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Glorious Outlaws: Debt as a Tool in Contemporary Postcolonial Fiction


Izabela Morska

This book addresses debt in postcolonial fiction: financial, social, historical, and cultural. The author examines how literary characters including servants, fallen women, and cultural outsiders pay or refuse to pay the debts imposed upon them, and the consequences of debts paid and unpaid. Working at the intersection of critical race theory, queer theory, feminist theory, and postcolonial studies, the book includes an overturning of the well-established argument about Conrad and race, an examination of the connection between debt and class both historical and contemporary, and direct comparisons between debt in fiction and current issues of debt in the economy world-wide.
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Chapter 1 Servant’s Betrayal: The White Tiger by Aravind Adiga


“Oh, to be seen through the eyes of your yokel! To be watched and tattled on by a yokel! To be constantly reflected in the boorish prism of a servant who has access to your rooms, who hears your conversations, who watches your behavior, who is allowed to serve coffee at your table or at your bedside—to be the subject of coarse, fallow, insipid kitchen prattle, and never be able to explain yourself on equal footing. Truly, it is only through servants like the butler, coachman, chambermaid, that one can discover the core of the country gentry.”

Witold Gombrowicz, Ferdydurke

“In India, 100 of the richest people own assets worth 25% of the gross domestic product. There’s something terribly wrong. No individual and no corporation should be allowed to amass that kind of unlimited wealth, including bestselling writers like myself, who are showered with royalties. Money need not be our only reward. Corporations that are turning over these huge profits can own everything: the media, the universities, the mines, the weapons industry, insurance hospitals, drug companies, non-governmental organisations. They can buy judges, journalists, politicians, publishing houses, television stations, bookshops and even activists. This kind of monopoly, this cross-ownership of businesses, has to stop.”

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