"But the Captain is Haitian": Issues of Recognition within Ana Lydia Vega's "Encancaranublado"
Spanish and Portuguese
Racialized Visions : Haiti and the Hispanic Caribbean
When asked about my employment status some years ago, I said that I taught Caribbean literature, and my interlocutor responded dubiously, "They have literature?" The ignorant remark epitomizing a racialized, consumerist mind-set---and bringing to mind boorish cruise ship passengers---never left me. Later on, while reading "Encancaranublado" (Three men in a boat) (1982), a short story by Puerto Rican writer Ana Lydia Vega, it struck me that the text affords readers an enlightening anti-cruise ship experience while leveling a verbal cannon at Northern agents who command, protect, and populate such vessels (among other spaces). That Vega's narrative also speaks volumes about perceptions of Haiti's role within the Spanish-speaking Caribbean and the larger Americas is the reason I offer the following reflections to the collection at hand. Perverse racial and political discourses about the Caribbean bear critical examination precisely because they know no national or geographic bounds.
Past, Mariana. "'But the Captain is Haitian": Issues of Recognition within Ana Lydia Vega's "Encancaranublado"'. In Racialized Visions: Haiti and the Hispanic Caribbean, edited by Vanessa K. Valdés, 159-176. Albany: State University of New York, 2020.