Postcolonial Poetry in English

By Rajeev S. Patke | Go to book overview

7
Minoritarian sensibilities

Overview

Poetry that speaks of and for the experience of islanders, aboriginal inhabitants, and recently migrated ethnic minorities in settler countries shares two features: it shows how the struggle for equality of rights and opportunities at once both motivates and delimits writing; it also shows how 'postcolonial' both applies to, and needs qualification in respect to, certain communities and their predicaments. In a broad sense, all postcolonial writing addresses predicaments of accumulated cultural and literary disadvantage. Islanders add a specific nuance to this broad commonality. Either they feel dominated by a mainland culture that happens to be in close proximity, or they are distant from any kind of mainland culture, in which case poets end up feeling isolated from any kind of tradition they can call their own. Aboriginal inhabitants find themselves marginalized within the region where their race has been displaced by later settlers and colonists. Finally, those who migrated to settler regions well after the establishment of societies and cultures of European derivation, find themselves writing from the position of an ethnic minority struggling to find representation and recognition in a cultural environment that discriminates directly or indirectly against them. In each case, poetry addresses a form of contemporary colonization that persists in the wake of Empire.

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Postcolonial Poetry in English
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Oxford Studies in Postcolonial Literatures i
  • Oxford Studies in Postcolonial Literatures ii
  • Title Page iii
  • Preface vii
  • Acknowledgements ix
  • Contents xi
  • Part I - Introduction 1
  • 1: Poetry and Postcoloniality 3
  • 2: Back to the Future 29
  • Part II - The Development of Local Traditions 53
  • 3: South Asia and Southeast Asia 55
  • 4: The Caribbean 80
  • 5: Black Africa 105
  • 6: The Settler Countries 130
  • Part III - Case Studies: Voice and Technique 157
  • 7: Minoritarian Sensibilities 159
  • 8: Techniquesofself-Representation 180
  • 9: Recurrent Motifs: Voyage and Translation 207
  • 10: After the 'Post-' 237
  • References 240
  • Index 259
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