The Plurality of Subjectivity: Memories Of Displacement in Selected “Postcolonial” Narratives of Africa and South Asia

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Debarati Chakraborty


In the period immediately following the colonial era, a massive displacement from the respective “motherland” or the native place is witnessed due to several political and social factors. The dislocation from one’s own land, and the trauma and the pain which follows, results in its reflection in the literary landscape, sometimes in the memory of the protagonist who is unable to return to the native place, or sometimes in the lived experience of the person, who, on return to her erstwhile native place, witnesses a massive change in this postcolonial land, which is so familiar, yet unfamiliar. This paper will try to explore the various nuances of the memories of the displaced people, and the unique narrative format they had chosen to write their memories, with respect to select long narratives from Anglophone Africa and South Asia. Merleau Ponty pointed out that language is the medium for transporting the “I” into the other person’s perspective  – in it and through it we participate in the intersubjective world. Hence, the politics of the language chosen, too, will be an area to be explored. This paper will also try to problematize the shared notion of postcoloniality with respect to Africa and South Asia, and how the identity of an African and a South Asian is fractured by the colonial experience.

Published: Nov 14, 2022

Article Details

South Asian Visions of Africa and African/Diasporic Literatures