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The Experience of Dislocated Listening

“It is only in his music [. . .] that the Negro in America has been able to tell his story. It is a story which otherwise has yet to be told and which no American is prepared to hear,” so wrote James Baldwin in “Many Thousands Gone.” Throughout his career, James Baldwin returned to this incomprehension of African-American experience. He continually privileged music in his literature, crafting his own literary blues to address it. Baldwin’s blues resonated even more powerfully and painfully for its emotional and geographical dislocation. In this article, Rashida K. Braggs argues that it was the combination of music, word, and migration that prompted Baldwin’s own deeper understanding. Exploring her term dislocated listening, Braggs investigates how listening to music while willfully dislocated from one’s cultural home prompts a deeper understanding of African-American experience. The distance disconcerts, leaving one more vulnerable, while music impels the reader, audience, and even Baldwin to identify with some harsh realities of African-American experience. Baldwin evokes the experience of dislocated listening in his life and in “Sonny’s Blues.” Braggs also creates an experience of dislocated listening through her video performance of Baldwin’s words, thus attempting to draw the reader as well into a more attuned understanding of African-American experience.

James Baldwin Review
Open Access (free)

Rohinton Mistry is the only author whose every novel has been shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize. Such a Long Journey (1991), A Fine Balance (1995) and Family Matters (2002) are all set in India's Parsee community. Recognised as one of the most important contemporary writers of postcolonial literature, Mistry's subtle yet powerful narratives engross general readers, excite critical acclaim and form staple elements of literature courses across the world. This study provides an insight into the key features of Mistry's work. It suggests how the author's writing can be read in terms of recent Indian political history, his native Zoroastrian culture and ethos, and the experience of migration, which now sees him living in Canada. The texts are viewed through the lens of diaspora and minority discourse theories to show how Mistry's writing is illustrative of marginal positions in relation to sanctioned national identities. In addition, Mistry utilises and blends the conventions of oral storytelling common to the Persian and South Asian traditions, with nods in the direction of the canonical figures of modern European literature, sometimes reworking and reinflecting their registers and preoccupations to create a distinctive voice redolent of the hybrid inheritance of Parsee culture and of the postcolonial predicament more generally.

De-scribing Imperial identity from alien to migrant

through oscillation, travel, diaspora and migration? This is a question I will discuss in the rest of this essay with Norquay_04_Ch3 52 22/3/02, 9:48 am 53 De-scribing Imperial identity reference to prose writings concerned with India(ns) and England since Independence in 1947. No direction home The whole point that made it impossible to give way, even to argue, was that we couldn’t go Home. We couldn’t become English, because we were half-Indian. We couldn’t become Indian, because we were halfEnglish. We could only stay where we were and be what we were

in Across the margins
Open Access (free)

, Telling Stories: Postcolonial Short Fiction in English.5 As the title suggests, Davis is attentive to the formal mixing of ‘ethnic’ writing in Canada, and sees the short story cycle, with its defining generic hybridity, as a particularly pertinent model for modern Canadian literature, especially equipped to convey ‘the doubleness of the between-worlds subject’.6 Issues of migrations, multiculturalism and the contextual Morey_Mistry_06_Ch6 153 9/6/04, 4:16 pm 154 Rohinton Mistry background to contemporary Canadian writing also preoccupy Linda Hutcheon and Marion

in Rohinton Mistry
Open Access (free)

– Such a Long Journey (1991), A Fine Balance (1995), and Family Matters (2002), receive a host of literary prizes, and achieve recognition as one of the most important contemporary writers of postcolonial literature. Mistry draws his inspiration both from sharply recalled childhood experiences and from the upheavals of migration. However, as always with such intense and apparently personal narratives, the relationship between fiction and autobiography is hard to determine. Certainly there are overlaps between the events and life choices of the writer and some of his

in Rohinton Mistry
The structures of migration in Tales from Firozsha Baag

Tales from Firozsha Baag 27 2 ‘Throbbing between two lives’: the structures of migration in Tales from Firozsha Baag the further they go, the more they’ll remember, they can take it from me (TFB, 72) IN 1987, Rohinton Mistry’s first volume, a collection of linked short stories, was published in the United States as Swimming Lessons and Other Stories from Firozsha Baag, and in Canada and the United Kingdom as Tales from Firozsha Baag. It contained the two Hart House Prize-winning stories, ‘Auspicious Occasion’ and ‘One Sunday’, but also, in retrospect, can be

in Rohinton Mistry
International man of stories

which contains considerable symbolic complexity. He has deployed this seductive yet dynamic combination of simplicity and sophistication to analyse characters coming to terms with social and political circumstances that often induce severe strain, and which force them to face up to awkward questions about morality, politics and personal responsibility. I have argued that Tales from Firozsha Baag encodes questions of belonging, migration and identity in a text which is, at the same time, testing generic boundaries and mimicking and rejecting the clichés of literary

in Rohinton Mistry
Open Access (free)
Postcolonial women writers in a transnational frame

bringing these queries round full circle: is it the case, as this study may itself imply on several occasions, that the nation’s exclusion of women has contributed (along with postmodern theories of identity as fluid and multiple) to the retreat of the nation and the rise of the transnational as a horizon of expectation for postcolonial women writers and critics? The contemporary understanding of the transnational/translocal is obviously closely informed not only by policies and processes relating to globalisation, but by theories of migration and diaspora. These, while

in Stories of women
Open Access (free)
Irish drama since 1990

attitudes in this debate reveal how globalisation has involved more than an accelerated process of commodification in the cultural sphere. As a result of the development of mass media, telecommunications, computer technology and the upsurge in migration, traditional senses of national identity based on race and place have been 9780719075636_4_003.qxd 16/2/09 9:24 AM Page 45 Home places 45 rendered problematic.7 What then does this mean for Irish drama? In an article in an Irish Theatre Magazine series assessing the state of Irish theatre in 2003, Scottish theatre

in Irish literature since 1990
Open Access (free)
Don’t Ever Wipe Tears Without Gloves as a reparative fantasy

literary prizes and was criticised for structural or stylistic fallacies by some critics, it was embraced by the most influential cultural journalists and critics as a significant and urgent documentary novel making a forgotten history visible. It was, furthermore, written into the national literary canon through comparisons with well-​known epic historical novels. Wilhelm Moberg’s tetralogy The Emigrants [Utvandrarna] (1949–​59), about Swedish migration to the United States in the nineteenth century, and Per Anders Fogelström’s (1917–​1998) series of novels depicting

in The power of vulnerability