Remembering Rain: Pluvial Poesis and Marronage in Dionne Brand’s At the Full and Change of the Moon

Duncan, Ifor. Remembering Rain: Pluvial Poesis and Marronage in Dionne Brand’s At the Full and Change of the Moon. In: Lucy Bond; Susannah Radstone and Jessica Rapson, eds. New Directions in Memory and Literature: Concepts, Contexts, Media. Palgrave Macmillan. [Book Section] (Forthcoming)

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Abstract or Description

Dionne Brand’s novel At the Full and Change of the Moon (1999) addresses the transgenerational memory of slavery and marronage through the lives of a family stretching from a moment of rebellion in Trinidad in the 19th century into the lives of descendants in diaspora through the 20th century. Informed by literature on fugitive and maroon ecology (Wright, 2020; Ferdinand, 2022) this chapter reads rain as a device of both memory and forgetting. Brand’s treatment of rain and memory begins as an insurgent botanical agent that affords moments of flight, concealing a Maroon camp from plantation militias, while preventing clear memory markers for maroon characters themselves. Brand is not concerned with neat formal boundaries of space and chronological order, instead, the water of the initial rains of
fugitivity changes as it seeps and floods into the second half of the novel and across generations into the lives of descendants in Amsterdam and Toronto. No longer in the clouds and not yet on grounds or in rivers, rain acts as a hydrologic intermediary between air, plants, humans, rivers, and seas, and as a transtemporal mediator of memory. Reading the novel for rain (Nuttall, 2021) helps to consider the significance of weather and water in full hydrologic spectrum and advance the scope of meteorological traces in literary memory studies.

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Book Section

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Visual Cultures > Centre for Research Architecture
Visual Cultures


May 2024Accepted

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Date Deposited:

18 Jun 2024 09:26

Last Modified:

18 Jun 2024 21:06


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