Para-paradisi. “Colonial agency”, paradisi postcoloniali e invenzione dell’altro


  • Nicoletta Vallorani Università degli Studi di Milano


Parole chiave:

Colonial agency, Third space, Homi Bhabha, Epistemic violence, Kurt Vonnegut Jr, Will Self


Based on the issue of colonial agency and aiming at a revision of Homi Bhabha’s notion of third space, this essay considers two novels roughly based on a dystopian pattern and actually showing two similar interpretations of the Other. The first one, Vonnegut’s Cat’s Cradle (1963), was written as a political and fictional response to the US bombing of Hiroshima and is set in the Republic of San Lorenzo, a Carribbean island whose history has developed through the struggle between a naïf and ruthless dictator, ‘Papa’ Monzano, and a religious leader, Bokonon, who’s made an outlaw though the religion he predicates is professed by almost everyone. The second, Will Self’s The Butt (2008), develops the story of a tourist, Tom Brodzinki, in a tropical island conceived as something of a cross between Australia and Iraq. In both cases, the main focus is the relationship between the Westerner – ex-colonizer and naïf traveller – and the native, that appears to be more ambiguous than it seemed at first sight. The Imperial legacy produces a definite notion of exotic Paradise that is finally reversed in the colonizer’s Hell.


Caricamento metriche ...

Biografia autore

Nicoletta Vallorani, Università degli Studi di Milano

NICOLETTA VALLORANI is Associate Professor of English Literature and Cultural Studies at the University of Milan. Her specialisations include media studies, gender studies and queer studies. She has also worked the cultural and ideological implications of translation, and on the relation between language and ideology in contemporary cultures.
Her current research focuses on body politics and cultural ideology, the body and the city, body language, cultural representation and disease. Her work on J.Conrad, H.G.Wells, Will Self and J.Kerouac are more grounded in the field of literary studies, while more recent approaches to I.Sinclair, D.Jarman, O.Welles, T.Harrison, M.Winterbottom reveal a more specific reference to cultural studies’ theories and methods.
She has recently published on formula fiction, cinema and literature, urban topographies, the representation of the body, the representation of war in contemporary British and American cultures.





Come citare

Vallorani, Nicoletta. 2012. «Para-Paradisi. “Colonial agency”, Paradisi Postcoloniali E Invenzione dell’altro». Altre Modernità, n. 7 (maggio):179-94.



Saggi Ensayos Essais Essays

Puoi leggere altri articoli dello stesso autore/i

<< < 1 2 3 4 5 > >>