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Bill Brydon

Chris Abani's Graceland and Uzodinma Iweala's Beasts of No Nation: Nonstandard English,... - 0 views

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    "This article explores the use of nonstandard English forms and intertextuality in two recent works by Nigerian writers in English living abroad. To date, Chris Abani's Graceland and Uzodinma Iweala's Beasts of No Nation have attracted little critical commentary, far less any academic survey of their language, yet each book is in its own way representative of conflicting treatments of nonstandard varieties of Nigerian English by writers in the diaspora. Beasts of No Nation owes a considerable debt to the linguistic and stylistic experiments Ken Saro-Wiwa made in his novel Sozaboy and Iweala has drawn heavily on this work in his use of a first person narrator and his assignment of a limited, if forcefully expressive, language to his hero. According to Saro-Wiwa, Sozaboy is written in a mixture of Nigerian Pidgin (NP), Standard English (SE) and other forms. Graceland, however, makes selective use of nonstandard forms for reasons closer to those of earlier writers and makes this clear through its author's insertion of intertextual elements. After providing an overview of the background to and characteristic features of NP and Nigerian English this article surveys their use in Nigerian literature and concludes by examining the language of Graceland and Beasts of No Nation through a linguistic comparison of shared episodes and a consideration of thematic similarities in order to place these two novels in a continuum of Nigerian writing in English through their use of language."
Bill Brydon

Language and the postcolonial city: The case of Salman Rushdie - 0 views

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    "This article examines the ways in which the fact of writing about the postcolonial city of Bombay inflects the language of Rushdie's novels. With specific reference to Midnight's Children, The Satanic Verses, The Moor's Last Sigh and The Ground Beneath Her Feet, the article proposes that a productive analysis of language in Rushdie can be made by replacing the unwieldy and diffuse category of Indian English with the more meaningful contextualization provided by the category of Bombay English. It goes on to argue that while Rushdie's "chutnified" language offers an enabling point of entry into the complex, multilayered and heterogeneous socio-economic fabric of the Third World postcolonial city, it fails to tease out the relations of power and privilege that are intimately tied to the ways in which language, even a "chutnified" one, is deployed."
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