Louise (Simone) Bennett Louis James - Essay

Louis James

(Contemporary Literary Criticism)

Any discussion of Caribbean popular culture must notice the work of the Jamaican Louise Bennett. Her unique gift is that she is both a folk-lore scholar and a brilliant popular entertainer, and while the qualities of Caribbean popular culture are evanescent before the recording of the conventional researcher, Miss Bennett is able to physically recreate her findings in performances that reveal the idiom, the gestures, the stress and the flow of the personalities and private dramas of the people. Her use of dialect can be amusing, but it is not necessarily so. In 'Bans o' Killing' she places herself, along with Burns and the European dialect writers, in the tradition of poets who have used dialect for serious purposes,...

(The entire section is 440 words.)