‘What a foolish man to want to come to this swamp snake- place, […] Massa Hogarth has big- big title “Official Artist of the Colony of Demerara and Contiguous Territories.” ’ This is Hogarth’s latest incarnation in David Dabydeen’s fiction – a shortly- to- die rum sponge casually leaving his paintings to his ‘painterboy’ to finish. Hogarth continues to be resurrected in Dabydeen’s imagination because his art contains the substance of its Creole afterlives, where we find a learned Calibanesque discontent exploding and expanding the boundaries of a beloved England. An attempt to depict the longstanding ‘dialogue’ between Dabydeen and Hogarth, this essay presents a sort of narrative diptych, on the one hand showing Hogarth’s Creole art as interpreted in Dabydeen’s groundbreaking art history book Hogarth’s Blacks (1985), on the other, ‘redrawing’ Hogarth’s Harlot print series in Dabydeen’s most Hogarthian novel to date A Harlot’s Progress (1999). In this novel, Dabydeen makes ample use of the eighteenth- century master’s poetics and technique.

Creole Britain in Hogarth and Dabydeen’s Hogarthian Books

Roberta Cimarosti
2021-01-01

Abstract

‘What a foolish man to want to come to this swamp snake- place, […] Massa Hogarth has big- big title “Official Artist of the Colony of Demerara and Contiguous Territories.” ’ This is Hogarth’s latest incarnation in David Dabydeen’s fiction – a shortly- to- die rum sponge casually leaving his paintings to his ‘painterboy’ to finish. Hogarth continues to be resurrected in Dabydeen’s imagination because his art contains the substance of its Creole afterlives, where we find a learned Calibanesque discontent exploding and expanding the boundaries of a beloved England. An attempt to depict the longstanding ‘dialogue’ between Dabydeen and Hogarth, this essay presents a sort of narrative diptych, on the one hand showing Hogarth’s Creole art as interpreted in Dabydeen’s groundbreaking art history book Hogarth’s Blacks (1985), on the other, ‘redrawing’ Hogarth’s Harlot print series in Dabydeen’s most Hogarthian novel to date A Harlot’s Progress (1999). In this novel, Dabydeen makes ample use of the eighteenth- century master’s poetics and technique.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/20.500.11770/342546
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