Rocznik Komparatystyczny

ISSN: 2081-8718     eISSN: 2353-2831     DOI: 10.18276/rk.2019.10-02
CC BY-SA   Open Access 

Lista wydań / 10 (2019)
The Unbearable Postcoloniality of Non-Being: Specters of History and the Scars They Trace

Autorzy: S Satish Kumar
University of Georgia, USA
Słowa kluczowe: literatura porównawcza teoria i krytyka postkolonialna studia afrykańskie Afryka Południowa studia afrykańsko-amerykańskie etyka porównania
Rok wydania:2019
Liczba stron:26 (25-50)
Cited-by (Crossref) ?:


This paper is as much an engagement with postcolonial criticism and theory as it is an exploration into both an aesthetics and a hermeneutics of the postcolonial condition. The two texts, Zakes Mda’s The Heart of Redness and Toni Morrison’s Beloved, could not be seemingly more disparate. However, despite such vast differences in locationality, one might upon closer examination discern similar aesthetic devices in the narrativization of historical events. The preponderance of motifs such as scars and hauntings; both in many ways signifiers of embodied traumatic pasts, lead one to entertain possibilities for comparison. Such comparisons are often made easier when one considers colonization as a shared event in the histories of the two contexts; ethnic conflict in colonial South Africa and slavery in America. While one is not completely foreclosing the possibilities of a fruitful dialogue across the two contexts, there are a variety of ethical underpinnings to such a potential intercultural exchanges – an ethics of comparison that accounts for not just the perceived structural or aesthetic similarities, but equally honors the experiential differences across and within two or more positions of marginality. It is precisely such an aesthetics and ethics that this study attempts to demonstrate in addressing questions of comparability and the intersecting theoretical and hermeneutic lenses available to comparatists, especially in the study of literatures located otherwise than dominant Euro-American positionalities.
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