Jean Arasanayagam's writing, arising from a unique confluence of what can be considered minoritized identities in Sri Lanka (Burgher and Tamil), provides critical insights into the ways in which a marginalized consciousness seeks to carve a niche for itself within an exclusive, majoritarian nationalist discourse. Such minority self-fashioning is often seen in terms of a paradigm of resistance that deconstructs the dominant or hegemonic national discourse and renders identity mobile and fluid. However, we argue that Arasanayagam's writing, rather than being "post-national", is heavily invested in the idea of national belonging. Through close readings of a selection of poems, drawn from her earliest published work to recent writing, we explore the ambiguities and contradictions arising out of Arasanayagam's desire for a self-identity in what can be loosely termed a Sri Lankan national imaginary.
- Sri Lanka
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Literature and Literary Theory