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Reading: Subaltern and Marginal Figures in Literature: Spivak’s Reading of Postcolonial Novels

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Subaltern and Marginal Figures in Literature: Spivak’s Reading of Postcolonial Novels

Author:

Isabella D'Angelo

University of Bologna, IT
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Abstract

The paper focuses on Gayatri Spivak’s thematization of subalternity and marginality within the field of literature, as distinguished from historiography. In particular, it analyzes her reading of postcolonial novels by Mahasweta Devi and J.M. Coetzee to suggest that the subaltern can speak in literature, through a process of relational subjectivation, where the subaltern becomes the subject of narration and an ethical relationship of responsibility is engaged. The paper also points to the distinction between subaltern and marginal figures made by Spivak. Spivak refers to the different
opportunities the subaltern and the marginal (may) have to tell their stories in literature. Concentrating on subaltern literary speech and marginal literary silence, it emphasizes how in both cases literature acts as an adequate medium for the emergence of an irretrievable otherness.

How to Cite: D'Angelo, I., 2020. Subaltern and Marginal Figures in Literature: Spivak’s Reading of Postcolonial Novels. Junctions: Graduate Journal of the Humanities, 5(1), pp.14–26. DOI: http://doi.org/10.33391/jgjh.77
Published on 06 Aug 2020.
Peer Reviewed

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