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See detail“Shakespeare was wrong”: counter-discursive intertextuality in Gail Jones’s Sorry
Belleflamme, Valérie-Anne ULg

in Journal of Postcolonial Writing (2015), 51(6), 661671

In what is presented as a moment of truth in Gail Jones’s novel Sorry, the narrator’s brief statement that “Shakespeare was wrong” appears to call into question the English dramatist’s literary and ... [more ▼]

In what is presented as a moment of truth in Gail Jones’s novel Sorry, the narrator’s brief statement that “Shakespeare was wrong” appears to call into question the English dramatist’s literary and epistemological supremacy. Starting from this unsettling premise, this article seeks to define Jones’s counter-discursive use of Shakespearean intertextuality. While it has, for decades, proved a risky task for both historians and novelists to write about the delicate issue of silence in Australia without risking the appropriation of an Aboriginal voice, the article examines how Jones exploits defamiliarizing techniques in order to undermine the dominant European discourse (as encoded in the Shakespearean text) without assuming an Aboriginal perspective. Her aim is to facilitate the emergence of an incipient, tentatively-defined counter-discourse sufficiently attuned to the specific realities of Australia. The article argues that by adopting an Australian cultural perspective designed to decentre Shakespeare Jones hopes to reconcile history and writing, but also the divided aspects of White Australia’s twofold identity at a time of profound national changes. [less ▲]

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See detailEmbarrassment in the Posthumous Fiction of Janet Frame
Delrez, Marc ULg

in Journal of Postcolonial Writing (2015), 51(5), 579-90

It is generally assumed that Janet Frame suspended the publication of some of her work in her lifetime because it was felt to be deeply personal, or potentially embarrassing for people who might recognize ... [more ▼]

It is generally assumed that Janet Frame suspended the publication of some of her work in her lifetime because it was felt to be deeply personal, or potentially embarrassing for people who might recognize themselves in the portraits provided. These rationalizations fail to persuade, first because all of Frame’s published oeuvre anyway consists of a fictionalization of private existential matter, and the posthumous corpus hardly differs in this respect; and also because both Towards Another Sum- mer (2007) and In the Memorial Room (2013) feature a Kafkaesque concern with metamorphosis which serves to enhance the unrealistic tenor of the narratives, so that the novels again seem on a par with previously published self-conscious material. What is more distinctive about the new/old novels is less their allegedly embarrassing nature than their unusual degree of frontal engagement with the experience of embarrassment itself – their pondering of the pros and cons of shyness. This theme is addressed in aesthetic terms mostly. Frame’s artistic characters blush and squirm and writhe in ways which confirm the role played by embarrassment as an inadvertent recognition of, and an unwilling subscription to, an oppressive societal norm. Yet it can be shown that Frame, true to her customary dialectical mode of conceptualization, simultaneously uses embarrassment as a decentring strategy allowing the novels to work towards an exposure of so-called social normality. This exposure is achieved through a systematic policy of borrowing from, and testily reproducing, those very limited and limiting expressive codes which were found mortifying in the first place. [less ▲]

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See detailPostcolonial Thresholds: Gateways and Borders
Wilson, Janet; Tunca, Daria ULg

in Journal of Postcolonial Writing (2015), 51(1), 1-6

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See detailCaryl Phillips’s drama: Liminal fiction under construction?
Ledent, Bénédicte ULg

in Journal of Postcolonial Writing (2015), 51(1), 84-94

Most of the existing criticism on Caryl Phillips deals with his novels or his essays. His plays, which were for the most part written in the 1980s, have received comparatively little attention. This ... [more ▼]

Most of the existing criticism on Caryl Phillips deals with his novels or his essays. His plays, which were for the most part written in the 1980s, have received comparatively little attention. This article argues that Phillips’s dramatic production should be examined closely because it contains in a nutshell some of the themes and characters that recur in his more mature work and therefore form the backbone of his world vision. Such a comparative approach helps to highlight Phillips’s artistic consistency and his ability to give different forms to similar concerns. More specifically, its aim is to show to what extent Phillips’s novel In the Falling Snow (2009) is a liminal text that is in fact built upon the preoccupations at the heart of his early plays, most notably Strange Fruit (1981), Where There Is Darkness (1982) and The Shelter (1983). [less ▲]

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See detailPostcolonial Thesholds: Gateways and Borders
Wilson, Janet; Tunca, Daria ULg

in Journal of Postcolonial Writing (2015), 51(1), 1-107

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See detailJanet Frame in East-West Encounters: A Buddhist Exploration
Gabrielle, Cindy ULg

in Journal of Postcolonial Writing (2013), 49(3), 328-339

Through a close scrutiny of Janet Frame's life and work, it is my intention in this essay to suggest that Buddhism proved an irresistible magnet for the author’s inquisitive spirit and that it played an ... [more ▼]

Through a close scrutiny of Janet Frame's life and work, it is my intention in this essay to suggest that Buddhism proved an irresistible magnet for the author’s inquisitive spirit and that it played an important part in the shaping of her poetics. In effect, we shall see under what circumstances Frame’s encounter with the East took place and the extent to which notions such as the empirical mind or knowledge, the Great Death of the ego and the non-duality of the world permeate her oeuvre. The underlying concern in the second part of the essay shall be to buttress the claim that Frame constantly seeks ways through which the infinite and the other can be approached, but not corrupted, by the perceiving self, and that she found in the Buddhist epistemology a pathway towards such alterity. Thus, against the grain of mainstream criticism which maintains that one cannot explore "beyond," a Buddhist navigation of Frame’s texts leads one to the surprising notion that the unharnessed world (or the infinite) which human beings are unable to embrace is, so to speak, right under their nose so that, between 'this' world of limited perceptions and 'that' world of the beyond, the boundary is as thick or as thin as the walls of a self-made conceptual prison. [less ▲]

