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Nomadic belonging: Amal Sewtohul’s Histoire d’Ashok et d’autres personnages de moindre importance and Made in Mauritius

Waters, J. (2018) Nomadic belonging: Amal Sewtohul’s Histoire d’Ashok et d’autres personnages de moindre importance and Made in Mauritius. In: The Mauritian Novel: Fictions of Belonging. Contemporary French and Francophone Cultures, 56. Liverpool University Press, Liverpool, UK, pp. 168-199. ISBN 9781786941497

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To link to this item DOI: 10.3828/mlo.v0i0.261

Abstract/Summary

This chapter examines how Sewtohul’s novels attempt to give creative form to the ambiguous national slogan of ‘unity in diversity’ in a context of ongoing mobility and global migration. Drawing on Braidotti’s theoretical opposition between nomadic and sedentary relations to place, the chapter analyses how the novel’s iconoclastic ‘images of communion’ (Anderson) assert, in content and form, a paradoxical sense of nomadic belonging to Mauritius. Rejecting ethnic homogeneity and sedentary relationship to land as the traditional bases of collective identity, the characters of Sewtohul’s novels are portrayed as becoming Mauritian precisely because of their common displacement, mobility and rootlessness. Sewtohul’s fictions of rootless, free-floating Mauritian belonging, I argue, embody a quintessentially nomadic ‘desire to suspend all attachment to established discourses’, including those of nation, community and communion.

Item Type:Book or Report Section
Refereed:Yes
Divisions:Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Social Science > School of Literature and Languages > Modern Languages and European Studies > French
ID Code:91433
Additional Information:This is Chapter 5. The full book, entitled: 'The Mauritian Novel: Fictions of Belonging', is referenced on CentAUR here: http://centaur.reading.ac.uk/76132/.
Publisher:Liverpool University Press

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