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Under the Sign of Ariel: Disputed Territories, Rising Tides, and Literary Mauritius

Under the Sign of Ariel: Disputed Territories, Rising Tides, and Literary Mauritius The continued strategic importance of the Indian Ocean has led to contests over the sovereignty and integrity of its islands and territorial waters. Francophone Mauritian writers have been vocal about a situation they have denounced as unacceptable. Their literary engagement with our fragile planet and its species offers strong aesthetic responses to urgent political impasses. Ananda Devi’s eponymous character Joséphin entertains a relation with the Indian Ocean that can be read as a layered parable of the end of man. Her novel is a brilliant poetic translation of Michel Foucault’s view of history careening toward the vanishing point of the human as well as a powerful echo of traditional Hindu cultural beliefs about the continuum between human and animal life-forms, about rebirth and regeneration. For Édouard Maunick, the island itself is the site of a creative beginning, where new forms of culture and identity are created in the crucibles of colonization and creolization. For Marie-Thérèse Humbert, ocean waves are the ambivalent vector of a rebirth that returns the island and its occupants—human, animal, vegetal and elemental—to a utopian state of uneasy equilibrium beyond the lies and vagaries of neocolonial dispossession. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Comparative Literature Duke University Press

Under the Sign of Ariel: Disputed Territories, Rising Tides, and Literary Mauritius

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Copyright
Copyright © 2022 by University of Oregon
ISSN
0010-4124
eISSN
1945-8517
DOI
10.1215/00104124-9594891
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

The continued strategic importance of the Indian Ocean has led to contests over the sovereignty and integrity of its islands and territorial waters. Francophone Mauritian writers have been vocal about a situation they have denounced as unacceptable. Their literary engagement with our fragile planet and its species offers strong aesthetic responses to urgent political impasses. Ananda Devi’s eponymous character Joséphin entertains a relation with the Indian Ocean that can be read as a layered parable of the end of man. Her novel is a brilliant poetic translation of Michel Foucault’s view of history careening toward the vanishing point of the human as well as a powerful echo of traditional Hindu cultural beliefs about the continuum between human and animal life-forms, about rebirth and regeneration. For Édouard Maunick, the island itself is the site of a creative beginning, where new forms of culture and identity are created in the crucibles of colonization and creolization. For Marie-Thérèse Humbert, ocean waves are the ambivalent vector of a rebirth that returns the island and its occupants—human, animal, vegetal and elemental—to a utopian state of uneasy equilibrium beyond the lies and vagaries of neocolonial dispossession.

Journal

Comparative LiteratureDuke University Press

Published: Jun 1, 2022

References