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See detailRace and antiracism in black British and British Asian literature
Ledent, Bénédicte ULg

in Journal of Postcolonial Writing (2012), 48(4), 460-461

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See detailPossessed by Whiteness: Interracial Affiliations and Racial Melancholia in Mohsin Hamid's The Reluctant Fundamentalist
Munos, Delphine ULg

in Journal of Postcolonial Writing (2012), 48(4), 396-405

Drawing on whiteness studies and psychoanalytical theory, this article explores representations of interracial relationships as a means to claim and/or contest the ideal of whiteness in Mohsin Hamid’s The ... [more ▼]

Drawing on whiteness studies and psychoanalytical theory, this article explores representations of interracial relationships as a means to claim and/or contest the ideal of whiteness in Mohsin Hamid’s The Reluctant Fundamentalist. In Hamid’s novel, the 9/11 attacks trigger a crisis in self-identification for model-minority Pakistani protagonist Changez, which proves illuminating in terms of the invisible racial subjugation exerted so far upon him by Jim, Changez’s passport into the corporate world, and by Erica, his (white) lifeline to exclusive Manhattan. The article focuses on the ways in which Hamid uses the post 9/11 context to reveal the racial melancholia surreptitiously informing today’s “new” versions of the American Dream, which is apparent in Changez’s and Erica’s relationship as well as in their parallel impossible mourning of the broken mirror of “white” Am/Erica. Emphasizing the extent to which whiteness and racial melancholia permeate the discourse of assimilation, Hamid’s book rewrites the “new” American Dream as what Anne Anlin Cheng has called a “fantasy built on absences”. [less ▲]

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See detailReview of Frameworks: Contemporary Criticism on Janet Frame, ed. by Jan Cronin & Simone Drichel
Tunca, Daria ULg

in Journal of Postcolonial Writing (2011), 47(3), 362-363

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See detailThe Poetics of Dissolution: The Representation of Maori Culture in Janet Frame’s Fiction
Gabrielle, Cindy ULg

in Journal of Postcolonial Writing (2010), 46(2), 209-220

This essay examines Janet Frame’s early short story “The Lagoon”, and argues that the story alludes to Maori experience, albeit tangentially, in a way which anticipates similar evocations in novels such ... [more ▼]

This essay examines Janet Frame’s early short story “The Lagoon”, and argues that the story alludes to Maori experience, albeit tangentially, in a way which anticipates similar evocations in novels such as A State of Siege and The Carpathians. A close reading shows that cultural imperialism in Frame runs parallel to, or is a side-effect of, interpersonal appropriations. These, in turn, seem to be rooted in human beings’ reluctance to accommodate otherness. Recurrently Janet Frame points to a model of cultural and interpersonal interaction which is detached from proprietorial forms of appropriation, but which entails nothing less than the dissolution of the ruling ego. Selfdissolution shall emerge in this reading as the key to a utopian state consisting of the total permeability between the self and the remainder of the world. In this state, transactions become reciprocal since the divisions between self and non-self no longer exist. [less ▲]

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See detailThe Legacy of Invention: Determinism and Metafiction in Janet Frame's Mona Minim and the Smell of the Sun
Delrez, Marc ULg

in Journal of Postcolonial Writing (2009), 45(1),

This essay offers a close reading of Mona Minim and the Smell of the Sun, a tale for children often thought to be unique in the corpus of Janet Frame in that its implied reading public compelled the ... [more ▼]

This essay offers a close reading of Mona Minim and the Smell of the Sun, a tale for children often thought to be unique in the corpus of Janet Frame in that its implied reading public compelled the author to keep her distance from her usual preoccupation with the great negative themes of twentieth-century consciousness. Yet Frame’s declaration in an interview that this was her favourite among her own published books should alert us to the possibility that thematic continuities subterraneously connect it to the rest of the work. In particular, the exploration of animal life encouraged by the genre can be seen to be paradigmatic of her interest in alternative ontologies and to encode the concern with creativity which is a touchstone of her entire output. Typically, too, the figure of the artist – in this case, of the story-teller – is invested with a redemptive value for the beleaguered individual, and cannot be separated from a metafictional mode of representation which is possibly unexpected in what purports to be a simple fairy tale. [less ▲]

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See detailPaying Attention to Language, Replicas and the Role of the Artist in Janet Frame's Living in the Maniototo
Tunca, Daria ULg

in Journal of Postcolonial Writing (2006), 42(1), 32-43

Janet Frame's 1979 novel Living in the Maniototo features a ubiquitous narrator whose multiple personalities are linked by a common interest in creation. This choice of narrative perspective, coupled with ... [more ▼]

Janet Frame's 1979 novel Living in the Maniototo features a ubiquitous narrator whose multiple personalities are linked by a common interest in creation. This choice of narrative perspective, coupled with the characters and events depicted in the book, provides the basis for an exploration of the related concepts of art, language and replicas. By establishing connections between these elements, this article attempts to unveil the dynamics at work in the novel's multi-layered structure and thus shed light on the role of the artist in the narrative and, by extension, on the author's metafictional strategy. [less ▲]

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