Sara Santos deposited History Without Memory: The Memorialization of the Parsley Massacre in Edwidge Danticat’s The Farming of Bones in the group Postcolonial Studies on Humanities Commons 6 months, 1 week ago
This paper argues that in The Farming of Bones, Edwidge Danticat seeks to historicize and memorialize the Parsley Massacre through the reframing of the historical event through Amabelle Désir’s fictional account. Through the conflation of historical artifact and literary imagination, the novel narrates, and therefore produces, a collective memoir that exposes the Parsley Massacre from the perspective of the silenced Haitian. Amabelle’s discourse, in its conflation of individual and collective experience, fact and literary artifice, to historicize the colonial (hi)story of the Haitian people, opens up a space for fiction to function as a mode of voicing marginalized post/colonial discourses. This paper also looks closely at the role of the natural landscape in the process of occlusion/uncovering of colonial histories: I argue that the Dominican landscape works as witness to the violence perpetrated against the Haitians, in this way precluding its erasure. Particularly, the cane fields and the Massacre River appear as spaces that resist the forgetting of individual and collective experience, working to fix the Parsley Massacre in space and time through its historical and literary narrativization.