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Diaspora Literature

  • Date Submitted: 09/09/2011 07:42 PM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 34.5 
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Diaspora (Greek, “dispersion”), is a term used for large scale migration of people from the country of their origin to other countries, either voluntarily or due to economic or political compulsions. When we speak of the Indian Diaspora we mean Indians settled in England, America, Africa, and the Caribbean. Similarly one can discuss the Caribbean Diaspora to England, Canada and France. Diaspora studies also became an academic discipline. In literature too the text composed of such displacement constitutes the Diaspora Literature.

Characteristic Features of Diaspora Literature:

      Displacement: “Over all the world   Men move unhoming, and eternally
Concerned: a swarm of bees who have lost their queen.”---- Christopher Fry (1907 - ) British playwright. Venus Observed.

Displacement, whether forced or self-imposed, is in many ways a calamity. Yet, a peculiar but a potent point to note is that writers in their displaced existence generally tend to excel in their work, as if the changed atmosphere acts as a stimulant for them. These writings in dislocated circumstances are often termed as exile literature. The word “exile” has negative connotations but if the self-exile of a Byron is considered, then the response to that very word becomes ambivalent. If a holistic view of the word “exile” is taken, the definition would include migrant writers and non-resident writers and even gallivanting writers who roam about for better pastures to graze and fill their oeuvre. World literature has an abundance of writers whose writings have prospered while they were in exile.

      Multicultural identities: Since no human society exists in complete isolation, different societies also exchange and share culture. In fact, all societies have some interactions with others, both out of curiosity and because even highly self-sufficient societies sometimes need assistance from their neighbors.   The study of world literature might be the study of the way in...


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