconciliation exist
alongside productive difference or must everything fade into an interminable
wholeness in the psychic realm of the "palace of the peacock?"


I This position rests on a critical question which, for want of space and time, the paper does not ex-
plore: namely, where or how does Harris derive/imagine their subjective and objective reality?
Is he using their position of historical objection to create a subjectivity through ideas about fic-
tion and literary imagination or is there another point, i.e., the pre-Columbian myth (pre-his-
tory) or both?
2 Since conquest can be understood as a "civilizing" and "modernizing" project by Europeans, both
past and contemporary moments in fact exist in Caribbean modernity. However, Harris
uniquely, though in a somewhat problematic way, brings together two moments in Caribbean
modernity. There is on one hand, the rejection of linear modes of representing time that is Car-
ibbean modernity but on the other a failed attention to historical specificity.
3 I have recently encountered five potential sources that deal with the issues surrounding gender that
this paper tries to raise. Of the five, I could only obtain two and the abstract of the third.
Rather than work them into the argument at this point, I provide a brief summary below.
Kerry L. Johnson writes in her 1996 PhD. dissertation, "I argue that delimiting the geographic and
sociopolitical formulations of 'the nation' reveals a richer sense of postcolonial community, the
end result of which is a deepened sense of the politics of decolonization. Harris, Joyce and
Rhys re-work the trope of the landscape as a 'feminine' space in order to imagine communities
they represent as distinctly lacking in space, psychic and temporal boundaries." (DAI) In a
separate essay titled "Translations of Gender, Pain, and Space: Wilson Harris's the Carnival
Trilogy" Johnson discusses Harris's "concern with the body" and how he "theorizes the muta-
bility of gender in order to 'remember' the 'body of Carnival as a transformation of the
world....'" (124) Johnson notes that Harris formulates "woman-as-landscape that embodies
that consciousness," referring to the consciousness Harris is trying to represent or achieve.
While I acknowledge that Johnson is writing of Harris's later work, I still find it useful to look
at how he talks about gender. I find Johnson's reading of women inadequate especially in mo-
ments like the following passage: "...Harris emphasizes the connection of rape and colonial-
ism and yet situates the pain of rape firmly within the suffering of the female body." (127)
Johnson later finds that "what is significant here is not a dangerously romanticized notion of
rape for national purposes abstracted from the female experience of it but, rather, how the real
pain of rape and conquest are overcome to envision something beyond the paralysis of pain."
(127-128) She later focuses on the fact that in one novel, the raped woman goes on to give
birth and that it is the child who is central. (129) I quote heavily from Johnson here to demon-
strate the ways in which women are positioned in Harris's texts and critical response to them
which use that position to make larger points but are incapable of addressing the position itself
or the negative ramifications it has for the space Harris tries to create. For example, what does
it mean, in the earlier quote, to "feminize" the landscape, to mark this point of difference?
How is it an automatic subversion of certain historical narratives, especially when Anne
McClintock writes in Imperial Leather that Columbus thought he was sailing to what was the

shape of a woman? The only text which really tries to address these problems is Joyce Sparer
Adler's "The Evolution of Female Figures and imagery in Wilson Harris's Novels." In the es-
say, Adler claims that while female figures in Harris's texts are more purely symbolic than
male figures, their elaboration is only achieved through them. She claims this together with
her acknowledgement that "the female figures in each work have conveyed the fundamental
idea that the disadvantaging of women is destructive to both men and women and that a change
is essential to bring about the resurrection of the human spirit which alone can preserve the
world." (170) According to Adler, it is only in The Whole Armour. The Waiting Room and in
Tumatumari that we begin to see a significant shift in representation. I say all of this to not
only provide support for my argument but to suggest that in writing on Harris, one necessarily
becomes involved in the contradictions that abound in the work and which make any position,
including my own, subject to them as well.
4 By "contemporary state", I am referring to the range of ethnicities which constitute the contempo-
rary Caribbean and who cannot be traced in the narrative Harris constructs. I am not necessar-
ily looking for actual bodies but merely point to Harris's own preoccupation with
contemporary Creole society in his essay on Creoleness. The visibly Creole person is not
enough, in my understanding, to represent the dynamic of a Creole society.
5 By "contemporary state", I am referring to the range of ethnicities which constitute the contempo-
rary Caribbean and who cannot be traced in the narrative Harris constructs. I am not necessar-
ily looking for actual bodies but merely point to Harris's own preoccupation with
contemporary Creole society in his essay on Creoleness. The visibly Creole person is not
enough, in my understanding, to represent the dynamic of a Creole society.
6 By suggesting that she is an agent in this, I refer to the fact that she is represented as part of them
through other family members (mother, sister) and by virtue of the mixed blood status of Car-
roll, for example.
7 Maes-Jelenik goes on to discus space and the "West Indian Limbo" (16), saying that "Harris sees
in these dances an art of compensation, an attempt to express through space, ..., what could not
be expressed in words since most slaves were deprived of a common language... and he also
reads in them the invocation of 'a curious psychic re-assembly of the parts of the dead god or
gods" or "the representation of an unconscious wish for wholeness that could be the source of a
genuinely West-Indian art." (17)
8 I am referring to Michelle Cliff's No Telephone to Heaven.
9 Here I refer to an unsigned letter from an observer, presumably Amerindian, to the Guyana newspa-
per the Stabroek News, which I cited in my qualifying paper, "Reconstituting National Pasts:
The Rewriting of Guyanese History."
10 By "intimated or real", I am referring to Carroll's known lineage and the speculation surrounding
Donne's dark skin tone.
11 Maes-Jelenik has also written that "Mariella is also the spirit of the place: not only is the terri-
tory of the mission called Mariella but through most of the narrative the imagery coalesces into
one reality the woman (and by implication her people) with the country into which they pene-
trate."(34) She later notes, "the end of the novel confirms that it has been a search for an
'other' which is part of oneself." (57) In this passage, there is a complex link among the land,
woman (as Amerindian) and family being established. Maes-Jelenik illustrates precisely my
point about Mariella's position. But, Maes-Jelenik does not go on to interrogate the ways in
which this positioning problematizes Harris's narrative, which is what this paper seeks to do.
12 One of these relationships is Maes-Jelenik's claim that Mariella is the "persecuted and vengeful
mistress of Donne." I do not agree with Sandra Drake that this position in Maes-Jelenik's
work is wholly reductive or that it misses Harris's larger aim to represent Mariella's creative
potential. (Drake) It is simply not elaborated in the text since she goes on to focus on other
things. And, because she does not discuss it, it is not necessarily a criticism, only an interpreta-


Drake, Sandra E. Wilson Harris and the Modern Tradition: A New Architecture ofthe World. New-
York: Greenwood Press, 1986.
Gikandi, Simon. "Introduction: Modernism and the Origins of Caribbean Literature." Writing in
Limbo: Modernism and Caribbean Literature. Ithaca, NY: Cornell UP, 1992. 1-32.
Gilkes, Michael. Wilson Harris and the Caribbean Novel. London: Longman Group Limted,1975.
Harris, Wilson. Palace of the Peacock London: Faber and Faber Limited, 1960, 1968.
-- "Creoleness: The Crossroads of a Civilization." Selected Essays of Wilson Harris: The
Unfinished Genesis ofthe Imagination. New York: Routledge, 1999. 237-247.
-- -. "New Preface to the Palace of the Peacock." Ibid. 53-57.
Maes-Jelenik, Hena. The Naked Design: A Reading of Palace of the Peacock. Denmark: Dangaroo
Press, 1976.
Wilson Harris. Boston, Masschusetts: Twayne Publishers, 1982.
Ramchand, Kenneth. "Preface (1968)." Palace of the Peacock London: Faber and Faber Limited,
1968, 1960.
Wilson-Tagoe, Nana. introductionn. The Critical Context: Defining the Subject and Form. "Histori-
cal Thought and Literary Representation in West Indian Literature. Florida,University of Flor-
ida press, 1998. Pp. 1-13.
"Beyond Realism: Wilson Harris and the Immateriality of Freedom." Ibid. 106-
Adler, Joyce Sparer. "The Evolution of Female Figures and Imagery in Wilson Harris's Novels."
Hambone No. 6, Fall 1986: 169-178.
Johnson, Kerry Lee. "Vulnerable Figures: Landscape, Gender and Postcolonial Identity in the Work-
sof Wilson Harris, James Joyce and Jean Rhys (Ireland, Dominica)." DAI Vol. 57-12A:ab-
S"Translations of Gender, pain and Space: Wilson Harris's TheCarival Tril-
ogy." Modern Fiction Studies. Vol. 44, No. 1. 1998:123-143.

A Forgotten Forum: The Forum Quarterly and the
Development of West Indian Literature


Today the West Indian novel is an internationally recognized literary
phenomenon, and we speak without hesitation of a West Indian literature. But
twenty-four years ago, when Bim first appeared (Dec. 1942), neither phenomenon
had any recognizable existence. For the fact that we can now speak of a West
Indian literature, we owe much to Bim (Baugh, 1966, 281.)
Baugh's appropriately qualified assessment of Bim's role in the
evolution of West Indian literature provides a context within which to examine
the place and importance of Bim's antecedents in preparing the groundwork for
the region's most influential and enduring literary magazine, and ultimately, for
the development of West Indian literature itself. While the achievements of the
Trinidadian little magazines have been comprehensively documented by Sander
(1978, 1988), there has been scant acknowledgement of the contribution of Bim's
pioneering Barbadian counterparts- chiefly The Forum Quarterlyl launched in
1931 without whose example those successes for which Baugh justly lauds Frank
Collymore's journal would have been considerably less assured.
The Forum Quarterly was itself preceded by The Outlook: A Monthly
Magazine and Review, founded and edited by Clennell Wickham, better known
for his radical political views expressed primarily in the weekly Herald. Though
not by any means a literary magazine its focus was much more ideological and
political- Wickham's journal considered the development of creative writing
priority: If we have any particular aspiration," Wickham wrote, "The Outlook
may be the means of developing literary talent by providing opportunity"(October
1931,5). In pursuit of this aim, the magazine included short fiction, book reviews,
and a sprinkling of poems in all its issues, along with its staples of political and
social commentary. Its reviews of texts such as George S. Schuyler's "Black No
More" (1931) were evidence of the linkages between the Harlem Renaissance
and the West Indian Awakening that would become even more pronounced in The
Forum Quarterly. Unfortunately, like so many similar enterprises of the period,
The Outlook foundered after a very short life, going under in 1932 after only six
issues.2 However, in its brief tenure, the journal served as a new avenue for
literary expression, and implicitly, promoted language as a tool of resistance and
cultural redefinition, especially in narratives that consistently foregrounded folk
life and utilized Creole as a medium of expression. In many respects, The Outlook

