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Echoes of History, Shadowed Identities

Rewriting Alterity in J. M. Coetzee’s "Foe" and Marina Warner’s "Indigo"

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Maria-José Chivite de León

This book addresses the recovery of submerged memories, loss and trauma in self-avowed intertextual fiction, while simultaneously exposing the tensions and untenability of any stable figuration of alterity. Otherness thus posits a liminal and largely transversal site of resistance to monological representations of Western identity, history and canon, which are now displayed inherently crossbred and built on the occulting and alienating of difference.
With this in view, the author carries out a close reading of the works and scholarly statements of J. M. Coetzee and Marina Warner by taking as the point of departure the intertextualist approaches that most attend to the phenomenon of alterity against the critical discourses of modern representation. Fully installed in the revision of canon policies, Foe and Indigo re-read Eurocentric institutionalised forms of othering at the same time they posit new and suggestive rehearsals of identity languages via literature. Intertextual fiction thus turns out to be a powerful instrument to render alterity visible and agential in the discourses of reality. Ultimately, alterity is enabled to speak and invite social change and ethical awareness without denying the history of its alienation.

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Introduction.................................................................,,,......................ix 1. Intertextuality and Alterity ............................................................. 1 1.1 Rewriting Alterity: Intertextualist Approaches ..................... 5 1.1.1 Mikhail Bakhtin, and Bakhtin According to Julia Kristeva........................................................ 6 1.1.2 Intertextuality, Alterity and Deconstruction: Roland Barthes’s Pleasure of Infi nite Texts ....................................................................... 13 2. Rewriting the Other (of) Representation ...................................... 17 2.1 Rewriting the Subject: Subject of/to Alterity ..................... 17 2.1.1 Encompassing Alterity: From the Death of the Author to Rewriting the Subject’s Ontology.......... 17 2.1.2 Figuring Alterity: Paradoxical and Multi-Differential Subjects .................................... 23 2.2 Rewriting History ............................................................... 37 3. Foe: Mirrors of History, Alienations of Identity .......................... 47 3.1 Mirror-Stories & History’s Mirages: Historical Alterities ............................................................ 51 3.2 Othered Authors: Representation and Power .................... 72 3.3 Subject to/in Process, Subject to/of Alterity ....................... 86 3.4 Back to the Island: Rewriting Alterity .............................. 105 4. Indigo: Of Fairy Tales, Myths and History ................................ 117 4.1 Narrative Rituals and Historical Metamorphoses: Indigo’s Dialogical Structure ........................................... 117 4.2 Cartography and Rewriting: Other Maps of History ........ 124 4.2.1 Coloured Maps: New Cartographic Gazes .......... 124 4.2.2 Calibanic Cartographies: The Body, the Monstrous Other and the Female Other .............. 135 4.2.3 Remapping Identity & Authorship: Cartographies of Magic Transformations ............ 161 Peter_Lang_FM.indd vii 11/26/09 5:17:07 PM viii 4.2.3.1 Serafi ne ................................................ 168 4.2.3.2 Miranda ................................................ 189 Epilogue........................................................................................... 225 References....................................................................................... 229 Peter_Lang_FM.indd viii 11/26/09 5:17:07 PM

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