From Pillar of Salt to Child of Nature and Viceversa: Postcolonial Criticism in David Malouf's An Imaginary Life

Sánchez Aparicio, David
María Dolores Herrero Granado (dir.)

Universidad de Zaragoza, FFYL, 2014
Filología Inglesa y Alemana department, Filología Inglesa area

Máster Universitario en Estudios Textuales y Culturales en Lengua Inglesa

Abstract: This Master Thesis analyzes An Imaginary Life from a postcolonial perspective in order to work on some issues which are crucial in Australian postcolonial literature. Firstly, this analysis focuses on the importance that the landscape and the sense of unbelonging to it have in postcolonial Australia, and how An Imaginary Life presents a cosmovision which echoes the relationship of the Indigenous Australians with the land. Secondly, a close analysis of this novel reveals that it questions western ideas about cultural hegemony and alludes to the need to open our minds up and consider the fact that cultures are just human constructions that can be equally deconstructed and modified. This Master Thesis takes into account the revision that Stuart Hall makes of Michel Foucault’s theories of power/knowledge and power’s circulation, in order to show how the text subverts the conventional colonial power relations to make Ovid play the role of the oppressed. Therefore, this work also studies the relationship between the representatives of the European Empires and the natives of these new settlements. This work also analyzes the fundamental role played by language in An Imaginary Life. On the one hand, if you lack the words you cannot communicate with anybody and, consequently, you are isolated. On the other hand, Ovid has to get rid of human language and the world of culture and embrace the language of nature if he wants to transcend the human world of culture and be one with the universe. Another essential aspect of An Imaginary Life is the development of Ovid’s identity process in a hybrid space in which cultural negotiations with the “others” are always in constant modification. Accordingly, this Master Thesis also explores the initial feelings of Ovid and the British convicts sent to Australia when they arrived in a different and hostile territory.

Tipo de Trabajo Académico: Trabajo Fin de Master

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