was ahead of its time, and its influence on the aims and philosophy of The Forum
Quarterly is evident.
The Forum Quarterly, as it was first known,3 was the organ of the
"Forum Club" founded in 1929 with a membership consisting almost exclusively
of educated, professional black and coloured men, many of whom held or would
assume leadership roles in the society as attorneys, politicians, and educators. Its
was first edited by Rev. K.C. Lewis, who was succeeded by educator, Gordon
Bell, who was editor from March 1932 until the journal ceased publication for the
first time in 1934.Although he was never formally named editor, poet and lawyer
Hilton Vaughan was evidently at the helm when the journal reemerged in the
1940's. The Forum Quarterly was intended as the primary instrument for the
attainment of the Club's main objectives: the development of West Indian life and
thought, the discussion and exchange of ideas among at home and abroad about
West Indian affairs, and literary development in the colonies. From its very
beginning, the "Forum Club" espoused a regional rather than a narrow Barbadian
focus, in contrast to Bim (Baugh, 1966, 282) In pursuit of these ideals, the
association also hosted lectures by accomplished West Indians such as Eric
Derwent Walrond (Tropic Death, 1926) in 1929, and C. L. R. James in 1932.4
The group encouraged and disseminated discourse on social and political issues of
importance to the region through its journal and also sponsored discussions about
black culture on topics such as "Negro Spirituals their Origin and Influence,"
"The Significance of Claude McKay," literary competitions initially for schools,
and then, from 1932, for the entire West Indian region.
The magazine's objective of wider focus was also effected through
reciprocal relationships with regional publications that encouraged regular con-
tributors to one journal to publish in others. Such an understanding between The
Beacon and The Forum Quarterly in particular, was bolstered by feedback on
editorial policy and content, as well as other forms of critical support in an alliance
that, in the words of Albert Gomes, editor of The Beacon "exploded the myth of
isolation which travel writers are so eager to apply to the islands" ( cited in Sander,
1988,33). In addition, The Forum Quarterly routinely published reviews and book
notices, bringing developments in the evolving West Indian literary community to
the attention of a wider reading public.
The Forum Quarterly and the Harlem Community
But beyond its ideal of regional focus is an undeclared quest for a wider
community of diasporic voices, in the tradition of Garvey's Negro World. The
Forum Quarterly attracted readers and contributors from throughout the black
community even as far as Nigeria but enjoyed a special relationship with the
African American and Caribbean American communities in New York City. It
published reviews, articles, book notices and general information on the achieve-
ments- literary and otherwise- of those black artists and intellectual participating
in the Harlem ferment, especially Claude McKay, and Langston Hughes. Among

its more prestigious contributors5 were George Schuyler, Du Bois and other
African American artists and intellectuals, and lesser known Caribbean American
poets like Henry B. Wilkinson, E. Lucien Waithe, and Claude T. Eastmond.6
More significantly, the most accomplished contemporary black writing from New
York introduced contemporary trends to a tradition-bound Caribbean, especially
the importance of literature as a forum for reflection on racial and social issues.
An Agenda for Literature
In a manner that was revolutionary and unprecedented for the times, The
Forum Quarterly envisaged its role as supplementing the work of other organs of
intellectual activity, such as the Herald newspaper edited by Wickham and C.A.
Inniss. In the words of Keith Hunte, "The Herald provided a medium through
which its editor, Clennell Wickham, poured trenchant criticism on the political
behaviour of the local oligarchy and called attention to social ills that needed to be
remedied" (22). The journal's further definition of its mission in The Literary
Outlook in the March 1932, recognized the potential of the synergies between
literature and other organs of social discourse exploited chiefly by Wickham and
Inniss, and Charles Duncan O'Neale with whom they had established the Demo-
cratic League in 1924:
By hammering out a common language of the spirit we create a
new kind of intercolonial interest, and in accepting the fact that
there lies about us material as artistic as any we know at only
second or third hand, we emphasize West Indian consciousness.
Indeed, this literary activity is only a reflection of a new activity
in the social and political spheres. (29).
Not even The Outlook had gone this far in articulating a philosophy for
imaginative writing.
In respect of its agenda for creative writing, The Forum Quarterly had -
perhaps unwittingly set itself nothing less than the dismantling of an inherited
and deeply entrenched aesthetic, for in spite of these radical developments in the
political arena, literary conventions of the age remained traditional. Poetry espe-
cially was highly imitative and derivative of outmoded British and European
models. As Fraser et al observe: "Just as the Barbadian press took large quantities
of its material from English sources with little or no alteration, so most of these
literary efforts are purely derivative. Some have little or no recognizably West
Indian content ... others which do treat Barbadian themes do so in a very limited
manner" (101). The achievement of The Forum Quarterly is best understood
within the context of the relationship between imaginative literature and the
emergence of nationalism in colonial societies whose aesthetic traditions are
dominated by imitation and self-disparagement. Fanon theorizes that at such
moments literature may assume a "combat" role, and mould national conscious-
ness, by clarifying national themes and by embracing and recognizing pre-

viously disparaged folk traditions, giving this consciousness "form and contours
and flinging before it new and boundless horizons" (193) George Lamming
assigns a similar counter-discursive function to the West Indian novelists of the
1950's, with his claim that the West Indian novel restored the West Indian peasant
to "his true and original level of personality." The peasant becomes "through the
novelist's eye, a living existence, living in silence and joy and fear" (39). For the
first time in the history of the West Indies, Lamming implies, fictional repre-
sentation functions to validate a people's culture and identity. It is this focus, and
the associated use of Creole as a medium of expression which, for Edward Kamau
Brathwaite, marked that period of "Initiation into Nationhood," as Barbadian
literature of the 1930's, especially poetry, began to evolve from the imitative
tradition. Even if its overt agenda for imaginative writing was never quite as
ambitious as that expressed by Fanon and others -there is never any advocacy of
Creole, for example- or as comprehensively articulated, the Forum Club's per-
spective on the role of creative writing in the decolonization process was not
dissimilar in some respects to that expressed in other quarters.
Short Fiction and The Forum Quarterly
Of all the literary arts, the short story was the genre through which the
journal exerted most effort to develop West Indian consciousness through new
directions in literary expression, and to promote excellence in craftsmanship. As
has been already stated, its first sponsored competitions were in this genre, as early
as 1932, with those in poetry and essays added sometime later. The journal's
recurring exhortations to writers of fiction emphasized the importance of West
Indian settings. In this simple, but important assertion, The Forum Quarterly
affirmed the validity of the West Indian as subject. Reaffirming its mission after
its revival in 1943, the journal expressed commitment to those artists who had
"portrayed the life and problems of these lands" (December 1945, 2). Yet this
claim is tempered by the ambivalence in its observation that the stories which
appear in The Beacon are "too realistic," even though, they "evince a technique
which places The Beacon far ahead of any of its West Indian contemporaries"
(December 1932, 44). That the journal's criteria for the new West Indian writing
were as aesthetic as they were ideological was evident from the first issue when
the editors felt constrained to complain about the standard of the fictions. This
remained a source of major frustration, in that, even when they utilized local
colour, the tales displayed limited mastery of the possibilities of the genre.
Samaroo contends that "the creative writing encouraged by The Beacon
grew out and mirrored its authors' concern for the poor and the disadvantaged"
(ii). Similarly, Sander (1978) argues that "realism combined with and supported
by Trinidadian's social and political ideology resulted in fiction that focused on
West Indian characters belonging to the lower classes" (7). Such claims could
hardly be advanced in respect of the countless narratives that appeared in the
Barbadian journal, in which, for the most part, generic themes are transposed to a

landscape that is hardly ever convincingly represented. For all the exhortations to
writers to foreground West Indian settings, its fictions with few exceptions,
rarely ever attained The Forum Quarterly's ideal of manifesting West Indian
consciousness or foregrounding regional life in any sustained or sophisticated
sense, especially in those issues of the 1930's. In fact, the tales that come closest
to fulfilling the ideals about the place of literature in developing a national
consciousness are those penned by authors living abroad in Trinidad, but espe-
cially the United States- a result no doubt of the influence of the Harlem Renais-
sance movement. Representative of the stories appearing in the magazine are
"Just Plain Husband" and "The Rake" by Helen Lefroy Caperton (December
1934), the prize-winning "The Love Complex" by Cyril A Brathwaite (September
1932), L. Lockhart's "The Love Letter" (December 1933) and "Double Victory"
by Cyril D. Gittens. (June 1932). Gittens's story intertwines mystery and romance
in a setting that is not distinctly Barbadian in any sense, in spite of the presence of
local place names; nor is this setting critical in anyway to the story's unfolding. Its
characters are middle and upper class professionals, and folk life and customs are
excluded and diminished as is so often the case in the stories. When folk life is
represented in these tales, it is for the most part in those disparaging constructs
inimical to the assertion of national identities. These tendencies are subverted by
"The Ball" by Alfred H. Mendes of Trinidad, (September 1933 ) which mirrors the
racial anxieties and social tensions of that island. Although no Barbadian stories of
this kind appear in The Forum Quarterly throughout its lifetime, a few do
approximate these ideals of literary language as a tool of resistance and cultural
redefinition. Chief among these examples is "The Wake" by B. Taitt (March
1934), a narrative that utilizes folk characters in its uncompromising repre-
sentation of the economic realities, cultural conflict and traditions, and racial
dynamics of the nineteen thirties, anticipating the work of Lamming, Austin
Clarke, V.S. Napaul, and Roger Mais, among others. Old Hunt, its aged protago-
nist is a precursor to Lamming's Pa from In the Castle of My Skin (1953), a
repository of the folk memory and experience from Emancipation to colonial era.
Taitt's story is also an extremely skeptical interrogation of traditional religious
ideologies of the island community that surface later in the poetry of Claude
Theophilus Eastmond, himself a contributor to The Forum Quarterly. In contrast,
some stories such as "The Black Cat" (December 1934)embrace the folk and local
elements but only for the purposes of crude satire and caricature, while the slave
setting, slave characters, and folk idioms are peripheral to C. L. Gittens's "The
Last Wreck" ( Christmas 1931).
Elise Challenor's "Pioneers" (March 1933) manifests few of the attrib-
utes of accomplished fiction, but captures something of the spirit of the expecta-
tions of the journal in its vivid evocation of the educated West Indian's encounter
with the social realities of New York life. Written from New York as well, Lilian
Mason's "A Woman of Shutter Town" (June 1933) is a poignant inscription of
the dilemmas of African American inner city life. The 1940's offer little by way of

