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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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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: Matt Whittle
Date Deposited: 06 Mar 2021 09:16 UTC
Last Modified: 14 Nov 2022 23:11 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
Whittle, Matthew:
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