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B/Orders Unbound

Marginality, Ethnicity and Identity in Literatures

Edited By Sule Okuroglu Ozun and Mustafa Kirca

Contemporary literature concerns itself with transgressing borders and destabilizing hierarchical orders. Border crossing to question the given limits and orthodox beliefs brings many disciplines and diverse experiences together, and the result is a myriad of ways of expressing the alternatives when the established boundaries are liberated. The volume presents fifteen essays and brings together many academics and scholars who share a common interest in transgressing borders in literatures. The book is determined to encourage border violations, and each paper tackles the issue of border crossing in different realms and territories.

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Dead Survivors: Blurring the Borders of the Living and the Dead in Vietnamese Vietnam War Literature (Erin McCoy)

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Erin McCoy

Dead Survivors: Blurring the Borders of the Living and the Dead in Vietnamese Vietnam War Literature

Conceptually, the idea of “borders” often serves as foundations for war; cross a border, annex a portion of a border, attack a border, et. al. and war may be a likely outcome. After a war ends, borders continue to cause arguments and remain objects of contention in national and international forums, and new borders form. Often, when borders re-arrange, migration occurs – individuals move through deserts, oceans, and over man-made barriers, thus creating new borders. Philosopher Alfred Korzybski famously said: “the map is not the territory,” meaning an object and representations of that object are not the same thing. Borders are real and imagined, seen and unseen.

The borders formed after – and during – the Vietnam War1 – were not confined to representation by physical lines defined on maps. The Vietnam War shifted the borders between the living and the dead. Many lives were lost during the war – civilians and soldiers – and reconciliation of this shift in “being” altered the landscape of Vietnam long after the war ended. One of the marked differences between the American and Vietnamese experiences of the war remains that the Americans left Vietnam; the Vietnamese continued to live in their country. Reconstruction of Vietnam required that the Vietnamese create a plan for a hopeful future while also being constantly reminded of a painful past. While sifting through the rubble of fifteen...

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