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Limitations and Longing: Sacrifice in Global Anglophone Literature

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abstract
This thesis studies the turn to Old Testament sacrificial motifs used in Salman Rushdie's Shame, J.M. Coetzee's Disgrace, and Junot Díaz's The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao in order to explore the links between sacrifice, nation, and narrative. These novels examine the nature of nation, the violence of sacrifice, and also the failures of narrative to adequately represent the real, human embodiment of the violence contained in the text but that also exists well beyond it, a violence foundational to global Anglophone literature. These novels self-consciously reach the limits of narrative, and, in the midst of their limitations, signal--however fleetingly or improbably--a sense of longing for something beyond the text's reaches. At this point, when the narrative reaches the edge of its circumscribed space yet casts out for something beyond, sacrifice becomes an important motif by patterning both limitation and longing. The authors work within these sacrificial conventions to create new resonances, re-making the conventions to suit their national contexts. By returning to these motifs, Rushdie, Coetzee, and Díaz craft novels that ask questions about the future of narrative in nation--what it can do and what it wishes it could do.
subject
Narrative
Nation
Sacrifice
contributor
Whitehair, Jessica (author)
Hena, Omaar (committee chair)
Madera, Judith (committee member)
Franco, Dean (committee member)
date
2014-07-10T08:35:24Z (accessioned)
2014-07-10T08:35:24Z (available)
2014 (issued)
degree
English (discipline)
identifier
http://hdl.handle.net/10339/39255 (uri)
language
en (iso)
publisher
Wake Forest University
title
Limitations and Longing: Sacrifice in Global Anglophone Literature
type
Thesis

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