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Exotic places to read: Desire, resistance, and the postcolonial. [microform]
Bib ID 4498781
Format BookBook, MicroformMicroform, OnlineOnline
Snell, Heather R
Online Versions
Description 269 p. 
ISBN 9780494308530

This dissertation investigates the diverse deployment of exoticist tropes in selected postcolonial texts written in, from, or toward Australia, India, the Caribbean, and Canada between 1962 and 2003. I argue that postcolonial writing necessarily locates itself in a space of ambivalence toward discursive containments of difference. Building upon theories of the exotic, I advocate a greater attentiveness to the reciprocal relations that frequently motivate the inclusion of exotifiable elements in the works of Rodney Hall, Ardashir Vakil, V.S. Naipaul, and Andre Alexis. By drawing attention to the libidinal, subversive, and political registers of perception, postcolonial texts might encourage readers to become aware of how peoples, cultures, and texts perceived to be foreign are aesthetically decontextualized when subjected to the exotifying gaze.

The introduction locates my study within postcolonial theories of the exotic, which tend to privilege highly ironic or deliberately "postmodern" texts. It delineates an approach to postcolonial writing, which, while based on these theories, departs from them by considering texts whose subtle enunciation of the exotic challenges orthodox specifications. In Chapter One I examine Australian writer Rodney Hall's Yandilli Trilogy, which implies that the critical redeployment of the exoticist tropes of paradise on which early settlers relied enables their deconstruction. In direct opposition, West Indian V.S. Naipaul's travelogues, which I interrogate in Chapter Two, emphasize that a deliberately anti-exoticist approach may only reinforce the fantasy frames through which India and the Caribbean are frequently seen. In Chapter Three, I move to the exotification of the West through Indian diasporic novelist Ardashir Vakil's Beach Boy and One Day.

Vakil's reversal of the exotifying gaze, I argue, allows for enlightening expressions of the postcolonial subject's fraught position within the cities of Mumbai and London respectively. In Chapter Four, I suggest that the works of Trinidadian-Canadian Andre Alexis aptly illuminate how the postcolonial is both haunted by and resistant toward multiculturalism as an exoticist discourse. In stressing the impossibility of simple dichotomies between East and West, the study insinuates that the exotic is always already in excess of any attempt to contain it. The conclusion highlights the irregular ways in which the exotic permeates postcolonial literatures and articulates what happens when the exotic is theorized as a convergence of cultural flows. Key Words: exotic, postcolonial, Australia, India, the Caribbean, Canada, ambivalence, Rodney Hall, Ardashir Vakil, V.S. Naipaul, Andre Alexis, libidinal, subversive, political, paradise, fantasy, multiculturalism.



Source: Dissertation Abstracts International, Volume: 68-09, Section: A, page: 3848.

Thesis (Ph.D.)--The University of Western Ontario (Canada), 2007.

Reproduction Microfiche. Ann Arbor, Mich. : University Microfilms International. 
Subjects Literature, Modern.  |  Literature, Asian.  |  Literature, Canadian (English).  |  Literature, Australia, New Zealand, and Oceania.  |  Literature, Caribbean.
Other authors/contributors The University of Western Ontario (Canada)

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