This article examines the novel The Floating World (1989) by the Japanese American author Cynthia Kadohata. I will read Kadohata’s novel in the context of post-colonial theory. The article will argue that the novel seeks to redefine America as a space of hybridity in a manner that is not merely celebratory. Rather, Kadohata’s novel shows that the process of constructing hybrid identities is also one of violence, trauma and unease. In my reading I will show that the novel’s representation of hybridity is constructed in the framework of memory and ghosts. In my discussion of the novel, I will address its representation of in-betweenness by using the concepts of Homi K. Bhabha and Walter Benjamin. Furthermore, as the novel’s protagonist’s identity is redefined through notions and problematizations of movement, mobility, and home, the novel is interpreted as an instance of the formation of a new, diasporic identity seeking to challenge the discourse of fixed origins.
This article argues that the events of September 11, 2001 may lead us to fundamentally rethink some of the key tenets of postcolonial theory, most notably the concept of hybridity. In light of this (political and theoretical) necessity of critical revision, it is all the more striking that (erstwhile) postcolonial writers such as Salman Rushdie and Hanif Kureishi have their fictional protagonists – in their most recent novels Fury and Gabriel’s Gift, respectively – go mainstream and hence postethnic, while they discover a new kind of cultural exoticism: the off-white allure of postcommunist subjects.
Colonial theorists often focus on binary dynamics of resistance or absorption – ignoring dialogic exchanges that negotiated the contact zone. But the bicultural autobiographies of William Apess and Charles Eastman, and the autobiographical collaborations of Black Elk with John Neihardt, and Mary Crow Dog with Richard Erdoes, have a dialogic nexus of exchange between narrators, editors, translators, audience, temporalities, genres and conventions; between Native and white, individual and community, subject and object, past and present, linear and cyclical time. As hybrid constructions, these intralinguistic autobiographies offered a multi-cultural vision beyond the rhetoric of melting pot or mosaic. Within a literary form that was traditionally monocultural, Native autobiographers expressed a relational, intersubjective individuality, and wove together Native and white literary traditions into transcultural documents. They used dialogic strategies against colonial dialectics, and crafted a hybrid borderland of resistance and freedom where possible worlds and multiple voices co-exist.
Antonio Cornejo Polar
India, Alterity and the Real in the Works of J.M. Coetzee
variants in representation. Bruce Fink, in his phenomenal study called The Lacanian Subject: Between Language and Jouissance , defines the Lacanian real in ways which are highly evocative of Coetzee’s discussion, in Elizabeth Costello , of the evolution (or reductive transformation) of the biological man
Creolisation, Magic, and Mimesis in Oceanic Networks
kinds of criticism that would galvanize support among the European readership for a new, ‘enlightened’ colonialism, one that would accommodate the views and criticisms of the imagined subjects of empire. 15 Furthermore, she claims that they consolidated the philosophical foundations for a battle to be
articulation of their ideas but in less sustained fashion. Ribeiro’s wide-ranging exploration of the entangled dimensions of creolisation, mimesis and magic in writing accounts of the “other” begins with him pointing to certain similarities between his own subject position and that of the eighteenth century
Issues in Representation
” indicate that this man has in all likelihood been subjected to torture. His abject state is clear from his posture, and the author quietly inserts evidence both of his fear of further punishment and the fact that he is keeping silent about what exactly was done to him—he is weeping “silently