Intimating the Sacred
Religion in malaysian Fiction
Publication Year: 2011
Published by: Hong Kong University Press, HKU
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I would like to thank the Faculty of Arts, Monash University, Australia, for the generous grant awarded to me for this project. Several parts of this study have been previously published in modified versions...
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Jamie S. Scott’s assertion that “every literary history includes a tradition of religious writings” seems especially relevant to anglophone Malaysian fiction.1 Although the phrase “religious writings” is inaccurate in this context, it is undeniable that despite its relatively recent history...
1. Visions of Possibilities: Religion and/as “Hospitality” in Lloyd Fernando’s Novels
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This chapter is interested in the religious dimensions of Fernando’s two novels, Scorpion Orchid (1976) and Green Is the Colour (1993) — an area that features prominently in his narratives but has been neglected by scholarship which tends to emphasize...
2. Irony and the Sacred in Lee Kok Liang’s Fiction
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If Fernando’s Green Is the Colour may be considered as illuminative of the dangers of the Islamization of the country in the 1970s and 80s (and to a significant extent, even into...
3. Hinduism and the Ways of the Divine: The Works of K. S. Maniam
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Fernando’s novels and to a lesser extent Lee’s works portray the difficulties in managing multireligiosity in everyday life. They identify and illuminate problem areas, and provide insightful observations on how religiosity is problematically embodied and practised, especially because religion in Malaysia...
4. Contentious Faiths: Questioning Confucianism and Christianity in the Fiction of Shirley Lim
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Technically, Shirley Geok-lin Lim is no longer a Malaysian writer if “Malaysian” is to be understood as a designation of citizenship. Immigrating to the United States in 1969, she has since become a professor of English at the University...
5. Islam and Modernity in Contemporary Anglophone Fiction by Malay Writers
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This last chapter explores the negotiation between Islam and modernity in two narratives, specifically “Mariah” by Che Husna Azhari, and “The Neighbours” by Karim Raslan. In the former, Islam is metonymically represented by the practice of polygamy, while homosexuality is invoked in the latter as a narrative...
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In a recent essay on the status of anglophone Malaysian literature, the writers argue that the “proliferation of Malaysian Literature in English [in the last ten years] can be seen as a way of resisting … colonialist discourse by providing a space for Malaysians...
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Publication Year: 2011