Project Advisor(s)

Dr. Chadia Chambers-Samadi

Presentation Type

Oral Presentation

Disciplines

French and Francophone Literature

Description, Abstract, or Artist's Statement

Music is used every day as a way of expression. Dany Laferrière, a Haitian born author, uses music in his works to give the reader an idea of racial stereotypes of the black man and white women. The two books that will be the focus of this paper are Comment faire l’amour avec un Nègre sans se fatiguer (How to Make Love to a Black Man Without Getting Tired) and Vers le Sud (Heading South), which use jazz and classical music, respectively. Jazz music, specifically Duke Ellington, is used to show men’s and women’s sexuality through the lyrics and history of his compositions. On the other hand, Laferrière uses Claude Debussy and his idea of a faun to show the sexual exploitation of Haiti with young men and older women. Laferrière uses music as “une experience sonore” to help the reader understand race and sexuality of his characters.

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From Debussy to Duke: A Look at the Role of Music, Race, and Sexuality in the Works of Dany Laferrière

Music is used every day as a way of expression. Dany Laferrière, a Haitian born author, uses music in his works to give the reader an idea of racial stereotypes of the black man and white women. The two books that will be the focus of this paper are Comment faire l’amour avec un Nègre sans se fatiguer (How to Make Love to a Black Man Without Getting Tired) and Vers le Sud (Heading South), which use jazz and classical music, respectively. Jazz music, specifically Duke Ellington, is used to show men’s and women’s sexuality through the lyrics and history of his compositions. On the other hand, Laferrière uses Claude Debussy and his idea of a faun to show the sexual exploitation of Haiti with young men and older women. Laferrière uses music as “une experience sonore” to help the reader understand race and sexuality of his characters.