This study of Janet Frame's fiction addresses with unusual directness the Utopian momentum that underpins her concern with fundamental social issues, traditionally highlighted in existing criticism of her work. The idea behind this book is that Frame's critique of society, while it is offered for its own sake on one level, should not lead us to neglect the author's more speculative interest in an alternative conception of the human person. Her engagement in a species of experimental portraiture proves elusive, though, owing to an indirectness of approach that usually takes the form of thematic circumscription, rather than explicit representation. For example, the figure of the mute child, recurrent in her work, may well testify to a concern with the plight of the mentally ill; but on another level it also points to an envelope of intractable experience which it is the artist’s task to penetrate and explain.
Such aspiration is inseparable from the search for a new medium of expression, felt to be necessary if one is to meet the challenge of apprehending the scope of pioneering knowledge. This close reading of the novels reveals that the alternative dimension of experience to be found in Frame’s novels is characterized by an intact capacity for remembering, or for imaginatively re-creating, eclipsed aspects of the present. Frame's view of Utopia thus turns out to be manifold: it is existential and ontological, linguistic and epistemological, but also historical and political. An unravelling of these intertwined strains then serves to clarify the complex question of Frame's post-colonial sensibility, which cannot be said to rely on a sense of rigid identity, whether national or otherwise.
This collection has one central theoretical focus, viz. stock-taking essays on the present and future status of postcolonialism, transculturalism, nationalism, and globalization. These are complemented by ‘special’ angles of entry (e.g. ‘dharmic ethics’) and by considerations of the global impress of technology (African literary studies and the Internet). Further essays have a focus on literary-cultural studies in Australia (the South Asian experience) and New Zealand (ecopoetics; a Central European émigrée perspective on the nation; the unravelling of literary nationalism; transplantation and the trope of translation). The thematic umbrella, finally, covers studies of such topics as translation and interculturalism (the transcendental in Australian and Indian fiction; African Shakespeares; Canadian narrative and First-Nations story templates); anglophone / francophone relations (the writing and rewriting of crime fiction in Africa and the USA; utopian fiction in Quebec); and syncretism in post-apartheid South African theatre. Some of the authors treated in detail are: Janet Frame; Kapka Kassabova; Elizabeth Knox; Annamarie Jagose; Denys Trussell; David Malouf; Patrick White; Yasmine Gooneratne; Raja Rao; Robert Kroetsch; Thomas King; Chester Himes; Julius Nyerere; Ayi Kwei Armah; Léopold Sédar Senghor; Simon Njami; Abourahman Waberi; Lueen Conning; Nuruddin Farah; Athol Fugard; Frantz Fanon; Julia Kristeva; Shakespeare. The collection is rounded off by creative writing (prose, poetry, and drama) by Bernard Cohen, Jan Kemp, Vincent O’Sullivan, Andrew Sant, and Sujay Sood.
This second collection, complementing ASNEL Papers 9.1, covers a similar range of writers, topics, themes and issues, all focusing on present-day transcultural issues and their historical antecedents. Topics treated: Preparing for post-apartheid in South African fiction; Maori culture and the New Historicism; Danish-New Zealand acculturation; linguistic approaches to ‘void’; women’s overcoming in Southern African writing; new post-apartheid approaches to literary studies; Afrikanerdom; postmodern psychoanalytic interpretations of Indian religion and identity; transcultural identity in the encounter with London: Malaysian, Nigerian, Pakistani; hypertextual postmodernism; fictionalized multiculturalism and female madness in Australian fiction; myopia and double vision in colonial Australia; Native-American fiction and poetry; Chinese-Canadian and Japanese-Canadian multiculturalism; the postcolonial city; African-American identity and postcolonial Africa; Johannesburg as locus of literary and dramatic creativity; theatre before and after apartheid; the black experience in England.
