Abstract


GLOCALCOLLOQUIES - Vol 2, Issue 1, June 2016

Pages: 99-113

Literatures of Memory: Assia Djebar’s The Tongue’s Blood Does Not Run Dry and Adichie’s Half of a Yellow Sun

Author: Sarkar, Neepa

Category: Research

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Abstract:

The chronicling and documentation of the past has always been an important activity in creating and organizing the nation’s identity where memory is linked to power and thence identity; therefore literature becomes the stage where these intricate relations are played out. The connection between history, memory and power became highlighted with the postmodernist and post colonial questioning of the linearity and singularity of history and truth. However, this memory which is engendered within the territorial conceptions and confines of belonging and attachment to land became uprooted due to the imperial manoeuvrings which dislodged the stability of generational memory, subsequently, leading to a certain disarticulation of the self and the community, grappling with the trauma of sliced consciousness, memories and land. And on the other hand, these trauma and violence based memories brought forth an intensified sort of remembering that became inherent in ‘body memory’ as well as ‘place memory’ signifying that colonization becomes more than economic exploitation, bringing in cultural and cartographic distortions in mind and in reality. In this paper I intend to explore the collective cultural memory that continuously jostles with the idea of nation-state amidst civil wars and strifes in post colonial African societies with the focus on Assia Djebar’s The Tongue’s Blood Does Not Run Dry and Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s Half of a Yellow Sun. Both the writers bring out the intersections between geography and gender and the construction of the ‘other’ along with experiences of war and divisive politics, wherein the plight of woman and her identity are all the more threatened. Writing, for them, doesn’t become simply expiation but the building up of female ‘genealogical’ legacies of memory.

Keywords: Memory, Colonialism, Violence, Narrative

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