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Tracking Down Ruins: Anita Desai and the Ethics of Postcolonial Writing

Menozzi, F (2015) Tracking Down Ruins: Anita Desai and the Ethics of Postcolonial Writing. Journal of Postcolonial Writing. ISSN 1744-9863

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Abstract

“The Museum of Final Journeys” is the opening novella of Anita Desai’s collection of short fiction, The Artist of Disappearance (2011). The story is about an enigmatic art collection left in a state of ruin and dereliction in an unnamed province of postcolonial India. Yet behind the literary representation of ruins lies a profound meditation on the ethical role of the writer in transmitting the past. Indeed, Desai’s text is an imaginative adaptation of the story of a 19th-century Italian aristocrat, Prince Bardi of Bourbon, and his legendary artistic collection, which is kept today in the Museum of Oriental Art in Venice. By referring to Bardi’s story in transfigured form, Desai addresses the potential of literary works to take care of the past, bring it into the present and preserve it from forgetting and destruction. Desai’s imagery of ruins provides a suggestive exploration of the ethics of postcolonial writing as a form of cultural transmission.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Journal of Postcolonial Writing on 16 Nov 15, available online: http://www.tandfonline.com/10.1080/17449855.2015.1104712
Uncontrolled Keywords: 2005 Literary Studies
Subjects: P Language and Literature > PN Literature (General)
Divisions: Humanities and Social Science
Publisher: Taylor & Francis (Routledge): SSH Titles
Date Deposited: 16 Mar 2016 11:44
Last Modified: 16 Mar 2016 11:44
DOI or Identification number: 10.1080/17449855.2015.1104712
URI: http://researchonline.ljmu.ac.uk/id/eprint/3253

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