Writers discussed: Lalithambika Antherjanam; Ayi Kwei Armah; J.M. Coetzee; Tsitsi Dangarembga; Helen Darville; Lauris Edmond; Buchi Emecheta; Yvonne du Fresne; Hiromi Goto; Patricia Grace; Rodney Hall; Joy Harjo; Bessie Head; Gordon Henry Jr.; Christopher Hope; Ruth Prawer Jhabvala; Hanif Kureishi; Keri Hulme, Lee Kok Liang; Bill Manhire; Zakes Mda; Mike Nicol; Michael Ondaatje; Alan Paton; Ravinder Randhawa; Wendy Rose; Salman Rushdie; Sipho Sepamla; Atima Srivastava; Meera Syal; Marlene van Niekerk; Yvonne Vera; Fred Wah
Contributions by Ken Arvidson; Thomas Brückner; David Callahan; Eleonora Chiavetta; Marc Colavincenzo; Gordon Collier; John Douthwaite; Dorothy Driver; Claudia Duppé; Robert Fraser; Anne Fuchs; John Gamgee; D.C.R.A. Goonetilleke; Konrad Gross; Bernd Herzogenrath; Susanne Hilf; Clara A.B. Joseph; Jaroslav Kušnír; Chantal Kwast–Greff; M.Z. Malaba; Sigrun Meinig; Michael Meyer; Mike Nicol; Obododimma Oha; Vincent O’Sullivan; Judith Dell Panny; Mike Petry; Jochen Petzold; Norbert H. Platz; Malcolm Purkey; Stéphanie Ravillon; Anne Holden Rønning; Richard Samin; Cecile Sandten; Nicole Schröder; Joseph Swann; André Viola; Christine Vogt–William; Bernard Wilson; Janet Wilson; Brian Worsfold.
Creative writing by Katherine Gallagher; Peter Goldsworthy; Syd Harrex; Mike Nicol
This collection ranges far and wide, as befits the personality and accomplishments of the dedicatee, Geoffrey V. Davis, German studies and exile literature scholar, postcolonialist (if there are ‘specialties’, then Australia, Canada, India, South Africa, Black Britain), journal and book series editor.... Themes covered include publishing in Africa, charisma in African drama, the rediscovery of apartheid-era South African literature, Truth and Reconciliation commissions, South African cinema, children’s theatre in England and Eritrea, and the Third Chimurenga in literary anthologies. Surveyed are texts from Botswana, Nigeria, South Africa, Tanzania, and Zimbabwe. Writers discussed (or interviewed: Angela Makholwa) include Ayi Kwei Armah, Seydou Badian, J.M. Coetzee, Chielo Zona Eze, Ruth First, Abdulrazak Gurnah, Bessie Head, Ian Holding, Kavevangua Kahengua, Njabulo Ndebele, Lara Foot Newton, Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o/Micere Githae Mugo, Sol Plaatje, Ken Saro–Wiwa, Mongane Wally Serote, Wole Soyinka, and Ed¬gar Wallace, together with essays on the artist Sokari Douglas Camp and the filmmaker Rayda Jacobs. Because Geoff’s commitment to literature has always been ‘hands-on’, the book closes with a selection of poems and an entertaining travelogue/memoir.
This collection ranges far and wide, as befits the personality and accomplishments of the dedicatee, Geoffrey V. Davis, German studies and exile literature scholar, postcolonialist (if there are ‘specialties’, then Australia, Canada, India, South Africa, Black Britain), journal and book series editor.... The volume opens with essays on cultural theory and practice, proceeds to close analyses of ‘settler colony’ texts from Canada, India, Australia, and New Zealand (drama, fiction, and poetry) as well as Pacific drama and Canadian indigeneity, thence ‘homeward’ to the UK (black drama, Scottish fiction, the music of Morrissey) and to German themes (exile literature; fictions about Hitler). Because Geoff’s commitment to literature has always been ‘hands-on’, the book closes with a selection of poems and experimental prose. Writers discussed include Carmen Aguirre, Hany Abu-Assad, Beryl Bainbridge, Albert Belz, Peter Bland, Peter Carey, Lynda Chanwai–Earle, Kamala Das, Robert Drewe, Éric Emmanuel–Schmitt, Toa Fraser, Stephen Fry, Dianna Fuemana, Mavis Gallant, Alasdair Gray, Xavier Her¬bert, Janette Turner Hospital, Elizabeth Jolley, Wendy Lill, Varanasi Nagalakshmi, Arundhati Roy, Daniel Sloate, Drew Hayden Taylor, Jane Urquhart, Roy Williams, and Arnold Zweig.