Diasporic dwellings

The family house and its role in the creative imaginary of selected Malaysian Indian writers

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1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

Coming from a community born primarily out of the indenture experience, the creative writings that have emerged from the communal compound of the Malaysian Indian diaspora almost inevitably touch on the poetics of loss of homeland and the struggle to reinvent identity in a new land. While there are the inescapable signifiers of trauma in the disillusionment of finding what was hoped to be a promised land, they are set to the rhythms of the new land. While the object of mourning may be unreachable, its semblances are seen in the new land and efforts are made to reinvent the object of loss, leading to a form of substitution. Allegiance to a land of memories becomes located more in its rituals and its religion and the attendant myths and metaphors, a spiritual homeland more than the imagined nation that could have been. Hence, historical remembrance is no more the core theme of Malaysian Indian diasporic experience as there are other various forms of representations of the Malaysian Indian diasporic consciousness. In the context of creative writings, it is also a fertile ground for the articulation of the creative imaginary. However, the terrain is multi-faceted and the following discussion will reveal a small section of the variations in the articulation and perception of the concept of the house, and its varying features as it dwells in the pages of three Malaysian Indian novelists, K. S. Maniam, Rani Manicka and Preeta Samarasan.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)903-916
Number of pages14
JournalPertanika Journal of Social Science and Humanities
Volume22
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 2014

Fingerprint

writer
Homelands
diaspora
substitution
consciousness
trauma
religious behavior
metaphor
myth
experience
Religion
Family House
Writer
Dwelling
community
Creative Writing
Homeland
Articulation
Creative writing

Keywords

  • Diasporic memory
  • K.S. Maniam
  • Malaysian Indian writings
  • Preeta Samarasan
  • Rani Manicka

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Arts and Humanities(all)
  • Business, Management and Accounting(all)
  • Economics, Econometrics and Finance(all)
  • Social Sciences(all)

Cite this

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abstract = "Coming from a community born primarily out of the indenture experience, the creative writings that have emerged from the communal compound of the Malaysian Indian diaspora almost inevitably touch on the poetics of loss of homeland and the struggle to reinvent identity in a new land. While there are the inescapable signifiers of trauma in the disillusionment of finding what was hoped to be a promised land, they are set to the rhythms of the new land. While the object of mourning may be unreachable, its semblances are seen in the new land and efforts are made to reinvent the object of loss, leading to a form of substitution. Allegiance to a land of memories becomes located more in its rituals and its religion and the attendant myths and metaphors, a spiritual homeland more than the imagined nation that could have been. Hence, historical remembrance is no more the core theme of Malaysian Indian diasporic experience as there are other various forms of representations of the Malaysian Indian diasporic consciousness. In the context of creative writings, it is also a fertile ground for the articulation of the creative imaginary. However, the terrain is multi-faceted and the following discussion will reveal a small section of the variations in the articulation and perception of the concept of the house, and its varying features as it dwells in the pages of three Malaysian Indian novelists, K. S. Maniam, Rani Manicka and Preeta Samarasan.",
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