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By Brinda Mehta (auth.)

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The scarring of the breast represents a primary infraction in terms of the maternal wounding of diaspora, the original site of trauma 42 O Identity, Diaspora, and Gender in Caribbean Women’s Writing and future resistance. R. for ‘La Rosalie,’ the ship that transported them to Saint-Domingue. Dubbed ‘Rosalie L’Infâme’ by the captives to reflect its perverted mission, this site of rupture, dispossession, and indignity has an oxymoronic nickname that juxtaposes rose—a beautiful flower, color, and the Christian name Lisette’s mother Ayouba refuses—with infâme, an adjective used to describe a loathsome occupation, unspeakable act or disgusting odor, all of which are entirely appropriate in this context” (2007).

It was the challenge of portraying the slave woman, man and child with human feelings and emotions that drove me to pursue my journey . . The adventurous act of writing made my foray into hell possible, making it vital. Writing had transcended the infamy,” admits Trouillot (2005, 1). This foray into the humanity of a degraded people provides the structure and driving force behind Trouillot’s novel that exposes the gaping wounds of diaspora in Saint-Domingue. 34 O Identity, Diaspora, and Gender in Caribbean Women’s Writing Rosalie l’infâme is the coming-of-age story of a young domestic slave, Lisette, who works for the Fayot household.

As an unimaginable act in Western consciousness, torture nevertheless becomes an unspoken truth in European praxis, as demonstrated by the willful acts of violence committed repeatedly against the enslaved African characters in the novel. These acts represent a total refutation of their identity and freedom. At the same time, torture institutes its own system of checks and controls. A tortured body must, for all intents and purposes, remain a producing body under the dictates of colonial capitalism.

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