Classical texts in post-colonial literatures: consolation, redress and new beginnings in the work of Derek Walcott and Seamus Heaney.
International Journal of the Classical Tradition, 9(2)
This article examines the ambivalent relationships between classical texts and post-colonial literatures in English, with special reference to the work of Derek Walcott and Seamus Heaney. It is argued that analysis of the formal, discursive and contextual relationships between ancient and modern in poetry and drama reveals significant correspondences as well as important differences between the literary and political role of the Classical Tradition in Caribbean and Irish writing. These can be revealed and explained by the writers' balance between ideas of consolation, redress and new beginnings. This in turn opens the way to re-assessment of some of the models of appropriation, creativity and dialogue which have been used in recent research into both Reception Studies and Post-Colonial Literatures.
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