This article deconstructs the racially exclusive national narrative presented in Dominican Manuel de Jesús Galván’s 1882 Enriquillo: leyenda histórica dominicana by putting the novel in dialogue with Haitian Émile Nau’s 1854 Histoire des caciques d’Haïti, considering how the former work simultaneously resists and inscribes itself within the metanarrative of New-World antislavery that the latter presents. Although both texts draw on the colonial crónicas to tell the story of an Amerindian uprising led by the cacique Enrique on the island of Hispaniola during the early sixteenth century, they deploy that history to different ends: Nau situates the rebellion at the beginning of an anticolonial, antislavery teleology that culminates in the Haitian Revolution of 1791 while Galván eschews references to African chattel slavery and uses Enrique’s story to stress the indigenous and (particularly) Hispanic aspects of Dominican national history at the expense of the Afro-New World heritage that Nau exalts.
Copyright 2016. All rights reserved.
Genova, Thomas. “Haitian Entanglements: Émile Nau’s Histoire des caciques d’Haïti in Manuel de Jesús Galván’s Enriquillo. ” Afro-Hispanic Review. 35.2 (Fall 2016): 10-25.