Laura Giovannelli

"There is no order in my garden": The Itineraries of Being and Meaning in Jamaica Kincaid's My Garden (Book):

  • Abstract

Informations and abstract

Keywords: Gardening; Floral Diaspora; Colonial History; Environment.

Situating itself at an intersection where literature and (post)colonial history, botany and horticulture are meaningfully conflated, Jamaica Kincaid's "My Garden (Book)": raises compelling questions about place and identity, ontological relations with the environment and the alienating effects of dispossession or enforced transplantation. Besides testifying to her absorbing passion for botany and her creation of a thriving garden in Vermont, Kincaid's idiosyncratic work takes us well beyond the generic bounds of gardening handbooks. This article sheds light on the engaging dialectic through which she offers insights into a systematic kind of botanical violence and plant diaspora which, during the history of Western imperialism, participated in an economically-driven, global re-mapping of the natural world and a purposeful domestication of the exotic. Garden culture, Kincaid argues, often joins ranks with a politics of gardening and plant-collecting that has had a powerful impact on both landscape architecture and national mythographies.

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