Summary (Identities & Issues in Literature)
Another Life describes, celebrates, and reevaluates Derek Walcott’s life, art, love, landscape, language, history, Caribbean, and spiritual resilience. Walcott examines the standard view of Caribbean history and sees that colonization has left a distorted history, one filled with numerous gaps. In Caribbean history as Walcott finds it, the absence of facts renders the history as hollow as a coconut shell. Walcott’s intention is to provide autobiography, which he decorates with art, as an alternative to history, to the accumulation of dead facts or to the writing of a grocery list. Through autobiography, Walcott aims at the whole truth, which is multifaceted. In the work, he changes his personal experience into art, providing an artistic vision and form through a synthesis of writing and painting.
Another Life focuses on three recurring names, Harry (Harold Simmons, who is Walcott’s painting mentor), Gregorias or Dunstan (Dustin St. Omer, who is his superior painting friend), and Anna (his teenage romance, the embodiment of art and the representative of the transcendence of art over history). The circumstances surrounding the struggles and triumphs of Harry, Dunstan, and Anna depict growth in Walcott, St. Lucia, and the Caribbean.
Another Life uses contrast to advance the journey of the young poet and postcolonial Caribbean (Walcott) from adolescence to adulthood. The painter, whose talents wane, grows into the...
(The entire section is 399 words.)
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