chapter  5
23 Pages

Lewis: The Imaginary of Counterorders in the Journal

Although the time span between Ligon’s departure from Barbados in 1651 and Lewis’ fi rst arrival in Jamaica is 164 years, distinct continuities link the reproduction of the imaginary to be found in the later author. A dire food shortage aboard Ligon’s ship during the homeward voyage and violent ocean storms during Lewis’ transatlantic crossing to the Caribbean construct a productive dimension of intertextual space between History and Journal that is the defi nition of paradoxical oppositions in Harris’ meaning. Ocean space constructs its own imaginary on multiple levels, but critical for our objectives here, it marks the locus where Lewis’ own affi nity for paradox fi nds a common fl uid ground with the counterordering agencies so vividly dramatized in Ligon. There, at an imaginary nodal point, the consciousness of the transformed History converges with the nascent Atlantic consciousness of the unfolding Journal. Those multiple levels witness to both the transhistorical and the suprahistorical nature of the imaginary. The convergence furnishes evidence that in the temporal passage certain signifi cant constituents of the imaginary remain constant, while others continue evolving, consistent with the imaginary’s nature.