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"Keeping my slave side well versed": Fred D'Aguiar's Use of Ottava Rima in Bloodlines

Abstract : This article explores Fred D'Aguiar's use of ottava rima in his novel in verse Bloodlines. It considers poetry as a minority genre within postcolonial writing and ottava rima as a minority form within the genre of poetry. D'Aguiar's choice of this long narrative form can be examined in relation to his subject, which is the rape of a black slave by a white man, the love that follows the rape and the consequences of their relation. The article approaches the form of the poem from two perspectives. Firstly, it contends that the deliberate foregrounding of form emphasizes the literary connection to the past, using figures of rhetoric to express the paradoxical nature of slavery; second, it calls upon the concept of voice, used in psychoanalysis as a notion covering both sound and sense, to show how D'Aguiar mobilizes the resources of sound and rhyme to allow a poetic form from the past to become the vehicle for exploring the emotional impact of his story.
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Submitted on : Wednesday, September 16, 2020 - 9:05:58 AM
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Kathie Birat. "Keeping my slave side well versed": Fred D'Aguiar's Use of Ottava Rima in Bloodlines. Journal of Postcolonial Writing, 2018, ''Minor'' Genres in Postcolonial Literatures, 54 (1), pp.56-68. ⟨10.1080/17449855.2017.1416564⟩. ⟨hal-02940067⟩



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