significant development in the stories that are published in the journal; while there
is a greater focus on West Indian personalities and settings, this is often expressed
in the form of sketches and vignettes rather than fully developed tales. Anna
Sealy's "Cedar Leaves" ( September 1944) is a simple tale of nature and West
Indian survival in a St. Lucian country setting, while by contrast, Millie Never-
son's "Heart Menders" (Christmas 1943) offers middle class protagonists and no
recognizable or significant West Indian settings, as does G. A. Holder's love story,
"Last Farewell" published in the same issue. In terms of centering folk or even
West Indian life, settings, concerns, or culture, the short fiction published in The
Forum Quarterly with very few exceptions satisfies few of the ideological
criteria the founders of the journal had sought to establish. This deficiency, and the
failure on the part of contributors to master the genre, continued to be sources of
frustration to the editors throughout the lifetime of the publication.
Poetry and The Forum Quarterly
The poetry published in The Forum Quarterly was for the most part
even more incongruous with the potentially subversive ideals of this little maga-
zine; throughout the region, poetry showed even more resistance to contemporary
trends than any other genre. Instead, it exemplified the influence of that imitative
tradition that Sander observed in the Trinidadian journals as well as in the region
as a whole:
Part of the unwillingness of The Beacon group to explore or even imitate
progressive trends in poetry may have stemmed from their conservative notions on
the nature and function of poetry. For example, the group seems never to have
considered creole as a proper form of poetic diction. They also seem to have
rejected the events of everyday life as proper material for poetry (1988, 41).
Colonial education privileged more conventional forms of poetic expres-
sion and discouraged ideological reflection, especially in verse. Ironically, the
modernist traditions of poetry and literature that interrogated self and society
exemplified by African American writing, available in the very pages of the
journal through articles and book reviews from the very beginning of the journal's
existence, hardly permeated the poetry published in The Forum Quarterly. In-
stead, these selections substantiate F. Wayne Cooper's assertion that "their [black]
West Indians' exploration of the dilemmas inherent in their marginal position as
the stepchildren of British culture remained submerged beneath a derivative pas-
toral tradition and respect for British literary forms and themes"(35). For Edward
Baugh, (West Indian Poetry), the verse of the period is further weakened through
its insistence on formal structures, and its dependence on "alien conventions and
models" such as "the Victorian poets" and, filtered through the Victorians, the
Romantics ... neoclassical decorum, didacticism and poetic diction." (5) Creole is
rarely employed in the poems found in The Forum Quarterly in the nineteen
thirties, and experiments with modern forms such as free verse are rare with the
exception of Claude T. Eastmond's "Dawn" (March 1933) and Lucy-Norman's

"The Jamaica Stone Breaker" (Christmas 1943). Significantly, in contrast to the
short story writers, The Forum Quarterly offered no advice to poets in respect of
focus or even craftsmanship, as if it shared its contributors' views as to the
purpose and nature of the genre. The magazine seemed to have accepted the
poetry submissions indiscriminately, although no prize poems were published, if
indeed any prizes for poetry were ever awarded. The report on the Club's study of
Palgrave's Golden Treasury of Verse, to the effect that "We pay attention to the
form the various poems take, study the scansions etc. We also make verses in
imitation of what we study" (March 1932) may be highly instructive.
Considering the resilience of this imitative tradition throughout the
West Indian colonies, it is hardly surprising that the overwhelming majority of the
verse published in The Forum Quarterly consists of trite, simplistic, cliched
rhymed reflections on traditional, generic themes. Christmas is an especially
recurrent, so are love, death and friendship. Few if any of the poems evoke their
West Indian origin or context, even when intended as tributes to regional land-
scapes. Erskine L. Waithe's "Home" ( March 1933 ), H. G. Dalton's "Our Beauti-
ful Hinterland" (September 1933) and W. L. Priestnal Jr's "Quest" (March 1934),
are among examples of pastoral hymns to Caribbean and foreign landscapes, so
typical of the age, as Cooper points out. One example of the latter type is Henry
B. Wilkinson's "Reverie" ( March 1933) that employs the language of nineteenth
century romantic poetry in its nostalgic re construction of the rural Barbados of the
poet's boyhood. Herbert Aylmer Thorne's poems are representative of another
strain of the verse of the period. An avowed protege of the Pre-Raphaelite poet
William Morris, Thore contributes "Ici-Bas" (Christmas 1931) and "The Death
of Winter" (March 1933), invoking French authors such as Prudhomme and
Ronsard, and other European muses.
A qualified exception is Wilkinson's "race" poem "El Mundo Negro"
(December 1933) which utilizes the poet's characteristic rhymed octaves in
repudiating Marcus Garvey's militant rhetoric. In the ambivalent discourse on race
that typifies his texts, Wilkinson's pointed rejoinder to black nationalism also
celebrates the creative accomplishments of the African heritage. Another Wilkin-
son poem, "My Ambition" (Christmas 1931) denounces racial injustice only
tangentially. It may be significant that Gordon Bell's serenade to black beauty
"Portrait of a Dark Virgin" that emulates McKay's verse in its themes and focus
- a poem much praised by Sander as ahead of its time- had appeared in The
Beacon in 1931, and not in the publication that Bell himself influenced and later
edited. The angry reaction from one reader to the publication of Errol Pilgrim's
non-fictional piece "A National Day for the West Indies" (Christmas 1931)- an
article that rejects rather than asserts race and the initially hostile Barbadian
response to The Beacon (Sander 1988, 33), are representative of racial anxieties of
the time.8

Yet ironically, it was poetry that would ultimately deliver the most
authentic West Indian voices, most notably, in Hilton Vaughan and A.J. Seymour.
The former had distinguished himself with "Prefatory Poem," his tribute to the
inaugural issue of the publication that shows that difference within tradition that
sets him apart from his contemporaries. Vaughan's uniqueness is even more
apparent with the publication of Sandy Lane and Other Poems 8 1944), as
illustrated in "The Donkey," The Forum Quarterly (December 1945), which
celebrates the folk tradition of the "tuk" band in its signifying response to the work
of Aylmer Thorne, Henry B.Wilkinson, indeed an entire tradition of poetry of
imitation and disparagement. Rarely had a Barbadian writer- especially a poet-
enshrined an aspect of folk life with such cultural significance, elevating a deval-
ued and under-represented area of Barbadian life. "To a Tudor Street Girl"
(December 1945) and "Dusk"9 (September 1944) are further testimony to the
confident self-consciousness envisaged by the founders of the journal more than
a decade earlier:
Turn sideways now and let them see
What loveliness escapes the schools,
Then turn again, and smile, and be
The perfect answer to the fools
Who always prate of Greece and Rome,
"The face that launched a thousand ships,"
And such like things, but keep tight lips
For burnished beauty nearer home.
Turn in the sun, my love, my love!
What palm-like grace! What poise! I swear
I prize these dusky limbs above
My life. What laughing eyes! What gleaming

Besides being revolutionary in its tribute to black beauty in the tradition
of Claude McKay's "Harlem Dancer," Vaughan's poem is an assault on a
Graeco-Roman aesthetic which is interrogated by McKay and his Harlem contem-
poraries. Between the appearance of the first issue of The Forum Quarterly and
Vaughan's work of the forties, fewer than a half dozen poems on race had been
published in the journal, the examples of Langston Hughes and McKay notwith-
standing; those written by Henry B. Wilkinson were self-flagellating, and ambiva-
lent at best. Although Vaughan's use of the inherited sonnet form to "elevate" a
folk tradition comes with its own contradictions, the influence of Harlem Renais-
sance poetics begins to surface in his verse, illustrating the philosophy that he
must have helped to formulate a dozen years earlier.

With Vaughan's poetry, The Forum Quarterly had at last come of age, if
only to a limited degree, but its days were numbered; after its December 1945
issue the journal folded for a second and final time. Between its suspension in
1934 and its reappearance a decade later, an event of major significance had
occurred, that evidently precipitated its demise: the establishment of Bim. That
Bim having appropriated the niche that The Forum Quarterly had been preparing
for itself, could assert its character as a literary journal, was a feat in no small way
due to the success of its predecessor in developing creative talent, and establishing
a community of readers for a literature of regional focus.
That the influence of The Forum Quarterly was gradual and limited at
best is attributable as much to the ambivalence of its educated directorate toward
its own stated ideals and its accommodation of the perspectives and expectations
of a privileged ruling elite, as to the resilience of those inherited aesthetic tradi-
tions the journal sought to replace. Indeed, the journal had long served as a mirror
through which the wider community could confront its own ambivalence and
contradictions. Ultimately, The Forum Quarterly's achievement transcended pro-
pelling West Indian writing- such as it was -into the limelight through fiction,
verse, reviews, book notices and literary competitions. Apart from providing
outlets for imaginative writing when few existed, the journal had taken the lead in
identifying new directions for creative writing at the critical juncture of an
evolving nationalism, in a way that no other Barbadian journal before or after
could claim, especially in the proposal of an alliance between literature and other
forms of discourse in defining Caribbean identity. Sander (1978) also sees in the
advice to short story writers to make greater use of West Indian settings "the first
tentative voice of literary independence ... "(6)10 Beyond this, the journal's publi-
cation policies evinced the broader vision of a community of diasporic voices in
perpetual exchange of experiences and literary responses. It is therefore not
surprising that, at the moment of its final reckoning, the various initiatives of The
Forum Quarterly culminated in the wider exposure of some of its contributors
such as Neville Giuseppe, John Wickham and Anna Sealy,11 through the BBC
programme Caribbean Voices. With this recognition, The Forum Quarterly's
necessary and transitional role of facilitating the emergence of the more self-as-
sured enterprise of Bim and the transforming novel tradition to which Lamming
alludes, was now complete.


