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Decolonization and the aesthetics of disorder: Naipaul, Evaristo, Boland

Whittle, Matthew (2021) Decolonization and the aesthetics of disorder: Naipaul, Evaristo, Boland. Journal of Commonwealth Literature, . ISSN 0021-9894. (doi:10.1177/0021989421996054) (KAR id:86974)

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https://doi.org/10.1177/0021989421996054

Abstract

Decolonization is presented in dominant accounts as an orderly transition and not the culmination of anticolonial resistance movements. This in turn contributes to what Paul Gilroy terms an endemic “post-imperial melancholia” across contemporary European nations and the removal of empire and its demise from understandings of European history. Drawing on Bill Schwarz’s reconceptualization of a Fanonian commitment to disorder, this article focuses on Britain’s history of colonialism and post-imperial immigration and argues for the mapping of a disorderly aesthetics in works by V. S. Naipaul, Bernardine Evaristo, and Eavan Boland. The three formal features of non-linearity, polyvocality, and environmental imagery enable these writers to bear witness to the complex histories of empire, transatlantic slavery, decolonization, and immigration from the colonial “margins”. These “aesthetics of disorder” counter a dominant narrative of decolonial order and challenge conceptions of British exceptionalism that were reinforced at the moment of imperial decline.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.1177/0021989421996054
Uncontrolled keywords: Kamau Brathwaite, Eavan Boland, decolonization, Bernardine Evaristo, Paul Gilroy, V. S. Naipaul, post-imperial melancholia, Bill Schwarz, tidalectics, transatlantic slavery
Subjects: P Language and Literature > PR English literature
Divisions: Divisions > Division of Arts and Humanities > School of English
Signature Themes: Migration and Movement
Depositing User: Matthew Whittle
Date Deposited: 06 Mar 2021 09:16 UTC
Last Modified: 25 Aug 2021 16:33 UTC
Resource URI: https://kar.kent.ac.uk/id/eprint/86974 (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
Whittle, Matthew: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-2051-9630
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