The concern with place/dis-placement, with identity and belonging, 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. While giving contextual specifics their due, the chapter asserts that the ex-centric experience/vision of reality always distorts and makes the allegedly ‘central’ representation of reality strange/estranging. When perceived through the anamorphic lens of madness, the theme of alienation is magnified and charged with an excruciatingly questioning and destabilizing power, laying bare political, as well as existential and moral, urges. It is from the ex-centric, broadly exilic or displaced position that the ideology and practice of colonialism – as, exemplarily, in the case of Apartheid – demands to be rubricated under the sign of psychopathology. More broadly, in fiction the freak or mad character’s ex-centric vision is a continuous warning against the temptation to believe in those discourses that pass themselves off as reflecting or bearing the given, ‘natural’, order of things.
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