What Poets Do With History: Derek Walcott’s “Omeros” and the Battle of the Saint(e)s
Prof. Dr. Thomas Austenfeld
Derek Walcott’s native island, St. Lucia, was among the sites of the Battle of the Saint(e)s in 1782. As the poet tells the story, the history of a naval battle that may have decided the future of the British Empire turns into a personal yet highly relevant narrative with epic reach. Walcott endows his contemporary postcolonial subjects with the dignity of historical agency.
Prof. Austenfeld will explore Walcott’s Omeros together with students, colleagues, and guests, focusing on how many “stories”—beside the surface plot—are being told and how epic poetry functions in layering the historical narratives.
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