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Negotiating Englishness: On the Postwar Diasporic British Fiction
第一章討論戰後早期移民作家塞姆．塞爾文 (Sam Selvon)的四部倫敦作品，探討塞爾文以諷刺的方式描述加勒比海移民者藉以擬仿英國人的方式來界定他們在英國的地位。第二章討論哈尼夫．古雷希(Hanif Kureishi)的《郊區佛陀》以及《黑色唱片》中對於1970年代及1980年代英國種族主義高漲、白人與黑人對立、新族裔出現的情勢下，移民第二代如何尋找他們的身份認同，並且著重於古雷希筆下主角的混雜性(hybriditiy)，探討遷移及混雜所凸顯的英國社會之改變。第三章討論新銳英國小說家莎娣．史密斯(Zadie Smith)的《白牙》，本章著眼於史密斯筆下的一連串隱喻手法暗示、象徵尋根及尋求英國性的意義和價值。
Focusing on the novels produced by the diasporic British writers of Caribbean or Asian origin and/or background, this dissertation attempts to provide an understanding of the notion of “Englishness” in the postwar diasporic British novels. In an examination of the textual representation of Englishness, the present work compares British diasporic “Windrush generation” novels, comprising of the London novels of Sam Selvon (the Moses Trilogy and The Housing Lark), the two novels of Hanif Kureishi set in the 1970s and 1980s (The Buddha of Suburbia and The Black Album) and the more contemporary millennium novel of Zadie Smith (White Teeth). Chapter One analyzes the quintessentially English stereotypes represented in the London novels, pointing out Selvon’s preoccupation in these novels with the central themes of “belonging” and “negotiation” by the immigrants of “ideas of England” and “Englishness” through their satirical take on quintessential Englishness. Chapter Two provides an analysis of Kureishi’s The Black Album and The Buddha of Suburbia, examining their focus on 1970s and 1980s contexts, two decades that witnessed ethnic diversity weighing heavily on intensifying race relations in Britain, and which were also to witness rowing demand amongst ethnic minorities for a redefinition of “belonging” and the “ownership” of Britain. In Chapter Three, the focus shifts to a series of metaphors which Zadie Smith uses to represent contemporary heterogeneity in her debut novel, White Teeth. It is argued here that through the comically satirical modes and tones in Smith’s representation of the multicultural social landscape of England, she attempts to deal with the raptures and ruptures of the multi-ethnic and multicultural state. The comparison between these novels in this dissertation facilitates the analysis of the changes that have taken place in the notion of Englishness over the years since the Second World War. Each of the novels selected for discussion here examines the diverse experiences of postwar immigrants with regard to “home” and “belonging,” how such notions of home and belonging are formed in relation to Englishness, and the way in which Englishness is negotiated by multiple heritages arising from the experiences of diaspora writers. The three novelists under discussion in this dissertation represent a lineage of postwar British diaspora writers, whose works bring to the fore what it actually means to be British.
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