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Exit Endings and New Beginnings in Literature and Life by Stefan Helgesson

Exit Endings and New Beginnings in Literature and Life

Part of the Cross/Cultures Series


Exit Endings and New Beginnings in Literature and Life by Stefan Helgesson

If anything is certain in human existence, it is the exit. Before the universal yet radically singular event of death, however, history leaves its mark on us by determining which exits are possible, necessary or desirable. This collection of essays, which celebrates the achievement of the Swedish Africanist and postcolonial scholar Raoul Granqvist, deal with the broad theme of exit - in the form of exile, displacement, suicide, endings and, indeed, beginnings. After all, In my end is my beginning (T.S. Eliot). Childhood as exit rite in contemporary African literature (Camara Laye's L'Enfant Noir and Ishmael Beah's Long Way Gone); the Cameroonian director Jean Pierre Bekolo's controversial film Les Saignantes; an early play by Wole Soyinka; Ghana during the First World War; Zakes Mda's Cion; proto-nationalist writing on the Gold Coast; passing in Zoe Wicomb's Playing in the Light; the exile of South African and Caribbean writers; translation theory in the global South; public representations of Africans in north-east Bavaria; oral poetry in rural England; Fred Wah's Swedish-Chinese background in twentieth-century Canada; Toni Morrison's Beloved and infanticide; the open endings of the poetry of Paul Muldoon; the suicide of Virginia Woolf; the viability of global environmental policies - these are some of the topics that this book, in defiance of neat disciplinary boundaries, addresses. The closing section, Voicing the Exit, transcends the academic format with its evocative literary representations of the experience of exit (in Tanzania, Uganda, Ukrainian Canada and elsewhere).

About the Author

Stefan Helgesson is an associate professor in the Department of English at Stockholm University, Sweden. Apart from his academic focus on southern African literature, postcolonialism, translation, and theories of world literature, he also freelances as a literary critic and recently published his first novel.

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Book Info

Publication date

1st January 2011


Stefan Helgesson

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Editions Rodopi B.V. an imprint of Brill


315 pages


Literature: history & criticism



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