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'Counter-discourse theory urges readings of postcolonial fictions that are renarrativisations of canonical texts of empire in terms of their strategies of resistance. Recent novels by Peter Carey and Lloyd Jones amply acknowledge their debt to their precursor, Charles Dickens Great Expectations, but this chapter argues that the contestatory imperial relationship is overlaid with the equally compelling theme of postcolonial home and belonging. Carey exploits the oppositional "writing back" paradigm; Jones, by contrast, makes veneration of the Dickensian text central to his plot. Both, however, can also be described as diasporic novels in their preoccupation with the colony as home, as their colonial protagonists, after a fraught encounter with their Victorian heritage in the metropolitan centre of London, find their destiny/destination in the "return." Although this diasporic reading reiterates the familiar binaries of metropolitan centre and colonial periphery, it repositions the filial relationship as one of postcolonial habitation and settlement.' (220)

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  • Appears in:
    y The Shadow of the Precursor Diana Glenn (editor), Ben Kooyman (editor), Md Rezaul Haque (editor), Nena Bierbaum (editor), Newcastle upon Tyne : Cambridge Scholars Press , 2012 Z1872028 2012 anthology criticism

    'A shadow, in its most literal sense, is the projection of a silhouette against a surface and the obstruction of direct light from hitting that surface. For writers and artists, the shadows cast by their precursors can be either a welcome influence, one consciously evoked in textual production via homage or bricolage, or can manifest as an intrusive, haunting, prohibitive presence, one which threatens to engulf the successor. Many writers and artists are affected by an anxious and ambiguous relationship with their precursors, while others are energised by this relationship. The role that intertextuality plays in creative production invites interrogation, and this publication explores a range of conscious and unconscious influences informing relations between texts and contexts, between predecessors and successors.

    The chapters revolve around intertextual influence, ranging from conscious imitation and intentional allusion to Julia Kristeva's idea of intertextuality. Do all texts contain references to and even quotations from other texts? Do such references help shape how we read? This multidisciplinary work includes chapters on the long shadows cast by Shakespeare, Dante, Scott, Virgil and Ovid, the shadows of colonial precursors on postcolonial successors, the shadows cast over Kipling and Murdoch, and chapters on other writers, dramatists and filmmakers and their relationships with precursor figures. With its focus on intertextual relationships, this book contributes to the thriving fields of adaptation studies and studies of intertextuality' (Publisher website).

    Newcastle upon Tyne : Cambridge Scholars Press , 2012
    pg. 220-235
Last amended 6 Sep 2012 10:35:05
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