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Narrating the Postcolonial Nation

Mapping Angola and Mozambique

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Edited By Ana Mafalda Leite, Hilary Owen, Rita Chaves and Livia Apa

The essays collected in this volume look at the way that Mozambican and Angolan literary works seek to narrate, re-create and make sense of the postcolonial nation. Some of the studies focus on individual works; others are comparative analyses of Angolan and Mozambican works, with a focus on the way they enter into dialogue with each other. The volume is oriented by three broad themes: the role of history; the recurring image of the voyage; and discursive/narrative strategies. The final section of the book considers the postcolonial in a broader Lusophone and international context.
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The Reconfiguration of the Nation in Eduardo White’s Janela para Oriente

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The Mozambican poet Eduardo White completes his spatial-temporal voyage to the East in his Janelaxx para Oriente, published in 1999 and written in poetic prose. The East is not simply a geographical space. It represents the past, the present and the future of the Mozambican nation, and so it is under the sign of the East that the individuality of the poetic I (as a subject of a nation reconceived within its limits and reconfigured within a new geographical space and inside new temporal co-ordinates) is reconstructed.

The poet places into his poetry what Bhabba describes as a space of ‘inbetweennnes’ (Bhabha 2005: 221): the Indian Ocean space, and also the Mozambican space (which is viewed metaphorically as a big window turned to the East) makes real the idea of a third space, one that refuses the idea of a homogenous or multicultural society (Sanches 2005: 15).

If we think of the breadth of the Indian Ocean in terms of ‘liminality’ (Bhabha 2005: 211–214), ‘in-betweeness’ (221), or, better, from an interstitial perspective we understand how this area can be viewed from the perspective of its location, and where place and historical time combine with each other leaving behind their sign. It is the sign of commercial, cultural, human relations (and also of the tragedy of slavery) which are part of this area. This place cannot be seen merely from a geographical perspective given that this presupposes another historical/identity perspective because, in recognizing the...

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