| More

Translational Space and Creolising Aesthetics in Three Women’s Novels: the Radical Diasporic (Re)turn

Views: 183 Downloads: 132
Joan Anim-Addo
Joan Anim-Addo

Abstract


Proposing the notion of translational space, I consider the classroom and the literary text as crucial though differentiated spaces of translation. The idea of translational space borrows from Doreen Massey’s elaboration of space as a “complex web of relations of domination and subordination, of solidarity and cooperation.” I interlink the complexity of Massey’s “web” with an intention by the radical Other to translate, and interrogate how selected Caribbean diasporic texts might be shown to engage a process of translation, and for whom, particularly in light of George Lamming’s pronouncement concerning the West Indian writer, that “[h]e writes always for the foreign reader”. What is the translational impetus of a later generation of writers who Lamming was unable to imagine, namely, women authors of the region? I consider the translational space created by those authors’ challenging of canonical traditions that not only break through publication barriers, but place black women protagonists as central to their writing. The crux of my enquiry is the diasporic imaginary–represented in Beryl Gilroy’s In Praise of Love and Children, Andrea Levy’s Small Island, and Velma Pollard’s Karl–an imaginary which, centring black women characters is also concerned with a dialogic representation of the Other. I highlight issues of Creole or Caribbean identity that such an imaginary figures in its aesthetics and I foreground the diaspora as contested space whether public or intimate. Additionally in these texts, the (re)turn, as I consider it, affords a contemporary contextual presencing in dialogue with a violently muted historical past. Arising from this, my larger questions concern the meanings that might be inferred from such a Creole diasporic imaginary and its representation in terms of aesthetics and translational space. I explore the fictional representation of Caribbean lives “on the move” in Cresswell’s terms and their transnational representation. In their gendering of creolisation, diaspora and race, how do the writers translate the spatial interface that their characters negotiate? Whether in memories of Toronto in Pollard’s writing or in the London of Levy’s and Gilroy’s fiction, how do these texts represent space not only as cultural crossings but also as translational space within the new triangle that contests and dislodges notions of identity?


Keywords


Velma Pollard; Beryl Gilroy; Andrea Levy; Caribbean; translation; diasporic imaginary; creolization

Full Text:

PDF

References


Anim-Addo, Joan. “Gendering Creolisation: Creolising Affect.” Feminist Review 104 (2013): 5-23.

Anim-Addo, Joan. Touching the Body: History, Language and African-Caribbean Women’s Writing. London: Mango publishing, 2007.

Anim-Addo, Joan. “Towards a post-Western Humanism Made to the Measure of Those Recently Recognized as Human.” Edward Said and Jacques Derrida: Reonstellating Humanism and the Global Hybrid. Eds. Mina Karavanta and Nina Morgan. Newcastle: Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2008. 250-73.

Anim-Addo, Joan & Les Back. “Black British Literature in British Universities: a 21st-century Reality?” 2008a,

Brathwaite, Edward, Kamau. Contradictory Omens: Cultural Diversity and Integration in the Caribbean. Mona: Savacou Publications, 1974.

Brophy, Sarah. “Entangled Genealogies: White Femininity on the Threshold of Change in Andrea Levy’s Small Island.” Contemporary Women’s Writing 4.2 (2010): 114-133.

Courtman, Sandra. “Not Good Enough or not Man Enough? Beryl Gilroy as the Anomaly in the Evolving Black British Canon.” A Black British Canon? Eds. Gail Low and Gail Wynne Davies. Houndmills, Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2006. 50-73.

Cresswell, Tim. On the Move: Mobility in the Modern World. London: Routledge, 2006.

Gikandi, Simon. “This Thing Called Literature…What Work Does It Do?” PMLA 127.1 (2012): 9–21.

Giles, Paul. “Aesthetic Matters: Literature and the Politics of Disorientation.” SubStance 42.2 (2013): 99-113.

Gilroy, Beryl. Leaves in the Wind: Collected Writings. London: Mango Publishing, 1998.

Gilroy, Beryl. In Praise of Love and Chilren. Leeds: Peepal Tree Press, 1996.

Gilroy, Beryl. Black Teacher. London: Cassell, 1976.

Glissant, Édouard. Poetics of Relation. Trans. Betsy Wing. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 1997.

Hesse, Barnor. “Black to Front and Black Again: Racialization through Contested times and spaces.” Place and the Politics of Identity. Eds. Michael Keith and Steve Pile. London: Routledge, 1993. 162-182.

Lamming, George. The Pleasures of Exile. London: Michael Joseph, 1960.

Laclau, Ernesto. New Reflections on the Revolutions of Our Time. London: Verso, 1990.

Levy, Andrea. Small Island. New York: Picador, 2004.

Massey, Doreen. “Politics and Space/ Time.” New Left Review 1.196 (Nov. – Dec. 1992): 65-84.

Morrison, Toni. Playing in the Dark: Whiteness and the Literary Imagination. London: Picador, 1993.

Otter, Samuel. “An Aesthetics in All Things.” Representations 104.1 (Fall 2008): 116-125.

Perry, Kathryn. ‘The Heart of Whiteness: White Subjectivity and Interracial Relationships”. Romance Revisited. Eds. Lynne Pearce and Jackie Stacey. New York: New York UP, 1995. 171-84.

Philip, M. NourbeSe. She Tries Her Tongue Her Silence Softly Breaks. London: Women’s Press, 1993.

Philip, M. NourbeSe. “Dis Place–The Space Between.” A Genealogy of Resistance and Other Essays. Toronto: Mercury Press, 1997. 74–112.

Pollard, Velma. Karl. London: Mango Publishing, 2008.

Pratt, Mary Louise. Imperial Eyes: Travel Writing and Transculturation. London and New York:Routledge, 1992.

Prince, Mary. The History of Mary Prince, A West Indian slave / related by herself. Edited with an introduction by Moira Ferguson. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 1997.

Reck, Rima Drell. “The Politics of Literature.” PMLA 85.3 (May, 1970): 429-432.

Riley, Joan. Romance. London: Women’s Press, 1988.

Selvon, Samuel. Lonely Londoners with an introduction by Kenneth Ramchand. Harlow: Longman, 1987.

Tolliver, Joyce. “Rosalía between Two Shores: Gender, Rewriting, and Translation.” Hispania 85.1 (March, 2002): 33-43.

Venuti, Lawrence. “Translation, Community, Utopia.” The Translation Studies Reader. Ed. Lawrence Venuti. London & New York: Routledge, 2000: 468-88.


Refbacks

  • There are currently no refbacks.


Copyright (c) 2015 Joan Anim-Addo

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.