Crime fiction and colonial literatures were both established as literary genres in the nineteenth century, and their interrelation has begun to attract the attention of critics working at the intersection between popular genres and the cultural forms produced by colonialism. In Crime and Empire (2003), for example Upamanyu Mukherjee explores the centrality of the language of law and order, policing, crime and punishment in establishing British authority in India. And, in her book Detecting the Nation (2004), Caroline Reitz emphasizes the inextricable bond between crime fiction and the Imperial cultural enterprise. Stories of chaos and restored order were central in colonial literatures as well as in the beginnings of the genre of crime fiction. Colonial literatures often gave voice to a culture of anxiety that found its hub in the colonial subject seen as an enemy and a potential criminal, where crime was intended as deviation, transgression and violation of the shared rules of the European, colonial, community. Today, we may well stand at the opposite end of the spectrum. From a contemporary vantage point, the colonial invasion and occupation of land were indeed a crime, and much has been written and done to address and redress the ideology of empire. This issue is a further step in this direction. Today crime fiction is one of the most globalized, most popular, and biggest-selling forms of contemporary culture. The crime fiction formula entails a dialogue between a crime and its resolution and punishment, revealing therefore an ideal pregnancy for the critical exploration of notions of justice, legality, order and their opposite – chaos, anomy, anarchy – in the social contexts described. In recent years, literatures, cultures and the arts have produced a number of representations focusing on strangers struggling against the unexpected revival of xenophobia, racism and nationalism as formidable oppositional forces. What happens when the criminal is not the ‘enemy without’, but the regime itself? What postcolonial resolutions are offered to colonial/neocolonial crimes? And how has the genre changed in order to incorporate the questioning of ‘knowledge’ and ‘truth’ that characterizes postcolonial texts? The multiplicity of perspectives offered by postcolonial and migrant cultures provides an ideal geopolitical location to explore these questions. Various commentators have argued that whereas the classical narratives of crime fiction present a murder/mystery and provide a solution via logical understanding, postcolonial investigators constantly challenge the established epistemology, be it Western or native, putting truth and justice at the very centre of their investigations. We are looking for contributions that explore works in their geo-political contexts in order to address the social critique they embody. The main issues at stake are: to what extent is our cultural landscape reflected by the conflicts depicted in crime works? What are the mechanisms that operate in these works? To what extent may cultural representations help reground the debate about the Other? Can cultural studies provide some new insights or conceptualizations to interpret and efficiently integrate Otherness in our multicultural communities?
|Titolo:||Postcolonial crimes: crime fiction and the other|
VALLORANI, NICOLETTA (Primo)
|Data di pubblicazione:||2014|
|Citazione:||Postcolonial crimes: crime fiction and the other / N. Vallorani, S. Bertacco. - In: TEXTUS. - ISSN 1824-3967. - 27:2(2014), pp. 1-193.|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||17 - Curatela di numero monografico di rivista|