In this Book

University of Minnesota Press
Ato Quayson explores a practice of reading that oscillates rapidly between domains—the literary-aesthetic, the social, the cultural, and the political—in order to uncover the mutually illuminating nature of these domains. He does this not to assert the often repeated postmodernist view that there is nothing outside the text, but to outline a method of reading he calls calibrations: a form of close reading of literature with what lies beyond it as a way of understanding structures of transformation, process, and contradiction that inform both literature and society.

Quayson surveys a wide array of texts—ranging from Bob Marley lyrics, Toni Morrison’s work, Walter Benjamin’s Theses on the Philosophy of History, and Althusser’s reflections on political economy—and treats a broad range of themes: the comparative structures of alienation in literature and anthropology, cultural heroism as a trope in African society and politics, literary tragedy as a template for reading the life and activism of Ken Saro-Wiwa, trauma and the status of citizenship in post-apartheid South Africa, representations of physical disability, and the clash between enchanted and disenchanted time in postcolonial texts.

Table of Contents

  1. Cover
  2. restricted access Download |
  1. Title Page, Other Works in the Series, Copyright, Dedication
  2. pp. i-vi
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. Contents
  2. pp. vii-viii
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. Acknowledgments
  2. pp. ix-x
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. Introduction: Mimesis, Dialectics, and the Bounding of Analytic Fields
  2. pp. xi-xl
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. 1 Literature, Anthropology, and History in Ghosh's In an Antique Land
  2. pp. 1-29
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. 2 Social Imaginaries in Transition: Culture Heroism and the Genres of Everyday Life
  2. pp. 30-55
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. 3 African Postcolonial Relations through a Prism of Tragedy
  2. pp. 56-75
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. 4 Symbolization Compulsions: Freud, African Literature, and South Africa's Process of Truth and Reconciliation
  2. pp. 76-98
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. 5 Disability and Contingency
  2. pp. 99-124
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. 6 Literature and the Parables of Time
  2. pp. 125-152
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. Notes
  2. pp. 153-164
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. Bibliography
  2. pp. 165-174
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. Index
  2. pp. 175-179
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. About the Author
  2. pp. 180-180
  3. restricted access Download |

Additional Information

Related ISBN
MARC Record
Launched on MUSE
Open Access
Back To Top

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. Without cookies your experience may not be seamless.