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New Developments in Postcolonial Studies

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Edited By Malgorzata Martynuska and Elzbieta Rokosz-Piejko

This book analyses the applicability of postcolonial theories and contemporary issues, and also revisits previously tackled cultural, social and literary phenomena. The contributions examine contemporary social, economic and cultural processes. The authors look back at older cultural texts, coming from either former colonies or former colonisers. They furthermore refer to the fact that theories of postcolonialism are currently more frequently applied to study countries originally not classified as colonial. They attempt to define and explain the experiences of the native peoples of colonial territories in various historical situations of dependence.

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Cracked Within: Reading the Sri Lankan Civil War in Jean Arasanayagam’s The Dividing Line (Dolikajyoti Sharma)

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Dolikajyoti Sharma

Cracked Within: Reading the Sri Lankan Civil War in Jean Arasanayagam’s The Dividing Line

Abstract: The article looks at The Dividing Line by Jean Arasanayagam, a Sri Lankan writer of Dutch-Burgher descent, who uses the themes of displacement and exile to question, through her fiction, the postcolonial nation-state of Sri Lanka and the identities imposed on those forced to flee from their homes during the civil war in the 1980s.

Key words: Sri Lankan literature, Sri Lankan history, displacement, exile, borderland identity.

On being asked in an interview about the reasons for which she chose to stay in Sri Lanka, when most of her community had settled abroad, Jean Arasanayagam says:

As for me, this is the country in which I feel my identity can be explored, especially in the present context. It is an identity with perspectives. In the past I took things for granted. I was a Burgher. We were descended from the Dutch. We were Westernized. We more or less intermarried and mixed within this group. Now I am aware of many other factors, especially that I have not only Dutch blood in my veins. Being Burgher enables me to be fair-minded, impartial. I do not see the current ethnic issue from one point of view. I am removed from this restrictiveness. My identity is found in my work, my writing. I question critically the aggrandisement and exploitation of Colonialism. (Arasanayagam...

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