The heir of two centuries of unatoned
insult and outrage looked down on him and seemed to drink in deep draughts of satisfaction.
The films ends with the intertitle: "THE DEATHS OF 1500 PEOPLE REMAIN UNATONED
FOR--AN ETERNAL CONDEMNATION OF ENGLAND'S QUEST FOR PROFIT!"
As I will argue, what underlies both Claire's ambivalence toward Caledu and mulatto acquiescence to Noirist domination is an unconscious search for expiation for past crimes, a consequence of what Clarisse Zimra describes as "primal collective guilt, unatoned
." (11) In exemplifying the twin perversions of violent hatred and passive submission linked to this unatoned
guilt, Claire and Caledu both become sympathetic, if tragic, symbols of the Haitian mimetic crisis.
Yet while the subjective narrator appears to sympathize with Edna's plight, she is unable finally to let Edna's departure from "les convenances" go unatoned
, instead imposing the cautionary ultimate sacrifice for such and illustrating finally that few of "us" may emerge unscathed.
This is a point of major difference between nomadic philosophy and a number of Continental philosophers, like Jessica Benjamin31 in her radicalisation of Irigaray's notion of 'horizontal transcendence'; Lyotard in the 'differed' (32) and his notion of the 'unatoned
' and Butler (33) in her emphasis on 'precarious life'.
For example, former American diplomat Joseph Montville argues that the use of the "metaphor of a gaping, unhealed wound could not be more apt for understanding the depth of pain, fear, and hatred a history of unatoned
violence creates in a victimized people" (Montville 1993: 112-113; emphasis in original).
James Anaya, Native Land Claims in the United States: The Unatoned
for Spirit of Place, in The Cambridge Lectures, 1991, at 25 (Frank McArdle ed., 1993).
Southerners struggled within themselves over the region's "unatoned
sins." Children came into the Faulknerian South as innocents, but from birth until death were forced to contend with cultural pressures and influences which adulterated that innocence (Williamson 358-59, 404-05, 432).