Abstract

The relationship between the novel and the nation continues to vex theorists as spatial categories shift and evolve around the globe. Moses Isegawa’s Abyssinian Chronicles, a novel with much acclaim but little critical attention, speaks to this relationship and suggests that the contemporary novel can serve as a vehicle for unmapping the nation. This paper argues that Isegawa’s text transcends formal and geographical boundaries, respatializing the coming-of-age text by creating a protagonist who embodies a migrational spatial practice. In particular, it looks at the novel’s final two books, “Triangular Revelations” and “Ghettoblaster,” and claims that Abyssinian Chronicles replaces the rite of incorporation with a rite of triangulation comprised of ongoing mobility and a dynamic and deconstructive cartographical approach. This approach accounts for the cartographical disjunctions of the contemporary era and serves as a rejoinder to the imperialist and interventionist maps imposed on the continent in earlier periods.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1527-2044
Print ISSN
0034-5210
Pages
pp. 144-158
Launched on MUSE
2016-10-06
Open Access
No
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