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Haiti's Paper WarPost-Independence Writing, Civil War, and the Making of the Republic, 1804-1954$
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Chelsea Stieber

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9781479802135

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: January 2021

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9781479802135.001.0001

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Civil War, Guerre de Plume

Civil War, Guerre de Plume

Chapter:
(p.60) 2 Civil War, Guerre de Plume
Source:
Haiti's Paper War
Author(s):

Chelsea Stieber

Publisher:
NYU Press
DOI:10.18574/nyu/9781479802135.003.0003

This chapter is the first of two that trace the distinctive cultures of writing in the North and South that emerged during this civil war period. The chapter analyzes the print culture of the civil war by comparing each government’s press operations, then focuses on a particularly fraught moment in the North/South civil war with the French Restoration government’s threat to retake the former colony. The chapter makes the case for a specific Christophean form that emerged during this period, the “refutation pamphlet,” based in the disassembling, unweaving, or piercing through of a political opponent’s text—deployed first against the French Restoration government, and then against Pétion’s southern republic. This Christophean writing stands in stark contrast to the southern liberal republican writing discussed in chapter 3, which celebrated literary writing as a direct expression of the liberal mind and heart, and was central to the task of illustrating and performing the successes of the liberal republican model. Taken together, these two chapters reveal Haitian writing during the civil war to be mutually constituted—in tension and in opposition—between a performative, polemical notion of writing in the Christophean sphere, and the emergent “literary” sense of writing in Pétion’s republican sphere.

Keywords:   civil war, paper war, pamphlet, refutation, performativity, print culture, Henry Christophe

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