• Thursday, Feb 02, 2023
  • Last Update : 09:54 am

Colonial hangovers

  • Published at 06:44 am November 21st, 2017
  • Last updated at 02:29 pm December 11th, 2017
Colonial hangovers
Unnikrishnan and Arudpragasam started with discussing their novels and how their personal contexts, especially the languages they are surrounded by, influenced their work. Both writers acknowledged the very common 'colonial hangover' in previously colonised nations – the prestige and power that is still attached to the English language. “As a young writer who has written a novel in English, I have been invited to the Dhaka Literary Festival. If I happened to be a skilled writer of Tamil, I don't think I would be invited to Dhaka,” stated Anuk flatly. He was also passionately dismissive of Nobel and Pulitzer prizes and “Western recognitions” - “Why should we care? In all societies there are masters and slaves, and we had that relationship with our colonisers, so the day we cease to care for these recognitions is the day we rise up from being slaves.” Matthews tried to speak a bit more favourably of English as “part of a global culture where people can use their native tongue but also communicate through a global language.” Unnikrishnan also stressed on the use of not just native language, but ways of using that language. Explaining the language used by the many voices in his book Temporary People, he said “I want you to know what the city sounds like when you read me.” He also spoke at length regarding the impact of a history of colonisation, not just on language and how it is perceived, but the structures of power that impact non-English and non-white writers in their professions. However, he was less dismissive of the English language and stressed on reading anything and everything - “I grew up on Enid Blyton, and I even read Danielle Steele and Sidney Sheldon when I was a kid. I'm not ashamed, they taught me how to read!” On the topic of native tongues, Arudpragasam added, “we speak to communicate but also not to, and in your own language, there is a sense of belonging and of speaking within your community. When I am in the US, I write in Tamil – and there is this perfect solitude in using a language that isn't being spoken around you.”
50
Facebook 50
blogger sharing button blogger
buffer sharing button buffer
diaspora sharing button diaspora
digg sharing button digg
douban sharing button douban
email sharing button email
evernote sharing button evernote
flipboard sharing button flipboard
pocket sharing button getpocket
github sharing button github
gmail sharing button gmail
googlebookmarks sharing button googlebookmarks
hackernews sharing button hackernews
instapaper sharing button instapaper
line sharing button line
linkedin sharing button linkedin
livejournal sharing button livejournal
mailru sharing button mailru
medium sharing button medium
meneame sharing button meneame
messenger sharing button messenger
odnoklassniki sharing button odnoklassniki
pinterest sharing button pinterest
print sharing button print
qzone sharing button qzone
reddit sharing button reddit
refind sharing button refind
renren sharing button renren
skype sharing button skype
snapchat sharing button snapchat
surfingbird sharing button surfingbird
telegram sharing button telegram
tumblr sharing button tumblr
twitter sharing button twitter
vk sharing button vk
wechat sharing button wechat
weibo sharing button weibo
whatsapp sharing button whatsapp
wordpress sharing button wordpress
xing sharing button xing
yahoomail sharing button yahoomail