Archives in As Flies to Whatless Boys

From 'Archives in As Flies to Whatless Boys':

As Flies to Whatless Boys (2013) follows Willy as he recounts stories from his youth when he was a recruit in the Tropical Emigration Society (TES), a group with the goal of building a utopian community in Trinidad. The novel incorporates a variety of different texts that speak to each other, including “primary documents” such as letters, maps, drawings, and newspaper articles among others. The variety of texts function as archives that “[create] new possibilities, possibilities for seeing connections previously unexamined and for reordering our ontological taken-for-granted” in terms of the chronology of the narrative (27). The archives complement and advance the thematic narrative of the novel and their placement, which interrupts the traditional flow of the novel, has the effect of engaging readers as well as opening up avenues for reflecting and gaining more knowledge about the narrative, allowing readers to feel more part of the story.

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