Orginal Publication Date
Explorations in Sights and Sounds
Ian Smart has made, as he himself asserts in the "Author's Foreword," a very limited approach to the very complex body of literature written by Central American authors of West Indian origin. In fact one wonders if indeed his most insistent premises are verifiable: "the region comprises one cultural area in which common factors have forged a more or less common way of looking at life ... share an identifiable Weltanschauung." His emphasis lies on the commonness of the West Indian experiences which he perceives to be African. To be sure, there are many critics who would take issue with him, some of whom he does allude to. The truth is that he treads on perilous, indeed highly controversial, ground. Many critics would indeed demand that we look at the nuances of differences among the authors as a way of perceiving the complexity of the Caribbean experience. To be sure, there has been a "shared" history to a point, but it is this very juncture which makes all the difference. Generally, critically speaking, one is concerned more with those areas of differences, no matter how minute, which do indeed distinguish one entity from another.
Copyright, ©EES, The National Association for Ethnic Studies, 1987