Chapter

Introduction

Andrew Hock Soon Ng

in Intimating the Sacred

Published by Hong Kong University Press

Published in print October 2011 | ISBN: 9789888083213
Published online January 2012 | e-ISBN: 9789882209831 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5790/hongkong/9789888083213.003.0001
Introduction

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This Introduction establishes the historical and theoretical framework for this study. It argues that scholarship on Anglophone Malaysian literature has tended towards a limited focus on race and nation-building, thus ignoring other quietist, intangible dimensions that are equally, if not more, profound in their impact on the fashioning of identities in a country fraught with racial-religious tensions. This chapter begins with a brief outline of Malaysia's colonial and postcolonial histories and the way they have shaped contemporary Malaysian identity, and by extension, its Anglophone literature. It then mounts a defense with regard to the importance of a psychoanalytical and poststructuralist reading of texts in order understand the way in which religion and the religious is experienced on intimate levels, and what these experiences means for the different individuals whose identity is also undercut by race, class and gender.

Keywords: Anglophone Malaysian literature; race; nation-building; psychoanalytical reading; poststructuralist reading; religious experience; race; class; gender

Chapter.  10819 words. 

Subjects: Sociolinguistics

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