Global Ethics and Postcolonial Lucifers
Console-Soican, Paula S.
University of Kansas
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This dissertation unites four literary accounts from four different parts of the world under the concept of extraterritorial literature - literature by and about exile. Salman Rushdie’s The Satanic Verses (India-England, 1988); Abdulrazak Gurnah’s Admiring Silence (Zanzibar-England, 1996); Jamaica Kincaid’s Lucy (Antigua-US, 1990); and Hector Tobar’s The Tattooed Soldier (Guatemala-US, 1998) are brought together under the claim that transnational, extraterritorial literature is not a superior discourse but a momentous analysis of contemporary imperialism. A central argument in this dissertation is that writers who cross borders and who relocate from formerly colonized places to imperial metropolitan centers in the West use the transgressive figure of the exile, an unaccommodated, resistant other, in order to provide immanent critique -- to put histories, cultures, and ideologies face to face. This literary figure helps us understand that the alliance with people not only of the same kind but fundamentally different from us is necessary in reaching the real height of the self that exile promotes. The dialectic of the imperial mind – the Western fascination with the exotic other, the European Project of describing itself by way of describing the colonized; and also the dialectic of the colonized mind – that which has become “parasitically obsessed” with the West as a colonial power, are central terms to this project. The social and literary subjects that this dialectic produces must be seen in relation to an ideology of hope surrounding the exiled secular intellectual whose role is to promote a democratic ideal. Through these postcolonial Luciferic characters, the authors offer a meditation on global ethics, a cosmopolitan discourse that is not only necessary but also inevitable in today’s age of increased multiculturalism.
- Dissertations 
- English Dissertations and Theses 
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