1. Among Bim's other predecessors: Caribbee, The Beacon, Trinidad (Trinidad); West Indian Enter-
prise (St. Lucia); West Indian Critic and Review (Jamaica); The Outlook (Barbados).
2. The early demise of The Outlook seems attributable, at least in part, to Wickham's declining for-
tunes following his loss of a libel case brought by a wealthy white Barbadian merchant repre-

sented by Grantley Adams. See I speak for the people: The memoirs of Wynter Crawford.
(2003). Edited Woodville K. Marshall. Kingston, Jamaica: lan Randle, 48-55.
3 .Upon its reappearance in 1943, the journal changed its name to Forum. For convenience, the
name The Forum Quarterly will be used throughout this article.
4 .Walrond, who was on his way to Europe to fulfil the terms of his Guggenheim Fellowship, ad-
dressed the Club on ASome writers of the Negro Renaissance," while James spoke on Crown
Colony Government in Trinidad.
5 .The majority of pieces by African American writers are evidently reprints from other sources.
George Schuyler, however, did appear to write especially for the magazine.
6 .Wilkinson, who was born in Philadelphia of West Indian parents, published three collections of po-
etry: Idle Hours (1927), Shady-rest (1928), and Desert sands (1933). His verse makes for inter-
esting contrasts with that of Claude T. Eastmond (Light and shadows ,c 1934), and E. Lucien
Waithe (Songs and Life and Fancy, 1920). Eastmond and Waithe were both born in Barbados
but resettled in New York in the 1920's.
7. .Lamming's claim is slightly overstated, and ignores the work of the earliest immigrant writers
such as Claude McKay, and Eric Walrond especially, who published in the United States in the
8 .The journal occasionally entered the debate on race. In an editorial response to the representation
of black life in the islands by an English author subheaded, it opined Athe colour question can-
not be summarily treated as an extraneous or unimportant phase of the life in these colonies.
Those who have lived for any length of time in the West Indies realize that the urgent need for
a rationalization of racial relations cannot be exaggerated" (June 1932,3).Other articles such as
Ralph mentor's ARacial relationships,= (June 1932, 5-7), addressed this contentious issue.
9 Evidently, Vaughan renamed this poem for the collection. Howard Hayden's review of
Vaughan's anthology also refers to the poem as ARevelation," the name by which it is known
(December 1945,62-63).
10. Sander's statement is made in respect of other journals as well, especially The Beacon which es-
tablished similar criteria for its contributors.
II. I have not been able to verify this claim of Mrs. Sealy's independently. Bim could justly share in
this achievement, inasmuch as these writers, apart from Sealy, had published in this journal as


Baugh, E. (1966). Frank Collymore and the miracle of Bim. New World: Barbados Independence Is-
sue, 129-133.
Baugh, E. (Undated). West Indian Poetry, 1900-1970: A study in decolonization. Kingston, Jamaica:
Brathwaite, E.K. (1979). Barbados Poetry, a checklist: Slavery to the present.Kingston, Jamaica:
Cooper, W. F. (1966). Claude McKay: rebel sojoumer in the Harlem Renaissance: A biography. Ba-
ton Rouge and London: Louisiana State University Press.
Fraser, H., Carrington, S., Forde, A. & Gilmore, J. (1990). A-ZofBarbadian heritage. Kingston,
Jamaica: Heinemann.
Fanon, F. (1971). The wretched of the earth. Harmondsworth, England: 1971
Hunte, K.. (1987). The struggle for political democracy : Charles Duncan O'Neale and the Demo-
cratic League. Emancipation I 11: Aspects of the post-slavery experience of Barbados.
Lamming, G. (1984) The pleasures of exile. London: Allison and Busby.


Samaroo, B. (1977) Introducion. The Beacon. Volumes I-I V Millwood, New York: Kraus Re-
print, i-xii.
Sander, R. W. (1978). Introduction. From Trinidad: An anthology of early West Indian writing. Lon-
don: Hodder and Stoughton, 1-9.
Sander, R. W. (1988). The Trinidad awakening: West Indian literature of the nineteen thirties. New
York: Greenwood Press.


Review of Rose Mary Salum's Entre los espacios [Between the Spaces], Editorial
Terra Firme: Mexico 2002
Female Latin American authors are now well established as practitioners
of short story writing. Their contributions to this genre have created a distinct
category within the canon. Entre los espacios, Rose Mary Salum's collection of
twelve stories is a significant addition to this corpus. A striking feature of the
work is the versatility of the author's creative talent, demonstrated in her manipu-
lation of different literary modalities. The stories bear witness to her mastery of the
art of navigating within the short story's time-space boundaries as each tale
interweaves synchronic and diachronic views of human experience. In one of the
shorter pieces,"De color arena" [The Colour of Sand] Salum deftly encodes the
story of a life of hardship and material deprivation in the telescopically detailed
snapshot of a disembodied and worn pair of hands. "Pas lo que me importa" [For
all I care] brings past, present and future together in a single moment as a woman
grieves over the death of her husband. As she contemplates the prospect of her
two sons repeating the history of their father who died at the hands of kidnappers,
her lament conflates acknowledgement of the suffering of past abuse and retro-
spective admission of the benefits, both material and mental, of marriage. The
expanding waves of the female narrator's memory in "El cisne" [The swan], enable
her to both recall ruefully moments in her personal history, and to inscribe a new
meaning on the past from the vantage point of the present.
Since the second half of the last century female writers of the region have
shown a tendency to transform or parody consecrated works in the male-domi-
nated literary canon. Signs of such a disposition appear in this collection's first
story "Aguantame tantito mas," [Wait just a little bit more]. The story focuses on
the proverbial plight of the poor rural Mexican. In both theme and stylistic
economy it brings to mind a Mexican precursor, Juan Rulfo, who published El
llano en llamas (The Burning Plains) in 1953. The monologue of the unnamed
single mother in Salum's story expresses simultaneously her awareness of a history
of neglect of the poor by the state authorities, her valiant struggle against the ruin
caused by an implacably hostile physical environment, and her preoccupation with
safeguarding the well- being of her son in the midst of the nature's devastation.
Unlike Juan Rulfo's representation of a similar reality in tragic terms, however,
Salum's tale allows self reliance, reliance on community, the will to endure, and
the endurance of the nurturing maternal spirit to emerge as significant themes.
Its cynical allusions to religion also marks the collection's Latin Ameri-
can pedigree. In "De color de arena" [The colour of sand] the scepticism assumes
a subtle tone: the praying posture of the owner of the pair of hands and the staging
of the scene within a church are an ironic pointer to the futility of religious faith.
In the case of "Pas lo que me importa." [For all I care], however, undisguised

heresy is fundamental to the outlook of the female protagonist whose antipathy
towards her sanctimonious community and its religious culture hardens in the face
of her material tragedy.
Despite the foibles of the characters, their portraits are sketched with
compassion. Disclosure of these frailties allows the reader to recognize the char-
acters= humanity. Salum's creations are the products of their time, determined by
their social and cultural circumstances. Prostitute and homosexual find a place in
these stories alongside the more socially acceptable characters. The pragmatism
motivating the mother's grief for her dead husband in "Pas lo que me importa."
[For all I care] is mitigated by her self-denying love for her sons and her failure to
find solidarity with her hostile community. Embedded beneath the theme of the
frailty of human life and the inevitability of death in "Siempre firmes." ["Forever
strong"], is the issue of homosexuality in Latin America where a high value is
placed on fixed notions of masculinity. This ironic and poignantly tragic story
recounts the experience of an old man at the point of death who, in order to
maintain his public image, has spent his life hiding his homosexuality behind a
grotesque mask of machismo. His fear of embracing his "feminine" side leads to
self-alienation, vitiating in the process his relationship with his "less-than-macho"
son whom he tries to chide into denying his essential self. The criticism in this
story is directed less at the old man's intransigence and hypocrisy as an individual,
and more at the cultural environment that tolerates no deviation from its rules of
gender behaviour.
Some stories transcend a specific social context and embrace age-old
metaphysical themes such as death, dream and desire. Others treat contemporary
human and global problems: the human dislocation that rapid technological ex-
pansion has caused ("Entremes, entrada y despedida") [Side Dish, Entree, Final
Course] and the casualties of environmental degradation thematized in "Agonia de
las estrellas" [Agony of the Stars]. Fashioned as an allegorical fable, the latter
story laments the loss of a world of primeval innocence akin to the prehistoric
world of Macondo in Garcia Mirquez's novel One Hundred Years of Solitude.
However, the apocalyptic outcome of the novel is averted in Salum's story, and the
end of the odyssey of the child-protagonist Shuang-lee promises the restoration of
a Utopian past "when all creation was one."
Gender-consciousness, now a hallmark of women's writing almost uni-
versally, is a significant dimension of Salum's fictional universe. Issues of gender
simmer beneath the surface of many stories. Two points to note in the collection,
however, are the absence of a strident feminism and the interest in projecting the
gender theme from a male perspective. "Hasta que la vida me.alcance" [Until Life
Gets Me] places a banal heterosexual relationship in an unusual light. The scenario
of the story is the union of a wealthy, sexually impotent man and a significantly
younger prostitute. Making Adelaida into his Romantic idol, Pablo acknowledges
and compensates for his sexual impotence and satisfies his desire for communica-

tion, for she, having tired of commodified sex, appeases through him her yearning
for respect, protection and paternal love. Salum has transformed their liaison into
an acceptable arrangement of mutual convenience. In revealing alternately the
consciousness of each character, Salum privileges the male perspective by using
Pablo's first person voice, while an omniscient narrator relays Adelaida's thinking.
Happiness and fulfilment, though translated differently by each, ensue for both.
Entre los espacios promotes tolerance of difference and the notion of
unity in diversity. This is the idea that is refracted through the theme of"El suefio
de Odette"[Odette's Dream] a story which proposes a bridging of the often over-
looked divide between women who choose to play traditional roles, on the one
hand, and their counterparts who choose a feminist path, on the other. Two
women a longsuffering traditional wife who depends on her husband's love for
self-validation, and her liberated, self-reliant modem sister are at the centre of
this story. The latter, whose perspective controls the discourse, is shown as
non-judgmental in her compassion for and her acceptance of her younger sister.
Sisterly love, in both literal and figurative senses, is celebrated as transcending
erotic love in value and endurance. A corollary of the promotion of female
bonding, it is implied, will be the displacement of the conventional perceptions of
differences between women as divisive. To highlight this vision of female identity
the narration shifts surreptitiously from the monologic epistolary mode into a
dialogue in which the voices of the two sisters become confusedd and indistin-
guishable. The strategy is reminiscent of the short story, "Cuando las mujeres
quieren a los hombres."[When Women Love Men], written by Puerto Rico's
Rosario Ferr6, which unites the wife with the prostitute in a similar fashion.
Its coverage of a wide variety of human experiences, situations, relation-
ships and emotions also enhances the collection's appeal. Another of its signifi-
cant achievements is the dexterity with which the author has tailored the linguistic
register to the narrative situation in each story. Discourse and theme complement
each other. Salum moves with stylistic ease from the Mexican vernacular in one
story to the discourse of standard Spanish in another. She draws on Latin Amer-
ica's fertile narrative tradition, by incorporating the polyphonic narrative popular-
ized by Peru's Mario Vargas Llosa and other writers of the 1960's, the fictional
enigma of the kind created by Jorge Luis Borges and Julio Cortizar in their short
stories, as well as the old-fashioned story telling mode to which female writers
have returned since the late 1970's. Some stories relate to the specific Latin
American national context. These alternate with stories featuring characters of
various ethnic backgrounds Lebanese, Chinese, Russian thereby insisting on
the multicultural make-up of these societies. "Las voces del agua"[Voices of
Water] is an example of how Salum has transposed an old Latin America literary
convention on a new cultural reality. in the earliest tradition of Latin American
literature costumbrismo or the literary expression of anthropological themes was
based on the life of the Amerindian peoples, and was later associated with repre-
sentations of the African-derived cultural ethos. Increased crossing of national

