The Non-literate Other: Readings of Illiteracy in Twentieth-century Novels in English

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Rodopi, 2007 - 506 Seiten
Public debates on the benefits and dangers of mass literacy prompted nineteenth-century British authors to write about illiteracy. Since the early twentieth century writers outside Europe have paid increasing attention to the subject as a measure both of cultural dependence and independence. So far literary studies has taken little notice of this. The Non-Literate Other: Readings of Illiteracy in Twentieth-Century Novels in English offers explanations for this lack of interest in illiteracy amongst scholars of literature, and attempts to remedy this neglect by posing the question of how writers use their literacy to write about a condition radically unlike their own. Answers to this question are given in the analysis of nineteen works featuring illiterates yet never before studied for doing so. The book explores the scriptlessness of Neanderthals in William Golding, of barbarians in Angela Carter, David Malouf, and J.M. Coetzee, of African natives in Joseph Conrad and Chinua Achebe, of Maoris in Patricia Grace and Chippewas in Louise Erdrich, of fugitive or former slaves and their descendants in Richard Wright, Toni Morrison, and Ernest Gaines, of Untouchables in Mulk Raj Anand and Salman Rushdie, and of migrants in Maxine Hong Kingston, Joy Kogawa, and Amy Tan. In so doing it conveys a clear sense of the complexity and variability of the phenomenon of non-literacy as well as its fictional resourcefulness.

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Inhalt

ILLITERACY AS A THEORETICAL ANATHEMA
17
ILLITERACY AS A LITERARY THEME
57
THE NONLITERATE WITHOUT UNLETTERED CALIBANS IN DISTANT EUROPE
101
THE NONLITERATE IN SIGHT THE UNLETTERED NATIVE IN CONTACT NARRATIVES
163
THE NONLITERATE WITHIN ESTABLISHED FORMS OF NONLITERACY IN LITERATE CULTURES
259
THE ILLITERATE RETURNED ILLITERACY IN MIGRANT LITERATURE
383
CLOSING REMARKS
437
BIBLIOGRAPHY
447
INDEX
489
Urheberrecht

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Seite 3 - Cade. Nay, that I mean to do. Is not this a lamentable thing, that of the skin of an innocent lamb should be made parchment ? that parchment, being scribbled o'er, should undo a man...
Seite 84 - From that point he soared and took me with him. The peroration was magnificent, though difficult to remember, you know. It gave me the notion of an exotic Immensity ruled by an august Benevolence.
Seite 197 - He did not understand it. It was the poetry of the new religion, something felt in the marrow. The hymn about brothers who sat in darkness and in fear seemed to answer a vague and persistent question that haunted his young soul — the question of the twins crying in the bush and the question of Ikemefuna who was killed.
Seite 4 - Save base authority from others' books. • These earthly godfathers of heaven's lights, That give a name to every fixed star, Have no more profit of their shining nights, Than those that walk, and wot not what they are.
Seite 83 - Kurtz discoursed. A voice! a voice! It rang deep to the very last. It survived his strength to hide in the magnificent folds of eloquence the barren darkness of his heart.
Seite 4 - Be not afeard ; the isle is full of noises, Sounds and sweet airs, that give delight and hurt not. Sometimes a thousand twangling instruments 145 Will hum about mine ears, and sometime voices That, if I then had waked after long sleep, Will make me sleep again : and then, in dreaming, The clouds methought would open and show riches Ready to drop upon me, that, when I waked, 1 50 I cried to dream again.
Seite 74 - The shape of the letters on my father's gave me an odd idea that he was a square, stout, dark man with curly black hair. From the character and turn of the inscription, " Also Oeorgiana Wife of the Above," I drew a childish conclusion that my mother was freckled and sickly.
Seite 172 - I would be quite satisfied if my novels (especially the ones I set in the past) did no more than teach my readers that their past — with all its imperfections — was not one long night of savagery from which the first Europeans acting on God's behalf delivered them.
Seite 74 - Wife of the Above," I drew a childish conclusion that my mother was freckled and sickly. To five little stone lozenges, each about a foot and a half long, which were arranged in a neat row beside their grave, and were sacred to the memory of five little brothers of mine, — who gave up trying to get a living exceedingly early in that universal struggle, — I am indebted for a belief I religiously entertained that they had all been born on their backs with their hands in their trousers pockets,...

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