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Licensed Unlicensed Requires Authentication Published by De Gruyter March 10, 2018

Negotiating Gender, Memory, and History in Anita Desai’s Clear Light of Day

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Anita Desai’s novel Clear Light of Day, published 33 years after the Indian subcontinent’s Partition, lays its focus on markedly ‘female’ experiences of Partition, wherein the importance of national history is negotiated within the framework of gendered family history. What role such familial (social) memories play within the larger canon of ‘Partition narratives’ will be analyzed exemplarily through the novel in this paper. Looking at the way the family house is depicted in Clear Light of Day is important to mark out its chronotopic value, i.e. the house contains as well as evokes spatial memories and triggers the mnemonic processes of the female protagonists that eventually facilitate the overcoming of past conflicts. Finally, the narrative technique of internal focalization, repeatedly deployed in the novel, will be scrutinized in order to reveal the inner turmoils and the personal (traumatic) experiences of the female protagonists.

Corresponding author: Dr. des. Sayma Khan, NELK, Goethe University, Norbert-Wollheim-Platz 1, 60629 Frankfurt am Main, Germany

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Published Online: 2018-3-10
Published in Print: 2018-3-28

©2018 Walter de Gruyter GmbH, Berlin/Boston

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