borders in the twentieth century has made other ethnic groups and their culture
important constituents of various Latin American nations. Salum incorporates the
costumbrista method, applying it to the new immigrant sector. The account of
Lebanese tradition in "Las voces del agua" highlights the immutable patriarchal
restrictions faced by Naidin, in her timeless quest for a self-constructed identity
that befits her location in the contemporary world. In this way Salum has ex-
panded her vision to encompass experiences and concerns which resonate beyond
the boundaries within which the characters function. Her collection is an example
of one of the directions of recent Latin American narrative.
The heterogeneity that defines the substance, representational modes and
worldview of this collection, as well as the sublimation of some stories to a
mythical and allegorical plane constitute a clear ecumenical statement which
situates Entre los espacios within the space of postmodern narrative fiction.
Between Self-Determination and Dependency: Jamaica's Foreign Relations
1972-1989. Holger Henke. The University of the West Indies Press, 2000, 206 pp.
There is among Jamaicans a widespread consciousness of the substance
and meanings of their history, more comprehensive than that possessed by my
fellow US citizens about their own. But to what degree does this consciousness
extend to recent Jamaican history, in which-after the briefest of feints toward
socialism in the 1970s-Jamaicans were made hostage to a debt, and an interna-
tional system of unequal trade, whose present conditions cannot be overcome?
The true character of Jamaica's devilment, after all, lies in the detailed workings of
that system.
The distant past, of course, can be rendered so vague and glorious as to
threaten no one. To the degree that recent history, on the other hand, is examined
and contested there is hope Jamaicans may begin to discern the true nature of their
"dependency" (even if the first world is far more dependent on Jamaica's wealth
and resources than the reverse). While the details of this process remain the
province of the privileged-of policy elites or pundits of both of the country's major
political parties, now equally invested in maintenance of the status quo-there is
only the daily struggle for survival for Jamaica's poor people, no "usable past" at
That contest does persist, if in attenuated form, in discussion of the
1970s, when the Jamaican people were most ideologically divided. Increasingly,
however, the period is served up as a kind of cautionary fable, told in the way that
fairy tales are often used to frighten and discipline children. High on the list of
these pseudo-narratives, introduced whenever the need for real economic change
is broached, is the story that between 1972 and 1980 the Michael Manley govern-
ment, in an access of ideological fervor, drove Jamaica quite close to civil war.

One contribution of the book under review lies in its portrayal of how this
particular tale-this ur-narrative of modern Jamaican development-has been
shaped, and how limited the terms of Jamaican political discourse have become.
From the end of the first Michael Manley government, Holger Henke argues, a
new "discursive dependency" began to obtain in Jamaica (7). Growing control
over the terms of national debate was imposed by the Edward Seaga government
that replaced Manley's, by a cooperative press and emboldened bourgeoisie. The
change took place under the watchful gaze and increasing influence of the US,
whose Cold War stance toward the Caribbean had been renewed, in part, through
the connivance of the Jamaican ruling class.
Henke seeks to determine what real autonomy Jamaica's elected leaders
had in the historic circumstance, both under Manley and Seaga. And-another
signal contribution of the book-he does it by setting forth the political and eco-
nomic context in which those decisions were taken (or-the question of agency
being paramount-under which those actors were constrained to take them).
As a US citizen who became absorbed in the drama of the Michael
Manley government as it first unfolded, I often find myself returning in wonder to
that pivotal moment, that aporia-as it is tempting to call it-in which Manley, on the
apparent verge of a wholesale reorientation of Jamaica's economy, instead em-
braced the International Monetary Fund. If one were writing a mainstream histori-
cal account of the period, it might only remain to decide whether, in the
conjuncture, Manley made a tragic decision from which Jamaica still suffers or
(instead) underwent some saving moment of clarity; was defeated by worsening
political and economic circumstances; or bravely faced an emerging global reality.
The moment becomes less enigmatic when one learns from Henke that
even as Manley was giving his famous 1977 "We are not for sale; we know where
we're going" speech to Kingston supporters-proclaiming Jamaicans' sovereignty
over their own affairs-the decision had been taken. Members of Manley's People's
National Party, disguised as tourists, had held secret meetings with IMF officials
late in the previous year, initiating the process that would lead to a first loan
agreement with the agency. To some of Henke's readers this will not be news;
what is likely to be news, however, is that the final decision regarding the IMF was
left to Manley's wealthiest backer, financier Mayer Matalon, an indication of
where real power in the People's National Party had come to rest, or (arguably)
had always lain.
In his study of national decision-making during the thirteen years that
followed, Henke provides a sobering and instructive description of the power the
multilateral lending agencies have to discipline poor countries. The extent to
which the US and IMF came to dictate Jamaican affairs-and how quickly-may be
seen in the case of the Ministry of National Mobilization, which-in the event that
revolutionary measures had been introduced-would have been central to the popu-
lar defense of such changes. In talks with PNP Secretary General D.K. Duncan,

US Deputy Assistant Secretary of State William H. Luers called the ministry "an
'irritant' and 'throw-away' line," Henke writes, "and made clear that it had no
future. Luers also made it plain... that economic relations with the Soviet Union
'were not on in any serious way"'(58). The value of the Ministry or Jamaican-So-
viet relations aside, the US was now telling Jamaica to do away with a branch of
its government, how and with whom it should conduct its affairs. Jamaica-and
democracy itself-had overnight become junior partners in an economic arrange-
ment under which Jamaica would face continually changing demands and-if the
patronizing nature of the exercise were not obvious enough-infantilizing annual
"tests" of its compliance and concomitant "penalties" for "failure."
It is as important to a productive re-reading of the period to acknowledge
what Manley agreed to, under the provisions of two IMF loans, as it is to
understand where right-wing successor Seaga then led Jamaica. Though lenient,
Henke writes, terms of the first loan flew completely in the face of promises the
PNP had made to the Jamaican people. They included limitations on wage in-
creases and-contrary to the party's declared policy of an expanded governmental
role in social welfare-an agreement to curtail public sector growth. Henke's
observations here remind us that, however they may be justified now (by Manley
backers and detractors), the turn to the IMF was in no way a democratic decision.

Another issue central to Henke's investigation of Jamaican self-determi-
nation and dependency in the period-raised but too quickly dropped-is whether the
country's sovereignty had been compromised before the IMF entered the picture,
whether Manley had entered into some agreement with the US before his election.
US Ambassador to Jamaica Vincent de Roulet was declared persona non grata by
Jamaica in 1973 after telling the US Congress "he had promised not to interfere"
in the previous year's elections if Manley "would refrain from making the foreign
bauxite investments an issue during the.. campaign" (54). But apparently no
one, including Henke, ever became terribly interested in whether Manley com-
plied with Roulet's coercive offer. The ambassador's testimony (circumstancial
though it may be), suggests it was an offer Manley could not refuse.
One of the ironies of Manley's embrace of the IMF is that it helped bring
his electoral defeat; cuts in government spending that followed the agreement
eroded his mass base, paving the way for Seaga's 1980 victory. The Manley
government had, in fact, already borrowed heavily to finance its spending on
social programs, Henke notes, deepening the country's financial problems and
speeding the move to the IMF, measures that call into question the degree of PNP
commitment to an overall policy of Jamaican "self-reliance." Those measures
were hardly creative of disciplined grassroots democracy either, it's worth noting,
but conformed to the top-down nature of too many PNP initiatives, including the
party's timid efforts at land reform and the failed establishment of national sugar

Jamaica's financial situation would only worsen. Economic hard times-
especially for the broad mass of the people-are expected to follow structural
adjustment, as night follows day; they are part of the very rough calculus of their
distant planners. Not a single country has seen its economy grow under "structural
adjustment," which Henke notes is a term "borrowed" from the South American
left by US policymakers. The Manley government would soon seek further loans.
But the tenor of relations with the IMF, meantime, had altered. Antago-
nized by the Manley government's continued-if largely rhetorical-gestures toward
socialism, Washington had hardened in its view of Jamaica; the IMF's new stance
reflected this. The agency became less interested in Jamaica's "performance" than
in its submission, "demonstrations of the government's 'readiness to undertake a
radical change in... its policies." Demands included a further 30 percent devalu-
ation of the Jamaican dollar, "asked for without any technical justification. .. and
a guaranteed 20 percent profit margin for the private sector" (61).
The IMF was anticipating Seaga's victory, if not outright preparing it;
contrary to all protocols, the organization actually began negotiating with Seaga
before the election, (another issue it would have been interesting to learn more
about from Henke). According to Hugh Small, the IMF didn't really even consider
the demands it was now making "to be realizable in Jamaica," but aimed only "to
prevent the Jamaican economy from moving before a winding down of the
political process" to election time (62).
In the conventional telling of this tale the Manley government had
brought these hardships on itself-with its militant declarations of Jamaican sover-
eignty, its embrace of relations with Cuba and its backing for the Popular Move-
ment in the Angola war. Henke's suggestion that the government could have
softened its rhetoric, antagonizing the US administration of Jimmy Carter less and
buying more space for real maneuver-ignore the realities of the period, the politi-
cal climate and clamor for change that it reflected. It is revealing to note Henke's
contention, however-if one is interested in the true degree of the PNP govern-
ment's progressivism-that Manley and his people misjudged their relationship
with the Carter administration because of the amiable relationship they had estab-
lished with the Congressional Black Caucus and then-U.N. ambassador Andrew
Young. A naive belief in black unity seems to have trumped, in the instance, a
more realistic reading of where the interests of the black middle class in the US
really lay.
The Jamaican right, however, had no such pretensions. It seized on
Manley and his aides' pro-Cuban pronouncements, making Cuban "interference"
in Jamaica's affairs the cudgel with which the door to power was beaten down.
This despite the negligible size of real traffic between the two countries: in the
year when trade between reached its zenith Jamaican exports to Cuba constituted
but 3.2% of exports to all the non-Commonwealth Caribbean countries (33).

