Literary Location and Dislocation of Myth in the Post/Colonial Anglophone World
Edited by André Dodeman, University of Grenoble–Alpes, and Élodie Raimbault, University of Grenoble–Alpes
The English-speaking world today is so diverse that readers need a gateway to its many postcolonial narratives and art forms. This collection of essays examines this diver¬sity and what brings so many different cul¬tures together. Whether Indian, Canadian, Australasian or Zimbabwean, the stories dis¬cussed focus on how artists render experi¬ences of separation, belonging, and loss. The histories and transformations postcolonial countries have gone through have given rise to a wide range of myths that retrace their birth, evolution, and decline. Myths have enabled ethnic communities to live together; the first section of this collection dwells on stories, which can be both inclusive and exclusive, under the aegis of ‘nation’.
While certain essays revisit and retell the crucial role women have played in mythical texts like the Mahābhārata, others discuss how settler colonies return to and re-appro¬priate a past in order to define themselves in the present. Crises, clashes, and conflicts, which are at the heart of the second section of this book, entail myths of historical and cultural dislocation. They appear as breaks in time that call for reconstruction and redefini¬tion, a chief instance being the trauma of slavery, with its deep geographical and cul¬tural dislocations. However, the crises that have deprived entire communities of their homeland and their identity are followed by moments of remembrance, reconciliation, and rebuilding. As the term ‘postcolonial’ sug¬gests, the formerly colonized people seek to revisit and re-investigate the impact of colo¬nization before committing it to collective memory. In a more specifically literary sec¬tion, texts are read as mythopoeia, fore¬grounding the aesthetic and poetic issues in colonial and postcolonial poems and novels. The texts explored here study in different ways the process of mytho¬logization through images of location and dislocation. The editors of this collection hope that readers worldwide will enjoy reading about the myths that have shaped and continue to shape postcolonial communities and nations.
Elara Bertho, Dúnlaith Bird, Marie–Christine Blin, Jaine Chemmachery, André Dodeman, Biljana Đorić Francuski, Frédéric Dumas, Daniel Karlin, Sabine Lauret–Taft, Anne Le Guellec–Minel, Élodie Raimbault, Winfried Siemerling, Laura Singeot, Françoise Storey, Jeff Storey, Christine Vandamme