David Dabydeen's Hogarth: Blacks, Jews, and postcolonial ekphrasis
Eighteenth-century satirical artist William Hogarth figures centrally in Guyanese writer David Dabydeen's ekphrastic postcolonial fiction. In particular, Dabydeen's novels A Harlot's Progress and Johnson's Dictionary invoke plate 2 of Hogarth's 1732 series A Harlot's Progress, which depicts the encounter of a cuckolded Jewish merchant, his mistress, and a turbaned slave boy. In this article, I argue that Dabydeen's strategy of introducing visual intertexts into his fiction encourages a comparative reading of the representational regimes that historically have shaped popular perceptions of blacks and Jews. Situating Dabydeen's Hogarth novels as part of a larger tradition in postwar Caribbean writing of advancing an identificatory reading of Jewishness, I examine how Dabydeen's novels illustrate the need to broaden discussions of the relationship between postcolonial and Jewish studies beyond the question of Holocaust memory.
|Keywords||Caribbean, David Dabydeen, Ekphrasis, Jewish Atlantic, Sephardic, Slavery, William Hogarth|
|Journal||Cambridge Journal of Postcolonial Literary Inquiry|
Casteel, S. (2016). David Dabydeen's Hogarth: Blacks, Jews, and postcolonial ekphrasis. Cambridge Journal of Postcolonial Literary Inquiry (Vol. 3, pp. 117–133). doi:10.1017/pli.2015.27