Proceedings of the LCTG3 Conference
Edited By Amei Koll-Stobbe and Sebastian Knospe
Karin Ebeling (University of Magdeburg): The Calibans write in English: an investigation of language in postcolonial and transcultural contexts
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The Calibans write in English: an investigation of language in postcolonial and transcultural contexts
Postcolonial and transcultural texts written in English are widely studied from literary and cultural perspectives. This paper investigates issues of language, taking the well known postcolonial metaphor based on Shakespeare’s “The Tempest” as a starting point. Against this background, the paper discusses the challenges creative writers face or have faced when using English in literatures that have emerged with the spread of English. It investigates discourse strategies and shows how writers appropriate their use of English to fit their literary intentions. Special emphasis is placed on the language used by Zadie Smith in her novel “White Teeth” and by V.S. Naipaul in his novel “The Mystic Masseur”. The findings are supplemented by a theoretical discussion of further strategies illustrated with the help of examples from Indian writing in English. Finally, the conclusion is drawn that the Calibans have enriched the English language and that writers of literary fiction in postcolonial and transcultural contexts have joined them.