The capital flight that Manley government militancy (or posturing) pro-
voked is, in the conventional telling, judged to have cost Jamaica dear. Illegal
export of capital amounted to several hundred million dollars, money that-accord-
ing to one Henke source-might "have made the difference in whether or not to go
to the IMF." It's worth noting, however, that Jamaica has now and for some time
expended 63% of its national budget, or 8% of its GDP, in servicing the foreign
debt. Jamaican capital has thus continued to "fly"-it's just the people's capital (that
capital which development experts so often accuse the Third World of failing to
produce) that took wing. Henke reminds us of Marx's observation that money is
"curdled power;" it is, of course, the people's power-their sovereignty-that accom-
panies such backflowing "remittances."
Though Henke believes Manley government diplomacy lacked restraint,
I'm not persuaded that, in any relative sense, this was the case. In its management
of the bauxite levy (for example), the PNP had demonstrated it could handle
matters likely to alarm the local and metropolitan bourgeoisie with considerable
delicacy. Had the government carried out the real reforms at least part of the party
was intent on, its "ill-advised" rhetoric might today simply be seen as having
prepared the ground for subsequent, needed change.
But Jamaica's bourgeoisie certainly did seize on elements in Manley
government rhetoric and turn them on the government. The bourgeoisie-in which
a growing comprador class was quickly gaining the upper hand over older nation-
alist remnants-in fact came to define itself through its opposition to Manley and
socialism, developing the sort of self-recognition that Marx suggested makes a
class a class (much more, alas, than did Jamaican workers or the poor during this
same period). Institutionally, this period saw the birth of the Private Sector of
Jamaica (PSOJ), with the national Chamber of Commerce-prior representative of
the country's nationalist bourgeoisie-beginning to lose power. The PSOJ received
aid and encouragement, Henke tells us, from the US Agency for International
Development, which has as its charter (lest we forget) to "increase the influence of
the private sector" in countries where it works; that agency was also heavily
involved in Jamaican government decisions about privatization of public holdings
and public programs in the same period and later, under Seaga. The growing
sophistication of the bourgeoisie accompanied a more general "convergence of
positions" across the decade between what Henke calls "the political repre-
sentatives of international capital and. .. an increasingly 'de-nationalized' and
hence transnationalizing, bourgeoisie."
The fight against Manley included a concerted program of disinforma-
tion, with the Daily Gleaner-outrageously-using the arrival of a new Cuban am-
bassador to speculate that a communist coup was imminent and Jamaican business
leaders criticizing the government in the US media. A hostile tone began to
pervade reporting about Jamaica in the US, with the New York Times fallaciously
charging Cuba had "entered into agreement to train the police forces of Jamaica,"

a job the US, Canada, and Britain have preferred to carry out themselves, before
and since (43).
Seaga himself undermined the Manley government in remarkable ways.
Recent provocations by the aging opposition leader look tame beside his nigh-well
treasonable actions of October 1977, when he called a press conference in London
to declare that "Mr. Manley is deliberately furthering Cuban designs," and that on
the basis of "manipulation" by the ruling party Jamaican democracy ("the fair
election system") was threatened with overthrow (45). Seaga was "a major source
of intelligence" for the US regarding Jamaica, according to Henke; in 1979 the
Gleaner reported he had provided the US state department with a document
connecting members of Manley's staff with the KGB and Cuban secret police
It's significant, then, that the period following the first Manley govern-
ment's demise, the eight years in which the country was led by Edward Seaga,
escapes the negative critical scrutiny that is ritually showered on the Manley era,
despite the fact that it was far more instrumental in shaping the current Jamaican
reality, and more disastrous. There is a widespread perception, abetted by the
media, that Seaga's JLP rescued the country from idealistic incompetency, restor-
ing fiscal stability and righting a foundering ship of state (72). In the book's
otherwise oddly inapposite preface Don Mills-who served as Manley's ambassa-
dor to the UN-ambivalently characterizes this received notion as a "return to
sanity, orthodoxy and the democratic path."
Now in power, Seaga made a "calculated attempt to re-integrate Jamaica
into the political and economic... matrix dominated by international capital" and
the US. Not surprisingly, the concerted effort to tie Jamaica to the US and its
foreign policy, along with Seaga's continued appeals for loans and capital from a
more compliant IMF, further diminished the island nation's autonomy.
The "whole public discourse on economics and politics operated to a
much greater extent in favour of the Seaga government than most political analysts
have realized," says Henke (70). Public comment on Jamaica's finances came to
concentrate only "on macro- and micro-economics, the functioning of markets,
etc., with very businesslike, pragmatic and clear anticommunist under- and over-
tones." The consequence was an "uprooting of. . sustained discussions... of
power. .. among and within classes." The word "class" itself disappeared from
news accounts of the country's development and labor struggles, replaced by
analysis of industrial "sectors" and "national economic units." Discussion of
"what kind of democracy and human rights development Jamaica would favour or
a general discussion of the role of the state" disappeared (70). The term "interde-
pendence," meanwhile, beloved of US policy makers and often deployed by them
to obscure their dominance in affairs with a dependent periphery, was adopted by
Seaga and used prodigiously. It helped "immunize" the JLP against critics who

claimed the country's sovereignty was being "eroded by the government's exces-
sive use of foreign assistance" (105).
This reorientation of political rhetoric was undertaken for ideological
reasons, but also in hopes that the US would look favorably on Jamaica when it
came time to dispense aid. "The United States will take care of us," Newsweek
quoted one Jamaican businessman saying, "We just have to say how much we hate
Castro, and salute Wall Street" (107). When Seaga broke relations with Cuba on
taking office-a move opposed by a solid majority of Jamaicans-Jamaica was
commended by a US government spokesperson for making a decision "essential to
its own interest" (108).
Henke details the slavish manner in which Seaga struggled to curry
Ronald Reagan's favor, reporting that the Jamaican government "was involved in
both the planning and the execution" of the US invasion of Grenada (114) and
"quite functional" in helping the US evolve a rationale to justify the act, though by
any international legal standard it was utterly illegal (13). After Seaga's initial call
for an invasion was "flatly" rejected by the US State Department, we are told,
Seaga "got through to the White House" and convinced Reagan an invasion was in
both their interests. The Jamaican Prime Minister displayed a "notably higher
level of indifference," however, towards the lack of democracy in Haiti (115),
where members of his government had ties to Duvalier, urging the international
community to work with the Namphy government that replaced him even after the
brutal violence that attended the 1987 election.
What Jamaica received for Seaga's exertions nonetheless proved negli-
gible. The Caribbean Basin Initiative, early drafts of which held provisions that
might have aided Jamaica economically, was eviscerated by US textile interests to
whom Reagan was more beholden than Seaga; it delivered the odious and exploi-
tive spectacle of Jamaica's "free" enterprise zones, exposed for their chattel-like
conditions in Stepanie Black's recent film documentary Life and Debt, but (at least
for the mass of Jamaican people) it brought precious few hoped-for gains. Despite
the more favorable conditions of IMF loans Seaga obtained (the first "granted"
just months after he took office), the economy failed to take off. "There was a clear
downward tendency between 1980 and 1986" with the economy contracting in '84
and '85; by the end of the 1980s, it operated at a level no greater than it had in the
early 1970s. Export agriculture, which Seaga had vowed to turn around, was
stagnant (74).
The most pernicious emphasis of IMF policy, in Jamaica and elsewhere,
is the effort to depress wages; Henke confirms this as the major thrust of "struc-
tural adjustment" programs. The policies that follow this "philosophy"-furthest
thing from Adam Smith's "free hand" of the market-are no more than radical
interventions on capital's behalf against the world's working poor. In pursuance of
such policy (ostensibly carried out to lure capital investment) the Seaga govern-
ment mounted an all-out assault on labor. The 1986 Amendment to Jamaica's

Labour Relations and Industrial Disputes Act "ended the legal right of free
bargaining over wages, social conditions. . [and] benefits" (88). Under it, Ja-
maica's Minister of Labor can at any time intervene in collective bargaining
between an employer and its workers and refer disputes to an Industrial Dispute
Tribunal, a body that generally sees the interests of business as coincident with the
public interest. (The PNP has found it convenient to retain this power.)
The IMF-government effort to suppress wages was wildly successful; by
the end of the 80s the government could boast that the average wage per hour for
workers in Jamaican export industries was US $.63 an hour, or 1/22 of the
comparable wage in the US. (It was at the time $.58 in Haiti (78).)
IMF and World Bank-supervised wage restrictions and cutbacks brought
an all-too "familiar pattern of social hardships." As per capital social expenses by
the government "fell from J$51.58 in 1982/83 to J$13.50 in 1984/85," cuts in
social programs quickly took their toll on the Jamaican people. "Poverty and
maldistribution of income, malnutrition, rapidly deteriorating health and educa-
tion standards, poor public transportation and prohibitive costs for housing" were
the most common features of a "general deterioration of living standards" across
the decade (77).
Most criminal was the way Seaga bled Jamaica's healthcare system,
cutting per capital outlays by 42 percent and then hurrying, haphazardly, to restore
them as elections approached and the health of the Jamaican people began, in
direct proportion, to suffer. (The sudden turnabout in policy predictably brought
Seaga into conflict with the IMF.)
The induced collapse of the country's health system was not unique to
Jamaical. Recent studies have shown how many countries' inability to deal with
the AIDS epidemic can be linked in part to the widespread elimination of or
privatization of health programs in poor countries.
Like other governments, Henke says, Jamaica had to borrow money and
reschedule its amortization payments because it could not keep up with its obliga-
tions. Thus between 1986 and 1988 the World Bank and the IMF received from
Jamaica a surplus of US $654 million over disbursements from the agency to the
country. "This led to an increasingly precarious foreign exchange shortage remi-
niscent of what had befallen the Manley government in the 1970s" (143). How
dependent the country became on the short-term infusions of auxiliary funds it
borrowed to service such loans, then, may be seen in the book's most painful
anecdote-first disclosed in US Congressional testimony-about a frantic late-De-
cember call Seaga made to Abdur Sakhia, an official of the Bank of Commerce
and Credit with whom he had developed a "questionable personal" relationship,
asking for an emergency loan. "We need oil," Seaga reportedly told the banker,we
need seeds for planting, can we make an exception here? Finally he called me in
desperation at home. He told me, there is an oil ship which is here in Kingston

