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.

Caribbean, David Dabydeen, Ekphrasis, Jewish Atlantic, Sephardic, Slavery, William Hogarth
Cambridge Journal of Postcolonial Literary Inquiry
Department of English Language and Literature

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