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Picture of Ex-centric Writing

Ex-centric Writing

Essays on Madness in Postcolonial Fiction

Editor(s): Susanna Zinato and Annalisa Pes

Book Description

The concern with identity and belonging, with place/dis-placement is a major feature of postcolonial literature and the theme of alienation cannot but be “topical” in the literatures of the countries that have experienced the cultural shock and bereavement, and the physical and psychic trauma of colonial invasion. The purpose of this volume is to qualify the difference one is faced with when a postcolonial ex-centric text is addressed, by collecting essays concerned with writers from Southern Africa, the Caribbean, Australia, the Indian subcontinent and Asian diaspora(s). While giving contextual specifics their due, it shows how the theme of alienation, when perceived through the anamorphic lens of madness, is magnified and charged with an excruciatingly questioning and destabilizing power, laying bare political as well as existential and moral urges. From the ex-centric, broadly exilic position, it is the ideology and practice of colonialism that demand to be rubricated as psychopathology. More broadly, as these essays highlight, in fiction the mad character’s ex-centric vision is a continuous warning against the temptation to believe in those discourses that pass themselves off as reflecting the given, “natural”, order of things.


ISBN-13: 978-1-4438-4474-1
ISBN-10: 1-4438-4474-8
Date of Publication: 01/04/2013
Pages / Size: 210 / A5
Price: £44.99


Susanna Zinato is Associate Professor of English at the University of Verona. She has mainly worked on the stylistics of fiction, the postcolonial roman fou, J. Frame’s short fiction, rhetoric, and early modern literature and culture. Her publications include: The House is Empty: Grammars of Madness in J. Frame’s Scented Gardens for the Blind and B. Head’s A Question of Power (1999), “Burnet’s Heterobiography of John Wilmot, Earl of Rochester” (2008), and “Arranging Res and Things in Restoration Times: Wilkins’s Noah’s Ark Sabotaged on the Comic Stage” in Rehearsals of the Modern: Experience and Experiment in Restoration Drama (2010), which she also edited and introduced.

Annalisa Pes is Lecturer of English at the University of Verona, where she teaches English and Postcolonial Literature. Her research interests are mainly in the field of Australian literature and postcolonial studies, with a particular focus on the short story genre. Her publications include: Stories that Keep on Rising to the Surface: I racconti di Patrick White (2003), Sermoni, amori e misteri. Il racconto coloniale australiano al femminile (2009), and Confluenze intertestuali. In onore di Angelo Righetti (2012), co-edited with Susanna Zinato.