chapter  19
14 Pages

Rerouting the postcolonial canon through linguistic remapping: Why remap?

ByNIRMALA MENON

Before answering the question in the title, ‘Why remap’?, I will first consider another question: What does the current map look like? The putative postcolonial canon includes texts from India, Africa, and the Caribbean, with new entrants from Latin America. The works of Salman Rushdie, Arundhati Roy, Vikram Chandra, Shyam Selvadurai, and J. M. Coetzee represent many postcolonial geographies, and all are written in English. I begin with the assumption that engaging with the rich literatures in diverse languages coming from different postcolonial spaces will simultaneously underscore the plurality of the discipline and open new avenues for postcolonial enquiries. Neil Lazarus charges:

To read across postcolonial literary studies is to find, to an extraordinary degree, the same questions asked, the same methods, techniques, and conventions used, the same concepts mobilized, the same conclusions drawn – about the work of a remarkably small number of writers.