Poetics and Politics of Shame in Postcolonial Literature provides a new and wide-ranging appraisal of shame in colonial and postcolonial literature in English. Confronting the obscenity of the in-human, both in the colonial setting and in aftermaths that show little sign of abating, it entails the acute significance of shame as a subject for continuing and urgent critical attention. The essays included in it tackle shame and racism, shame and agency, shame and ethical recognition, the problem of shamelessness, the shame of willed forgetfulness. Linked by a common thread of reflections on shame and literary writing, they consider specifically whether the aesthetic and ethical capacities of literature enable a measure of stability or recuperation in the presence of shame’s destructive potential. Cogently (see the Introduction, in particular), the question of how the relation of postcolonial literature to shame is to be qualified with respect to all other literature is given due emphasis. Chapters contributed (in their order) by David Attwell, Susanna Zinato, Rita Barnard, Sue Kossew, Annalisa Pes, Dolores Herrero, David Callahan, Angelo Righetti, Vincent Van Bever Donker. Afterword by Timothy Bewes.
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