By Maggie Awadalla, Paul March-Russell
This ebook places the fast tale on the center of up to date postcolonial stories and questions what postcolonial literary feedback will be. targeting brief fiction among 1975 and this day – the interval during which serious thought got here to figure out postcolonial reports – it argues for a classy critique exemplified through the anomaly of the shape.
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Extra resources for The Postcolonial Short Story: Contemporary Essays
The knocks on the door are gradually turning into strikes. I have not responded to it. (129) As ‘home-bound’ and ‘home-penetrated’ merge, the narrative is rendered immobile, unable in the last lines to judge anything but its own apparent failure: ‘I do not even move from my bed. I do nothing and I feel it is the right thing’ (129). That ‘nothing’ is neither glib nor, in any simple sense, provocative; it contains the full force of the narrative. Nothing concrete has been told, no concrete action, not even a telephone call, has been completed.
Grace’s novel Potiki similarly incorporates fragments of speeches made during a tangihanga, and is also – like her novels Cousins (1992) and Baby No-Eyes (1998) – structured into 40 Patricia Grace and Ma¯ori Short Fiction discrete chapters narrated by multiple family members who offer differing yet overlapping perspectives on particular events, in a manner comparable to the tradition of whaiko ¯ rero. One of the most palpable formal ways in which writers such as Grace and Ihimaera index Ma¯ori oral traditions is through the use of Ma¯ori words and phrases in predominantly English-medium narratives.
I am in the house. (129) Speaking from within the location of trauma – its absent address in the language of his parents – the narrative reveals the event as already within the walls of the home. It is present as the ‘nothing’ that determines the narrator’s response, the absence, gaps and walls in the language of trauma that both colonize and evacuate his articulation of the present context. This is a learnt culture of amnesia, the story suggests, forgetting itself in language – and so repeating its story even as it tells it.