By A. Woolley
Modern Asylum Narratives marks a transition from conventional modes of diasporic belonging to the necessity for identifications that surround the statelessness of refugees and asylum seekers. This ebook explores representations of asylum seekers and refugees in twenty-first century literature, movie and theatre.
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Additional resources for Contemporary Asylum Narratives: Representing Refugees in the Twenty-First Century
Used as a bomb shelter during World War Two, the Chislehurst Caves also evoke the taint of war with which Kristina is associated and so configure her as a metaphorical inhabitant of their darkness. These traces of other wars and other sanctuaries provide an imaginative template for Kristina’s own search for refuge. Yet despite these historical and contemporary associations, the underground caves remain invisible to those going about their daily lives on the suburban streets, implying that although such ‘unsolved myster[ies]’ form part of the fabric of everyday life, they are seldom investigated.
44). 34 Contemporary Asylum Narratives My readings of The Light of Day and A Distant Shore in this part of the book are shaped by this understanding of the imagination as simultaneously integrative in scope and beset by conditions. The act of imagining in Swift’s and Phillips’s novels of asylum provides an alternative way of knowing traditionally marginalized or traumatic experiences and is also presented as a demanding ethical obligation; a hospitable response to the other’s request for refuge.
34, original emphasis), as questions of origin, name and history intercede to impose a series of conditions on the individual who requests hospitality. In placing the struggle to imagine at the centre of its hospitable gesture, The Light of Day identifies a further condition that might be placed on hospitality: the limited capacity of the imagination. George’s attempts to act as host to Kristina’s story imaginatively often succeed only in inscribing her difference into a conceptually familiar frame of reference.
Contemporary Asylum Narratives: Representing Refugees in the Twenty-First Century by A. Woolley