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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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Southern Republic of Letters

Southern Republic of Letters

(p.91) 3 Southern Republic of Letters
Haiti's Paper War

Chelsea Stieber

NYU Press

This chapter analyzes the emergence of a decidedly modern “literary” sensibility in southern writing during the latter half of the civil war period (1814–1820) that reflects the transformations of the republican state in Haiti under Pétion. A first part establishes the contours of Pétion’s “new” republicanism, which he elaborated within the Atlantic world transformations of the mid-1810s. Next, it analyzes the new republican publications that resulted from the North/South paper war, paying specific attention to southern writers’ efforts to define their intellectual production according to the emergent concepts of literature and criticism. In a second part, the chapter traces how this nascent notion of literary writing, forged in the crucible of civil war, gained hegemony under Jean-Pierre Boyer’s reunified republican state after the fall of Henry Christophe in 1820. Here, it performs a close analysis of the southern republican writer Hérard Dumesle’s Voyage dans le Nord d’Hayti, ou Révélations des lieux et des monuments historiques (1824), arguing that his piece of early domestic Haitian travel writing fixes the terms of the previous paper war between North and South from the position of southern republican hegemony.

Keywords:   literary magazine, revue, republicanism, literature, criticism, civil war, paper war, Alexandre Pétion

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