Memory and the diasporic creative Imagination

Preeta Samarasan's Evening is the Whole Day

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

The focal point of this paper is the concept of transnational memory and the blurred and fluctuating boundaries of ties with the nation that was once home as depicted in Evening is the Whole Day, a novel by Preeta Samarasan, part of the emergent community of new Malaysian diasporic writers. New Malaysian diasporic writers in the context of this paper are taken to refer to writers who were born in Malaysia but are now settled elsewhere in the globe, and yet are recognizably transnational in that their writings focus on the older country and memories of family, community, and a nation that once was. The discussion expands existing scholarship on diasporic memory such as Rushdie's argument of the broken mirrored refractions by introducing the concept of another cartography of memory, that of appendages of Other memories such as fleeting images from the repertoire of literary (and historical) archives, textual tradition, and its influence on diasporic creative writing. This is framed against Arjun Appadurai's notion of the "synchronic warehouse," a term he has used to refer to the "politics of memory" that reside within the concept of "the past" that no longer reflects a simple return but a space which allows for the recasting, redirecting, and editing of memories. Seen in this light, the paper concludes that the novel becomes the synchronic warehouse that projects a multiple imagined perspective of the nation, reimagined in a multitude of scenes that ultimately appear distinctly anomalous.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)44-56
Number of pages13
JournalKritika Kultura
Issue number18
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2012

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writer
cartography
imagination
community
Malaysia
politics
Writer
Repertoire
Novel
Creative Writing
Politics of Memory
Cartography
Textual Tradition
Editing

Keywords

  • Hybridity
  • Imaginary homelands
  • Motherland
  • Transnational memory

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Literature and Literary Theory
  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language
  • Cultural Studies

Cite this

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abstract = "The focal point of this paper is the concept of transnational memory and the blurred and fluctuating boundaries of ties with the nation that was once home as depicted in Evening is the Whole Day, a novel by Preeta Samarasan, part of the emergent community of new Malaysian diasporic writers. New Malaysian diasporic writers in the context of this paper are taken to refer to writers who were born in Malaysia but are now settled elsewhere in the globe, and yet are recognizably transnational in that their writings focus on the older country and memories of family, community, and a nation that once was. The discussion expands existing scholarship on diasporic memory such as Rushdie's argument of the broken mirrored refractions by introducing the concept of another cartography of memory, that of appendages of Other memories such as fleeting images from the repertoire of literary (and historical) archives, textual tradition, and its influence on diasporic creative writing. This is framed against Arjun Appadurai's notion of the {"}synchronic warehouse,{"} a term he has used to refer to the {"}politics of memory{"} that reside within the concept of {"}the past{"} that no longer reflects a simple return but a space which allows for the recasting, redirecting, and editing of memories. Seen in this light, the paper concludes that the novel becomes the synchronic warehouse that projects a multiple imagined perspective of the nation, reimagined in a multitude of scenes that ultimately appear distinctly anomalous.",
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