The Waves of Heterotopia: Somewheres and Nowheres in A Distant Shore

Authors : Ajla Aljović

Volume/Issue : Volume 8 - 2023, Issue 1 - January

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According to Julia Kristeva, the refugee has historically been seen as an archetype of marginalization and displacement as well as a liminal "abject" other. By utilizing Paul Gilroy's idea of "conviviality," this article contends that Caryl Phillips' novel A Distant Shore deconstructs these ideas and offers a different way of reimagining the refugee figure. The mutual trust and recognition amongst the various characters in this work serves as another example of Phillips' sensitive balancing of the isolation and oppression of the refugee with the potential for multicultural conviviality. The stereotypes of refugees, alienation, exile, passivity, and marginalization are contested in this essay, which also gives the refugee character agency in the postmodern "discourse of resilience" (Ager 18). The essay claims that Phillips used counter-narratives in the novel to deftly strike a balance between Solomon's feeling of exclusion and the idea of him playing a vital role in creating "convivial" settings. Raj Shah asserts that heterotopias are frequently (but not always) portrayed in books as areas of opposition to dominant ideologies, giving the characters a peek of another way of life. This essay, however, disproves the all-toocommon fallacy about heterotopias.

Keywords : Refugee, Otherness, Convivial, Alienation, Trauma, Britishness, Violence, Liminality, Race, Multiculturalism, Heterotopia, Somewhere, Nowhere.


Paper Submission Last Date
29 - February - 2024

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