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Aesthetics, Politics, and the Urban Space in Postcolonial British Literature

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abstract
This study examines the aesthetic and narrative interventions employed by marginalized and minority communities in Postcolonial Britain in the face of political and social dispossession. It looks at Buchi Emecheta’s Second-Class Citizen (1975), Salman Rushdie’s The Satanic Verses (1989), and Zadie Smith’s NW (2012), along with each text’s discrete political moment dealing with black and minority ethnic Britons. Along with tracking a historical progression of British legislation dealing with immigrant and minority communities, these three texts offer a map of the progression of aesthetic strategies available to authors, beginning with Emecheta’s narrative documentary, and then Rushdie’s unsettled “chimeras of form,” and finally Smith’s use of gapped narrative, each of which imagine alternative forms of community and recuperative spaces for marginalized communities in 20th and 21st century Britain. While giving voice to marginalized communities, however, Emecheta, Rushdie, and Smith each account for their own places in the global literary marketplace, and acknowledge their own complicity and reliance on forms of capital. Ultimately, what this thesis offers is a study of how aesthetics and narrative sit in dynamic tension with the state, and with forms of inclusion and exclusion, constantly inquiring: who counts?
subject
community
Literature
London
Postcolonial
contributor
Rahmat, Fahad T. (author)
Hena, Omaar (committee chair)
Ruocco, Joanna (committee member)
Pyke, Jennifer (committee member)
date
2017-06-15T08:36:08Z (accessioned)
2017-06-15T08:36:08Z (available)
2017 (issued)
degree
English (discipline)
identifier
http://hdl.handle.net/10339/82232 (uri)
language
en (iso)
publisher
Wake Forest University
title
Aesthetics, Politics, and the Urban Space in Postcolonial British Literature
type
Thesis

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