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Diasporas of the MindJewish and Postcolonial Writing and the Nightmare of History$
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Bryan Cheyette

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780300093186

Published to Yale Scholarship Online: September 2014

DOI: 10.12987/yale/9780300093186.001.0001

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Diaspora, ‘Race’ and Redemption

Diaspora, ‘Race’ and Redemption

Muriel Spark and the Trauma of Africa

(p.117) 4 Diaspora, ‘Race’ and Redemption
Diasporas of the Mind

Bryan Cheyette

Yale University Press

This chapter shows how Muriel Spark’s fiction evokes the trauma of madness and unrestrained emotion as a counternarrative that challenges the assumption that a life-story, also part of the histories of colonialism and fascism, can be converted easily into an untroubled redemptive narrative. That Spark settled on a particular voice and style to counter the “politics of victimhood” in “The Desegregation of Art” and her novellas is therefore only one part of the story. To gain the level of detachment from both personal and historical suffering, which is most apparent in her version of the nouveau roman, meant that she had to treat one part of herself “as though she were dead,” and it is the distance from a “dead” version of the self that “generated her pleasure in the world, beat back its terrors.”

Keywords:   diasporic imagination, counternarrative, colonialism, fascism, victimhood, nouveau roman

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