Tuesday, November 18, 2008


We speak about literature as a mode of travel, and it is the stories in those works that carry us abroad. Those authors are storytellers; they allow the reader an experience. The communication between the storyteller and the reader is important, and 'Krik? Krak!' has countless examples of how communication is so fundamentally instrumental in people's lives and relationships.

There is an interesting complexity in the communication of the first story, 'Children at Sea' At the base layer, there is the author relaying the story of these two people who obviously have feelings for each other. Then, once involved int he story there is the communication between those two in their letters and finally amongst the people they are involved with individually. What is unique about this communication is that the reader is allowed to see both sides of a letter exchange that never had the chance to take place. we are given the experience of their lives, their journeys, their travels, when it is not us that were the intended audience of those writings they were supposed to be for each other. There is an awkward disconnect.

This disconnect is repeated throughout the stories, as yet we are connected to the characters through Danticat's narration. In 'Nineteen Thirty-Seven' there is a brutal lack of communication between the mother and daughter. It was odd that it wasn't prison that separated them, as the daughter appeared to have ample opportunity to visit bu it was their inability to prperly communicate with one another that separated them. The stories that are communicated to us hav the ability to teach us, to give us experience to show us how things are, how people act, and how they live so how can one person know about another if they never speak? The daughter wanted to know only one thing from or about her mother. She wanted to know if her mother could 'fly' or had flown and she will never know. She lost her chance.

Communication has played such a strong role in all of the travel literature we have read this semester though it is probably most evident in 'Invisible Cities'. The communication between Marco Polo and Kubla. It exemplifies the importance of relaying experience from one person to another, and how information can be conveyed in a completely different manner than it was obtained. Although 'Krik? Krak!' shows us these members of Haitian communities the experience can be universal to the struggles, the pains, the familial bonds, and growth amongst so many other ideas. Danticat not only wrote her stories in away that express her understanding of the value of communication, but also within the text itself showed how communication can foster bonds between people on the rough boat expedition in 'Children at Sea'. Even then the passengers would ask one another 'Krik?'.

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