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Sam Selvon, The Lonely Londoners (1956)

  • This essay reads Sam Selvon’s novel The Lonely Londoners (1956) as a milestone in the decolonisation of British fiction. After an introduction to Selvon and the core composition of the novel, it discusses the ways in which the narrative takes on issues of race and racism, how it in the tradition of the Trinidadian carnival confronts audiences with sexual profanation and black masculine swagger, and not least how the novel, especially through its elaborate use of creole Englishes, reimagines London as a West Indian metropolis. The essay then turns more systematically to the ways in which Selvon translates Western literary models and their isolated subject positions into collective modes of narrative performance taken from Caribbean orature and the calypsonian tradition. The Lonely Londoners breathes entirely new life into the ossified conventions of the English novel, and imbues it with unforeseen aesthetic, ethical, political and epistemological possibilities.

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Author:Lars EcksteinGND
Document Type:Preprint
Date of first Publication:2017/03/21
Year of Completion:2017
Publishing Institution:Universität Potsdam
Release Date:2017/03/21
Organizational units:Philosophische Fakultät / Institut für Anglistik und Amerikanistik
Dewey Decimal Classification:8 Literatur / 80 Literatur, Rhetorik, Literaturwissenschaft / 800 Literatur und Rhetorik
Licence (German):License LogoKeine Nutzungslizenz vergeben - es gilt das deutsche Urheberrecht