“The House I Live in…a Language which Barks and Scorns at Me behind Every Corner”

Simon Lewis

in British and African Literature in Transnational Context

Published by University Press of Florida

Published in print May 2011 | ISBN: 9780813036021
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780813038636 | DOI:
“The House I Live in…a Language which Barks and Scorns at Me behind Every Corner”

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This chapter explores Abdulrazak Gurnah's works. The European colonizer/African colonized discourse is explicitly complicated in Zanzibar, the birth place of Gurnah, by a set of circumstances which do not fit the Black Atlantic model. Two additional discourses in particular need to be factored into the discussion here: the history of the Cold War and how it played out in Africa between World War II and the collapse of communism in 1990, and the history of the Indian Ocean world and the various and complex circulations of people, things, and ideas within it—notably Islam. Furthermore, a reading of Gurnah's works supports the critique of mainstream Western discourse for writing and reading about Africa.

Keywords: Abdulrazak Gurnah; African colonized discourse; European colonizer; Zanzibar; Black Atlantic model; Cold War; World War II; communism; Indian Ocean; Islam

Chapter.  10189 words. 

Subjects: Literature

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