Performance and Performativity in Contemporary Indian Fiction in English

by Maria-Sabina Draga Alexandru



This book starts with a consideration of a 1997 issue of the New Yorker that celebrated fifty years of Indian independence, and goes on to explore the development of a pattern of performance and performativity in contemporary Indian fiction in English (Salman Rushdie, Arundhati Roy and Vikram Chandra). Such fiction, which constructs identity through performative acts, is built around a nomadic understanding of the self and implies an evolution of narrative language towards performativity whereby the text itself becomes nomadic. A comparison with theatrical performance (Peter Brook’s Mahabharata and Girish Karnad’s ‘theatre of roots’) serves to support the argument that in both theatre and fiction the concepts of performance and performativity transform classical Indian mythic poetics. In the mythic symbiosis of performance and storytelling in Indian tradition within a cyclical pattern of estrangement from and return to the motherland and/or its traditions, myth becomes a liberating space of consciousness, where rigid categories and boundaries are transcended.

LOCAL REPRESENTATION AND GLOBAL PERSEPECTIVE IN NINETEENTH-CENTURY AMERICAN LITERARY CULTURE

by Roxana Oltean



The four writers selected here – Frederick Douglas, Edgar Allan Poe, Emily Dickinson, Henry James – illustrate in a particularly compelling manner the sometimes contradictory, other times complementary impulse towards, on the one hand, a local American context and, on the other hand, a vision of the global or cosmopolitan settings of identity-forming episodes.

The Graphic Lives of Fathers – Memory, Representation, and Fatherhood in North American Autobiographical Comics

by Precup Mihaela


This book explores the representation of fatherhood in contemporary North American autobiographical comics that depict paternal conduct from the post-war period up to the present. It offers equal space to autobiographical comics penned by daughters who represent their fathers’ complicated and often disappointing behavior, and to works by male cartoonists who depict and usually celebrate their own experiences as fathers. This book asks questions about how the desire to forgive or be forgiven can compromise the authors’ ethics or dictate style, considers the ownership of life stories whose subjects cannot or do not agree to be represented, and investigates the pervasive and complicated effects of dominant masculinities. By close reading these cartoonists’ complex strategies of (self-)representation, this volume also places photography and archival work alongside the problematic legacy of self-deprecation carried on from underground comics, and shows how the vocabulary of graphic narration can work with other media and at the intersection of various genres and modes to produce a valuable scrutiny of contemporary norms of fatherhood.