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Postcolonial and Feminist Grotesque

Texts of Contemporary Excess

Maria Sofia Pimentel Biscaia

Based on a dialogical premise, this book provides a comparative analysis of two interrelated literary fields: postcolonial and women’s/feminist, viewed through the ideological and aesthetic prism of the grotesque. The author examines the work of novelists such as Githa Hariharan, Salman Rushdie, Gabriel García Márquez, Robert Coover and Ben Okri, selected to reveal the range and intensity of the grotesque in contemporary fiction through their de/constructions of gender and postcolonial politics.
Complementary fields with the grotesque are considered through theorisations of Mary Russo, Julia Kristeva, Martha Reineke, René Girard and other intellectuals. Various literary formulations/frameworks are discussed to supplement views presented in the canonical texts of Mikhail Bakhtin and Wolfgang Kayser: post-colonial feminine identity/alterity/exoticism; postcolonial national identity; female grotesqueness and animal metamorphosis; abjectification; the principle of sacrificial economy; mythologisations of feminine martyrdom and motherhood; religious and political tyranny associated with imperialism and re-appropriation of carnivalesque-grotesque types in postmodernity.

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Bibliography Primary sources Bakhtin, Mikhail. Rabelais and His World. Trans. Hélène Iswolsky. Bloomington: Indiana UP, [1965] 1984 ⎯. Problems of Dostoevsky’s Poetics. Ed. and trans. Caryl Emerson. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, [1963] 1984 Coover, Robert. Pinocchio in Venice. New York, Grove Press: 1991 García Márquez, Gabriel. Del amor y otros demonios. Barcelona: Círcu- lo de Lectores, 1994 Hariharan, Githa. When Dreams Travel. London: Picador, 1999 Kayser, Wolfgang Johannes. The Grotesque in Art and Literature. Trans. Ulrich Weisstein. New York and Toronto: McGraw-Hill / Indiana UP, [1957] 1963 Okri, Ben. The Famished Road. London: Vintage, 1991 ⎯. Songs of Enchantment. London: Vintage, 1993 ⎯. Infinite Riches. London: Phoenix House, 1998 Rushdie, Salman. Shame. London: Vintage, 1983 Secondary sources Adams, James Luther and Yates, Wilson ed. The Grotesque in Art and Literature: Theological Reflections. Grand Rapids, Michigan and Cambridge: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1997 Ahmad, Aijaz. In Theory: Classes, Nations, Literatures. London: Verso, 1992 Amanuddin, Syed. “The Novels of Salman Rushdie: Mediated Reality as Fantasy”, World Literature Today 63:1 (Winter 1989): 42-45 434 Anderson Imbert, Enrique. El realismo magico y otros ensayos. Caracas: Monte Avila Editores, 1976 Appiah, Kwame Anthony. “Spiritual Realism”. The Nation 3 Aug. 1992: 146-148 Appignanesi, Lisa and Maitland, Sara ed. The Rusdhie File. Syracuse: Syracuse UP, 1989 Apuleyo Mendoza, Plinio and García Márquez, Gabriel. El olor de la guayaba. Barcelona: Mondadori, 1994 Arabian Nights (The): Tales From A Thousand and One Nights. Ed. and trans. Richard Burton. Intr. A. S. Byatt....

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