Location

Ford Hall: Fireside/Lobby

Subject Area

English: Literature

Description

Despite Prospero’s Daughter having won Elizabeth Nunez a handful of awards and having been received positively by critics, little aside from reviews about the novel exists in the literary sphere. Several articles discuss her memoir or two of her novels, namely Boundaries, Beyond the Limbo Silence, and When Rocks Dance, but it is challenging to find literary criticism about Prospero’s Daughter, let alone in reference to witchcraft and magic. This essay provides that literary criticism, placing it in context with historical research on early modern witchcraft theory. Although Nunez’s novel is a postmodern Shakespeare adaptation centered in 1960s Trinidad, it contains depictions of witchery and magic consistent with those of sixteenth- and seventeenth-century witch trial records, demonology, Christian teachings of the time, and cultural anthropological and historical research. My analysis of Prospero’s Daughter, in featuring a reframing of witchcraft-related issues like sexuality, poisoning, and witch’s marks, bridges the scholarly gap between early modern historical past and postcolonial literary present. This paper explores how the aforementioned issues appear in main characters like Sylvia, Gardner, and Carlos, and was written to provide an updated perspective on witchcraft in literary scholarship for others who are intrigued by Nunez’s depictions.

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May 17th, 10:45 AM May 17th, 11:00 AM

The Marked and the Magic in Prospero’s Daughter: Contextualizing Postmodern Witchcraft Accusations Using the Early Modern

Ford Hall: Fireside/Lobby

Despite Prospero’s Daughter having won Elizabeth Nunez a handful of awards and having been received positively by critics, little aside from reviews about the novel exists in the literary sphere. Several articles discuss her memoir or two of her novels, namely Boundaries, Beyond the Limbo Silence, and When Rocks Dance, but it is challenging to find literary criticism about Prospero’s Daughter, let alone in reference to witchcraft and magic. This essay provides that literary criticism, placing it in context with historical research on early modern witchcraft theory. Although Nunez’s novel is a postmodern Shakespeare adaptation centered in 1960s Trinidad, it contains depictions of witchery and magic consistent with those of sixteenth- and seventeenth-century witch trial records, demonology, Christian teachings of the time, and cultural anthropological and historical research. My analysis of Prospero’s Daughter, in featuring a reframing of witchcraft-related issues like sexuality, poisoning, and witch’s marks, bridges the scholarly gap between early modern historical past and postcolonial literary present. This paper explores how the aforementioned issues appear in main characters like Sylvia, Gardner, and Carlos, and was written to provide an updated perspective on witchcraft in literary scholarship for others who are intrigued by Nunez’s depictions.

 

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