already, it is ready to unload the oil. If we don't unload it we will have a dark
Christmas in Jamaica. Just give us an extra $4 million or $5 million an (sic) we
will make it up to BCCI, I promise you personally (144).
Though the media instruct us that this period was one of greater prosper-
ity and renewed calm, the feeling wasn't shared by Jamaicans of the period. Six
years into the Seaga government 65% "were of the view that conditions in the
island were worse than in 1980, while only 23% thought that they had improved"
(71). How, it must be asked, has the perception developed that things improved
under the JLP?
The modesty of Henke's recommendations signals an ironic acquies-
cence to the limited terms of the debate that he laments, and to the wider strictures
of a global neoliberal regime to which, only now, does the world see stirring of a
challenge. Among the most salient of the author's recommendations: making
government ministries more accountable to the public; placing greater emphasis
on education; reviving the Carribbean Community (Caricom); and development of
a more skilled and effective Jamaican diplomatic corps.
The first of these is, perhaps, coming about-in limited reformist terms-for
the wrong reasons: the bourgeoisie's rising fears that the political process may
become so discredited as to threaten their own survival, an accompanying under-
standing that the spoils system, in its current extravagant state of abuse, stands in
the way of further cuts in the "pork" that the insatiable knife of neoliberalism yet
seeks to trim from the backs of Jamaican working people. But what Jamaica needs
is real democracy, and equitable distribution of her fairly plentiful economic and
other resources; techno-talk of government "transparency" only obscures the fact
that the Jamaican people do not possess their government in the first place.
Jamaica will have no choice, long-term, but to work closely with the
Caricom countries. But while there is no denying that expanded cooperation may
stimulate their economies the question remains: at what price and on whose terms?
Those of businessmen-whose capital already knows no national affiliation-or the
Caribbean people? The day when what was good for business was automatically
assumed to be good for the people-a ridiculous idea pressed on us by metropolitan
ideologues-must be discarded and demands for the commonweal supplant it, or
any Caribbean integration will yield not more but less equality.
That Jamaica must place greater emphasis on education seems inargu-
able. But within current constraints how can it? Prime Minister P.J. Patterson's
government, which sought to plant the seeds of a black middle class with its failed
banking policies of the 1990s, has only belatedly (if now) recognized how harmful
IMF-induced education cutbacks have been to that goal. Jamaican literacy, once a
source of power and hope in Jamaica, has fallen by at least ten percentage points
in the last decade.

And education for what? "Professionalization" of the kind that Canada or
Britain may provide support for? Literacy for the reading of fast food instruction
manuals or-more pertinently-of the kind that would enable the nation's disinher-
ited people to reason together and make sense of their history, to create new,
organic institutions that meet their own needs?
Students of Jamaican foreign relations may welcome Henke's proposal
that a new program in diplomacy be started at the University of the West Indies. A
skilled diplo corps-which he imagines might cost $2 million US yearly-could
more ably advance Jamaica's fortunes if supported by a lobbying effort that
promotes tourism and pending US legislation that serves Jamaica's interests. This
is, of course, the business of doing business in the neoliberal economy. But
Jamaicans lack neither social polish nor persuasive strategies with which to press
their arguments. The more important question is: what are the peoples'most
pressing interests? Can the present government, the present system, define those
interests, let alone address them in the people's name? How much more crucial
that Jamaica diplomats plead the cause of real change or real bilateral trade, not in
the metropolitan capitals but among their analogues in the rest of the world's
I don't buy Henke's contention, finally, that "heavily indebted countries
such as Jamaica hardly [have] any realistic alternative... [but] kowtow (99)." In
the end the debtor countries will have no choice, I continue to believe, but
disengage from their debt, and to engage in measured multilateral delinking. That
this process will be painful, perhaps convulsive, must be taken as given. But as
their debts grow more absurdly astronomical it becomes more financially inevita-
ble that they do so (morally imperative that it be done before too much more
suffering or outright chaos-the chaos of the unfettered marketplace-ensues.) The
US has worked hard to ensure that no cartel of debtor nations emerges, Henke tells
us, playing poor countries off against each other. "In the classical divide and rule
fashion, they [have] offered. . special concessions and arrangements, thereby
creating the illusory impression that each country could maximize its benefits by
utilizing a bilateral approach" (92). US and metropolitan bankers live in terror of
a combined effort of the kind Henke describes, as he acknowledges. On a day
when seven or eight nations, in coordinated effort (with Brazil, China, and India at
their head?) make a calculated, somber and coordinated break with international
banking, we may be looking at the beginnings of a real New World.
Jamaican politicians may lack the class base or courage to push for real
change now; the contradictions do not diminish because of it. The clamor for
equality does not go away no matter how much is invested in discrediting efforts
to redress injustice for a simple reason: however conveniently history is revised or
discourse narrowed, both grinding and the thirst for better remains. The battle may
be extended but it can't be extinguished.

My Grandmother's Erotic Folktales by Robert Antoni, First publ. 2000 by Faber
and Faber Ltd, London and the 2001 edition by Grove Press, NY. 201 pages.
The narrator of Robert Antoni's My Grandmother's Erotic Folktales
"...of course, as you might have guessed..." is in her ninety-sixth year and a
widow. Her stories are being told for the benefit of Johnny, her eleven- or
twelve-year-old grandson. As the cover-blurb says, they form "a tapestry of
interlocking and exaggerated memories...(l)yrical and lewd, fabulous and scato-
logical...(with)...guest appearances from historical interlopers ranging from Sir
Walter Raleigh to Eisenhower".
One reference book gives the following on folk tales. "When the human
race was young, a body of unwritten literature gradually took form...a traditional
literature including myths, fables, nursery rhymes and folk tales. (I)t has been
discovered that variants of the same story are told in widely separate parts of the
world. For instance, more than 300 versions of Cinderella have come down to us
in many languages... Folk tales are enjoyed by children because of their dramatic
qualities and strong plots; they are important in developing the imagination,
building ethical concepts, and providing understanding of racial customs and
characteristics." These were no doubt some considerations that influenced the
writing of the book being reviewed.
Robert Antoni is by birth Trinidadian, but clearly now more a citizen of
the world. It would be a great help if the reader were either also a Trinidadian,
understood the psyche of such a person, or had even a passing acquaintance with
the language. Decidedly not as far separated from Standard English as is, say, the
Jamaican language, it nonetheless makes certain demands for comprehension
because, inter alia, Trinidad's version of English contains many words and expres-
sions which owe their form to the French patois of neighboring islands and, fewer
perhaps, to a Caribbean variety of Spanish. Antoni's clear familiarity with the
language of Spain accounts for a spnnkling of words associated with that lan-
guage. It is, however, not always to be expected that some kind of hint will be
offered to aid understanding. Context may at times be of assistance, not always,
yet a glossary as an aid to the uninitiated is not given as an option here. For the
benefit of those readers who do not know, "boo-zooms" and "tot-tots" both refer
to breasts, and will not be found in any English dictionary. A Spanish dictionary
will help with the often used "pendejo" for scoundrel, and fortunately a translation
is given for "los sesos estrujan a este nino" from the episode in which a boy is
stricken with meningitis.
Early in the game Antoni acknowledges the existence of some very old
children's stories in words he puts into the grandmother's mouth. "Amadao came
to say it was Ali Baba or some genie so at the door. I told Amadao that I didn't
know no genie, and if it was Ali Baba in truth all he had to say was 'Open up,
Sesame'...". Later he patterns his Iwana, used and abused by her wicked step-
mother and stepsisters, quite closely on the Cinderella story.

The tale of how Crab-o lost his head is akin to typical Caribbean folklore
tales that seek to explain a creature's specific identifying characteristics. Antoni
here also borrows the riddle motif of how Rumpelstiltskin's name was guessed.
Elsewhere he uses a feature from perhaps a little closer home, the Jamaican legend
of the larger-than-life Nanny and her warlike exploits, for the persona of a woman
who kept a cutlass in her beehive of a hairdo!
Trinidadians seem to find it difficult to avoid writing about carnival, that
product of the island's complexity and diversity. According to Peter Mason in his
book Bacchanal! The Carnival Culture of Trinidad, the increased participation of
women has shaped carnival as it is today: "(W)omen now dominate the streets in
their tens of thousands and have undoubtedly helped to accelerate the move
towards the bikini style (of costumes)...As recently as the 1950s only strong-
willed women or prostitutes followed the steelbands at street level on carnival
Tuesday. Men would be delighted to watch their antics, but would shudder at the
thought of a sister or wife doing the same thing."
Antoni's stories are set in the period 1939 to 1945, World War 1. The
grandmother/ narrator would certainly not have allowed herself to be restrained by
such tradition. She became a disk-jockey and the first female calypsonian. We are,
however, not treated to any original compositions of hers as she is content to dip
into the repertoire of the Roaring Lion, Lord Executor and other old favourites.
In a chapter dedicated to the colonial history of the island, is found a
novel suggestion about how carnival may have begun to be celebrated. "Don
Antonio was so pleased he declared a festival to last three days and nights.
Everybody singing and dancing and drinking rum in the streets that many people
say how this is the true origin of modern day carnival and when at last they were
all exhausted, and stale-drunk, all with they voices hoarse from so much baccha-
nal..." Despite this fanciful theory, it is more widely held that, following the
Catholic Church's disapproval of the ribaldry, sensuous dancing and devilish
excesses of the celebrations, carnival became a somewhat more restrained festival
in which Christians were allowed a last chance to indulge in the old pagan ways
before the strictures of Lent would require them to give up meat and the sins of the
flesh. Hence the word harks back to came vale or farewell to flesh.
The language in which the tales are told is a colourful mixture of relaxed
every-day colloquial style and a psuedo-formal English when called for. In telling
her grandson how the Colonel suddenly announced his wish to be known as
Wolfman Jack, she says: "(T)hat was the most blatant, upsetting anachronism or
whatever the f- they called it that I had ever heard in all my life!" Reporting on
the Colonel's version of good business tactics, she quotes him thus: "The thing
with fastfood...is to strike back aggressive. To count up all the margins of we
gains and losses, and take in for the full stock of the interest for we surplus value,
plus the base price minus the dividends of all we bogus bogus expenditures or

something so..." Her point seems to be to bamboozle with business buzzwords,
rather than to make sense.
Not so the description of a beautiful woman disrobing to bathe herself in
the river a sight eagerly witnessed by the whole village. "(T)he spectacle of
watching this woman strip sheself down was so strenuous so exciting, and
exhausting, and so painful many of those villagers realized they would never
satisfy that itch prickling they skins never again. The vision of so much excruciat-
ing beauty had ruined they lives forever, and after that first debilitating experience,
they vowed never again to return..."
The word "nastiness" appears often. Sometimes it generalizes about the
act of masturbation, but may also sum up acts of unwanted amorous attention
foisted upon a woman by a man, and is also the favourite way of lumping together
homosexual activity, which the narrator claims is the choice of many American
soldiers. Nevertheless there seem to be quite enough of them straight, to explain
the frenzied movement of women practising the world's oldest profession, to
where the boys are, as the wartime song puts it. The chapter which may best be
seen as a history lesson on the Amerindians, tells of "diseases particular
syphilis and the rest of that nastiness (the Spanish) brought with them from Europe
that had they toe-tees turning green and rotting off..." While we are at it, 'toe-tee'
has of course no connection with 'toe-jam', "as you might have expected".
A writer's style and the techniques employed in the telling are soon
recognized and looked forward to by the sensitive reader, especially in the short
story. We have used one of the narrator's devices, "of course, as you might have
guessed", or some variation on that theme, addressed repeatedly, not to the reader,
but to Johnny (for the reader may indeed sometimes not have guessed). It has the
effect mainly of reminding the reader of the relationship between the two, eliciting
perhaps a certain wonder that a mere child should be treated in such a matter of
fact way to such a large amount of risque information. But then, we recall, it is
literature, not reality, and a literature not necessarily intended for lower school
study. Much the same effect is achieved by frequent reference to "...you grand-
daddy there in the photograph...", or to the sons she put through medical school in
It is always instructive to observe how humour is introduced, and of what
kind. Here it is often by means of exaggeration or some obviously ridiculous
remark. One such may be found in the image of prostitutes crossing the sea in
pursuit of the American soldiers at the military base in Corpus Christi (Trinidad),
along with "...half the whores in Venezuela, in salt-fish crates and cigar-boxes and
whatever else they could find". The offhand offering of a gratuitously illogical
"...they don't have no sex in America, that is why they only like to fight wars",
may also provoke a chuckle. The tales wax more bawdy and risque as the book
progresses, and there are therefore increasing calls for a good belly-laugh rather
than a titter.

