Welcome to the May 2016 issue of Transnational Literature. We complete our eighth year with a rich and diverse issue, drawn from sixteen countries and six continents. We haven't yet published anything from Antarctica but we would love to hear from you if that's where you live!
The scope of the articles is as diverse as their origins, although all touch on the theme of identity in one form or another. Pablo Chiuminatto and Ana Cortés discuss the cultural dislocations inherent in early European visits to Patagonia, while Laila EL-Mahgary looks behind the fairy-tale scenario of a tourist resort in Egypt to meet the musicians who provide the entertainment. Per Henningsgaard takes up a question of publication history and representation with his analysis of four Indigenous novels of Australia and New Zealand. Elena Stoican considers narratives written by Romanian emigrées. Adnan Mahmutovic, Daniela Vitolo and Carmen Zamorana Llena each take the work of a particular author – Mohsin Hamid, Kamila Shamsie and Hari Kunzru respectively – to discuss citizenship and identity in a range of transnational contexts.
Margaret Baker has kindly allowed us to publish the speech she gave at the recent launch of a book discussing the perhaps unexpected links between Scotland and Sicily.
We have two poets in translation in this issue, Hamza Chafii from Morocco and Ivan de Monbrison from France, and I would like to thank Md Rezaul Haque for his expert curation of the translation section.
Our poetry editor, Heather Taylor Johnson, has made a selection of nine poems for this issue. She tells me this is the most interesting batch of poems she's edited since she's been with us. There are six pieces of prose creative writing – stories and memoirs about crossing cultural borders and the power of words and reading, edited by our creative and life writing editor Ruth Starke with the assistance of Molly Murn.
This will be the last issue in which Patrick Allington will act as Book Reviews Editor. He has included twelve reviews of a broad range of books (and one periodical) of interest to our readers. I would like to thank him for taking on this role so efficiently in tandem with a very busy working life over the past few issues. I will take on responsibility for the book reviews for the time being.
I would also like to thank my deputy editors, Emily Sutherland and Paul Ardoin, on whose expert advice I depend during the peer reviewing process for articles. Michael Lee Gardin also helped with editing some of the articles in this issue. My colleagues at Flinders University, Grant Jackson and Joy Tennant, both provide invaluable support in getting the issue published.
And of course, as always, there are those whom I may not name, the many scholars who provide anonymous peer reviews for the papers submitted to the journal. Thanks to all of you for your helpful and collegial contributions to the world of transnational literature.
December 25th is not a holiday in Japan and usually I spend the day in meetings – in fact, it doesn't feel like Christmas unless I am sitting around a formica table, sipping green tea and discussing enrolment and budget issues with my colleagues.'
This article introduces a multidisciplinary study in which the different fields of musicology, social sciences and children’s ‘fairytale’ literature blend together. The interest in this topic came from a lack of attention in past studies on the art-peripheral performers’ and audiences’ experiences with the more popular form of entertainment in art-peripheral tourist settings. Another fundamental purpose for this research is to explore the important role of the art-peripheral ‘fairytale’ settings in transforming the different groups of hosts’ and guests’ everyday rational characters and performances, as they transgress from their cultural norms, and move through the liminal spaces of the sea. Consequently, new identities in Hurghada’s hotels’ fairytale scenes are being formed, and which are the outcome of localized and western, cultural, political, economic, and social constructions. The empirical method in this study puts emphasis on the texts of classical fairytale stories, which are used as an architextual model developed in the course of earlier research undertaken by the author. It is also well worth mentioning, that Hurghada’s art-peripheral hotel settings generate cultural tourism from the simple consumption of entertainment and popular music.
The paper discusses the processes of identity construction enacted by the main character in the novel Burnt Shadows by Kamila Shamsie focusing on the performative relationship existing between agency and identity. The aim is to explore the ways in which the author portrays the relationship between relevant political facts and the dynamics of identity formation. Such events can indeed become a driving force to enact a process of identity formation that questions certain social conventions. In the novel historical events become a drive to agency and thus to the performative construction of the self. Such a construction process brings the protagonist of Shamsie’s novel to develop a position highly critical of nationalisms and nationalistic policies and to embrace the idea of possible transnational solidarities.
The Pyap School is based on a real incident (which didn't happen in the South Australian Riverland, although Daisy Bates did live for a time camped along the Murray at Pyap). Bates was always a controversial figure in Australian history, but also admired by thousands prior to her death. As she aged, two junior officers were sent to bring her to town to 'seek help', as many believed she was becoming unstable. This is an imagined exchange between Bates and two officers sent to fetch her.
Unfamiliar People' is about defamiliarisation and estrangement. The title is a literal translation of the Korean word for 'strangers'. KSSR is the former name of Kazakhstan (Kazakh Soviet Socialist Republic, 1936-1991).
In this paper, I use the established readings of Mohsin Hamid’s novel The Reluctant Fundamentalistas a political allegory of contemporary international relations to formulate an inquiry into the notion of citizenship. Taking my cue from Aihwa Ong’s work on “flexible citizenship,” which stresses the way global capital calls for disrespect of national borders and laws, I look at the way Hamid’s novelistic imagination problematises the conflict between economic, political, and social citizenships and how it looks forward to the emergence of a new understandings of citizenship as something defined in terms of global rights and duties.