By Susanne Reichl, Mark Stein
Humour is a key function, laughter a important point, disrespect a necessary textual technique of postcolonial transcultural perform. units resembling irony, parody, and subversion could be subsumed lower than an interventionist stance and feature therefore got a few severe consciousness. yet literary and cultural postcolonial feedback has been marked by way of a restraint verging at the pious in the direction of the broader importance and features of laughter. This assortment transcends such orthodoxies: laughter can represent an intervention – however it may also functionality differently. The essays accumulated the following take an curiosity within the strategic use of what can loosely be termed laughter – in all its manifestations. studying postcolonial transcultural perform from a number of disciplinary and methodological views, this examine seeks to examine laughter and the postcolonial of their complexity. For the 1st time, then, this assortment gathers a bunch of foreign experts in postcolonial transcultural reviews to examine the features of laughter, the comedian and humour in quite a lot of cultural texts. individuals paintings on texts from Africa, Asia, Australia, North the US, the Caribbean, and Britain, interpreting paintings by means of authors akin to Zakes Mda, Timothy Mo, VS Naipaul, and Zadie Smith. This interdisciplinary assortment is a contribution to either, postcolonial stories and humour thought.
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Extra info for Cheeky Fictions: Laughter and the Postcolonial (Internationale Forschungen zur Allgemeinen und Vergleichenden Literaturwissenschaft 91)
In their ennobling yet, from the narrator’s point of view, ridiculous function, these gestures of mimicry and masquerade are the mock signifiers of representative failure as well as representative possibility. ‘Laughing through the tears’ 49 It may be judicious at this point to reiterate the initial claim that mocksignification is the key device used in the fictional thematic of representation concerning notions of Caribbean selfhood. As a strategy of representation that both uses and derides imitation for its effect, mock-signification cannot be considered a cohesive form in itself.
The claim I want to make for the subversive use of mockery in Biswas and Dragon is specific to the arena of creolization in the Caribbean where what is being attacked is less the selfdeceptive seriousness and formality of some fixed, external, upper-class social stratum and more the self-deception involved in the process of assimilating its identity, mimicking its authority and performing its mannerisms without self-awareness. The latter places more emphasis on mockery as contemplative self-critique and favours the slow-burning subtleties of posture, gesture, and attitude over the immediacy of oral disruption.
The humorous effect for the reader results from the fact that he or she knows about Mrs Holman’s opinion, yet sees it presented in a much weaker form and a different language, Standard English in contrast to Jamaican Patois, to Mrs Brassington. The contrast between ‘her two red-face son’ and ‘your boys will love her. ] Such lovely gentlemen’ could not be more obvious, especially as Mrs Holman fears exactly what she says, namely that the boys will love, that is make love to, that is have sex with the girl she wants to protect.