The use of imagery is another common device. Antoni uses it in a great
variety of language styles: "He machine came to life making a noise like if it was
gargling saltwater". Or again, "...talk and talk and talk like he just ate parrot";
"...dressed up like he was playing mas at carnival..."; "they were at each other's
throats like they were Mussolini and Eisenhower..."; and "...batting she eyelashes
for him like a battimamselle..." are only a few examples. The last would also
justify the mild attempt at a plea made earlier in favour of a glossary. That strange
looking word recalls the French Caribbean word for dragonfly, which however
would normally begin with 'm', and is used here for no other reason, apparently,
than that 'bat' is common to both the operative words. The often used "vie-kee-
vie", a phonetic rendering of 'vaille que vaille', is also a borrowing from French
patois, although, contrary to its usual meaning of 'somehow or other', it is here a
synonym for 'crazy'.
Changes in the spelling of words or their order, or some unexpected
words, may provoke, if not a belly-laugh, certainly the odd chuckle, and can
usually be accounted for by an understanding of the situation. For instance, in
"...bought out the Colonel lock, stock and all the barrels too...", 'barrels' refers to
the containers of Kentucky (the Colonel) fried chicken. There is often a sexual
connotation to some strange wording: "...with all they imagination already
wet..."; as also, "...with they tails hanging down between they legs...". But not
always. In "...when it rains it pours to soak you down to your pantyhose", it would
be perverse to look further than an attempt at calypso-type rhyme. Others of that
variety are "out of he pockets"; "a drop inside the bucket"; and "fall flat on top my
face". The use of such words as cat-of-the-nine-tails (sometimes tales), kickshaw
for rickshaw, excising for exorcising, perplexion for perplexity and confuffled for
kerfuffled may simply be Antoni's way of having fun.
This little book is definitely not for the squeamish or faint-hearted. One
understands that, at the launch in London of Antoni's first book, Divina Trace,
which was awarded the Commonwealth Writers' Prize, Antoni's readings from his
book elicited diametrically opposite responses from his parents. Readers are left to
guess which one's face went all kinds of colours and which parent absolutely
beamed with pride.

Caribbean Quarterly invites reviews for the following books recently received.
Nation Dance Religion, Identity, and Cultural Difference in the Caribbean.
Edited by Patrick Taylor. Indiana University Press 2001. 220 pages.
Mother Imagery in the Novels of Afro-Caribbean Women by Simone A. James
Alexander. University of Missouri Press, 2001. 215 pages.
Creole Transformation from Slavery to Freedom. Historical Archaeology of the
East End Community, St. John, Virgin Islands by Douglas V. Armstrong. Univir-
sity Press of Florida 2003. 384 pages.
Cuba's Political and Sexual Outlaw Reinaldo Arenas by Rafael Ocasio, Univer-
sity Press of Florida 2003. 212 pages.
I Know Who I am A Caribbean Woman's Identity in Canada by Yvonne
Bobb-Smith. Womens Press 2003. 249 pages.
Adolphus, A. Tale and The Slave Son by William Noy Wilkins. University of the
West Indies Press 2003. 364 pages.
Exploring the Palace of the Peacock. Essays on Wilson Harris by Joyce Sparer
Adler. University of the West Indies Press 2003. 106 pages.
Myths of the Plantation Society. Slavery in the American South and the West
Indies by Nathalie Dessens. University Press of Florida 2003. 213 pages.
The Development of Literary Blacknevs in the Dominican Republic by Dawn F.
Stinchcomb. University Press of Florida 2004. 125 pages.
Exile According to Julia. Translated by Betty Wilson. University of Virginia
Press 2003. 192 pages.
Santeria Healing. A Journey into the Afro-Cuban World ofDivinities, Spirits, and
Sorcery by Johnal Wedel. University Press of Florida 2004. 209 pages.
Derek Walcott Another Life Fully Annotated. Lynne Rienner Publishers 2004.
354 pages.
A Colony of Citizens Revolution and Slave Emancipation in the French Carib-
bean, 1787-1804 by Laurent Dubios. The University of North Carolina 2004.
451 pages.
Introduction to the Pan-Caribbean Edited by Tracey Skelton. Edward Arnold
Publishers 2004. 184 pages.

Creole Transformation from Slavery to Freedom by Douglas V. Armstrong -
Historical Archaeology of the East End Community, St. John, Virgin Islands.
University Press of Florida 2003. 383 pages.
Minor Omissions Children in Latin American History and Society. Edited by
Tobias Hecht. The University of Wisconsin Press 2002. 277 pages.
The Cycle ofRacial Oppression in Guyana by Kean Gibson. University Press of
America 2003. 97 pages.
Bahamian Memories Island Voices of the Twentieth Century by Olga Culmer
Jenkins. University Press of Florida 2000. 279 pages.
Juan Ignacio Molina The World's Window on Chile by Charles E. Ronan, S.J.
Peter Lang Publishing 2002. 318 pages.
Salted Tongues Modern Literature in St. Martin by Fabian Adekunle Badejo.
House of Nehesi Publishers 2003. 70 pages.
Caribbean Economics in the Twenty-first Century. Edited by Irma T. Alonso.
University Press of Florida 2002. 232 pages.
Race and Nation in Modern Latin America. Edited by Nancy P. Appelbaum.
University of North Carolina Press 2003. 329 pages.
Voice-Overs Translation and Latin American Literature. Edited by Daniel
Balderston and Marcy E. Schwartz. State University of New York Press 2002.
266 pages.
Encumbered Cuba. Capital Markets and Revolt, 1878-1895 by Susan J. Fernan-
dez. University Press of Florida 2002. 203 pages.
Shaping and Reshaping the Caribbean. The Work of Aimi Cisaire and Rene
Depestre by Martin Munroe. Manley Publishing 2000. 266 pages.
Martha Brae's Two Histories. European Expansion and Caribbean Culture-
Building in Jamaica by Jean Besson. The University of North Carolina Press
2002. 393 pages.
Slave Traffic in the Age ofAbolition Puerto Rico, West Africa and the Non-His-
panic Caribbean, 1815-1859 by Joseph C. Dorsey. University Press of Florida
2003. 311 pages.
Myths of the Plantation Society. Slavery in the American South and the West
Indies by Nathalie Dessens. University Press of Florida 2003. 213 pages.
The Cycle of Racial Oppression in Guyana, Kean Gibson, University Press of
America, New York, Oxford. 2003. pp 97


Mastery, Ttyranny and Desire, Thomas Thistlewood and his Slaves in the Anglo-
Jamaican World, Trevor Burard, University of North Carolina Press, Chapel
Hill, NC, 2004, pp 336.
Igniting the Caribbean's Past: Fire in British West Indian History, Bonham C.
Richardson, University of North Carolina Press, Chapel Hill, NC, 2004, pp 233.
Enterprising Slaves and Master Pirates: Understanding Economic Life in the
Bahamas, Virgil Henry Storr, Lang Publkishing, New York, 2004, pp 147

CD Received
Marcus Garvey 's Jamaica 1929-1932 by Professor Rupert Lewis. Vilcomm/Info-
cam Centre UWI, Mona 2003.

Arguing Over the "Caribbean": Tourism on Costa Rica's Caribbean Coast,
Through examination of a village on Costa Rica's Caribbean coast, this
article suggests that the "Caribbean" can be used as an ideational notion enacted
through a politics of aesthetics, food and body. The "use" of the "Caribbean" and
the "Rastafarian" gives insight into a particular, ambivalent and contradictory,
politics of identity at play by Afro-Costa Ricans, at the village- and national levels.
It also shows the use of the tourism industry as a resource for understanding and
representing notions of the self, community and belonging.
The Recalcitrant Muse: Race, Sex and Historical Tension in the Search for
the est Indian (Trans)subject, SHONA N. JACKSON
This paper explores the critical tensions surrounding the figure of "Mariella" in
Wilson Harris's Palace ofthe Peacock (later referred to as Palace). It examines the
novel in its critical life by looking at the collective body ofliterary criticism on this
text by Michael Gilkes, Hena Maes-Jelenik, and Sandra Drake. It makes two major
arguments, the first methodological and the second textual. First, it argues that
problems which arise in Harris's Palace are in fact compounded and exaggerated
in its treatment in literary criticism. The second argument holds that the figure of
Mariella is a recalcitrant element in Harris's work that resists the attempt to create
a transcendent Creole subjectivity by Harris. This critique of Palace ultimately has
implications for studies of Caribbean nationalism, Creole subjectivity, and our
understanding of 'woman' as a complex and insufficiently elaborated historical
category in Caribbean literary studies.
Political Economy Aspects of a Developmental State Framework for The
The political economy of development in The Bahamas is characterized
by trade relations that take place in a highly monopolised global market; policy
issues which are influenced by multilateral agencies and transnational corpora-
tions; a lack of focus and clear policies; and, "pork barrel" policies and interfer-
ence by the political directorate.Against this general background, tourism has been
seen not just as an economic activity capable of creating income and jobs for the
country's inhabitants and earning important foreign exchange, but as one of the
most dynamic sectors for its future economic development. However, tourism has
further subjected The Bahamas to outside dependence. The result of this depend-
ence makes the country vulnerable and more susceptible to external shocks, as
well as more dependent on foreign exchange.
The first part of the paper highlights the political economy of Bahamian
development. The second section seeks to chart the Bahamian Developmental