Cover image for Derek Walcott
Derek Walcott
Thieme, John.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Manchester ; New York : Manchester University Press ; New York, NY, USA : Distributed exclusively in the USA by St. Martin's Press, 1999.
Physical Description:
xvii, 251 pages ; 21 cm.

Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
PR9272.9.W3 Z85 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area

On Order



John Thieme provides a comprehensive study of Derek Walcott's writing from its beginning in the 1940s to his most recent work. Walcott's poetry and drama are set against the background of various contexts and intertexts - Caribbean, European and other - which have shaped him as a writer. The book contains a broad overview of Walcott's career for students and readers coming to the work of the 1992 Nobel Laureate for the first time. It also offers a re-reading of his writing, which particularly emphasises strategies he has used to dismantle Manichean models of culture and society and his focus is on a travelling Odyssean protagonist who transgresses binary geographical divisions.

Reviews 1

Choice Review

Thieme largely fulfills the task of the "Contemporary World Writers" series, which he edits: "to bring together the theoretical impulse which currently dominates post-colonial studies and closely argued readings of particular authors' works." He solves the problems caused by Walcott's prolific output and resistance to conventional postcolonial assumptions by abbreviating his discussion of the poetry to give more room to the plays, and by repeatedly acknowledging that Walcott is less interested in opposition than in finding a "space outside the Manichean binaries of colonial discourse and its post-independence legacy." If Thieme's readings are not always "closely argued," his book is nonetheless a helpful guide for general readers and specialists alike. He is especially good on the plays, which he reads as attempts to found a "West Indian theatre" by mixing European and American influences with Caribbean culture. He is also good on Walcott's obsessive concerns with such mythical figures as Crusoe, Adam, and Odysseus. For Thieme, Omeros (1990) is the culmination of a career devoted to the epic themes of "the Caribbean predicament and the wandering Odyssean poet who becomes its spokesperson." Recommended for all libraries with interests in contemporary poetry or Caribbean culture. T. Ware; Queen's University at Kingston

Table of Contents

Acknowledgementsp. ix
Series Editor's Forewordp. xi
List of Abbreviationsp. xii
Chronologyp. xiii
1 Contexts and intertextsp. 1
2 Finding a voicep. 24
3 Founding a West Indian theatrep. 42
4 The poet as castawayp. 77
5 Renegotiating rolesp. 101
6 Odysseysp. 151
7 Critical overview and conclusionp. 198
Notesp. 206
Select Bibliographyp. 236
Indexp. 245