Echoes of History, Shadowed Identities: Rewriting Alterity in J. M. Coetzee's Foe and Marina Warner's Indigo

Paperback / softback
This book addresses the recovery of submerged memories, loss and trauma in self-avowed intertextual fiction, while simultaneously exposing the tensions and untenability of any stable figuration of alterity. Otherness thus posits a liminal and largely transversal site of resistance to monological representations of Western identity, history and canon, which are now displayed inherently crossbred and built on the occulting and alienating of difference. With this in view, the author carries out a close reading of the works and scholarly statements of J. M. Coetzee and Marina Warner by taking as the point of departure the intertextualist approaches that most attend to the phenomenon of alterity against the critical discourses of modern representation. Fully installed in the revision of canon policies, Foe and Indigo re-read Eurocentric institutionalised forms of othering at the same time they posit new and suggestive rehearsals of identity languages via literature. Intertextual fiction thus turns out to be a powerful instrument to render alterity visible and agential in the discourses of reality. Ultimately, alterity is enabled to speak and invite social change and ethical awareness without denying the history of its alienation.