To think of haunting as abstract and divorced from a present history is to depoliticize the present moment in which brown bodies actively resist oppression — be it from corrupt governments, institutional racism, and/or misogyny sponsored by a patriarchal culture. Yes, there is a past that haunts Caribbean poetic and imaginary landscapes: slavery, indenture, and colonization.
Writing puts texts in space. The procedural language of critical synthesis is inherently spatial. Thinking about connections between texts, or the bringing of texts together in an essay, simulates the positioning of objects in space. Often, writing makes texts architectural — it uses them to build, and uses the metaphorics of building. I want to use this essay to write between Elizabeth Freeman’s Time Binds and Doreen Massey’s Space, Place and Gender, texts seminal to queer temporality and to feminist geography, respectively.
I am interested in the way Croll’s account of the anti-Ciceronian or Baroque prose can be related to critiques of the “plain style” of expository prose that took force in his time and remains powerful in some ideologies of “composition.” The contrast of “plain style” or tight/correct expository “sentence” is the “loose” period (aka “libertine” thought of Montaigne and Ralais).
[A commemoration here of two new books in English by Chinese poet Wai-lim Yip: Somewhere Between (National Taiwan University Press), from which this excerpt is taken, and Arrivals and Departures: Poems, Memoir, and Chronology (Musical Stone Publishing, Hong Kong), a selection of his original writings in Eng