Exploring Transnational Identities in Ondaatje's Anil's Ghost

Victoria Cook, University of Central Lancashire (UK)

Post Colonial Literature in English: Canada

This abstract from the CLCWeb: Comparative Literature and Culture appears with the kind permission of Steven Tötösy de Zepetnek. Copyright remains of course with the author and CLCWeb

Victoria Cook, in "Exploring Transnational Identities in Ondaatje's Anil's Ghost," addresses issues of identity raised in the narrative of Michael Ondaatje's novel Anil's Ghost. Cook's paper is a close analysis of Ondaatje's novel, paying particular attention to the way in which Ondaatje examines identity as both a "construct" and a "process." The approach used is one that draws on postcolonial theory and takes a "transnational" perspective. Cook argues that Ondaatje's text moves beyond the concept of a postcolonial literature of "resistance" into an area that requires a theory of process rather than product. Transnationalism is shown here to be just such a theory, in that it captures something of this fluidity: the analysis is underpinned, therefore, by the application of transnational theory, as put forward by critics such as Paul Giles. Names and naming are the main themes addressed in the course of this argument, with regard to the way in which they impact on issues of identification. Finally, Cook explores in her paper issues of identity in Anil's Ghost, identity that traverses cultural and national boundaries and encompasses both central and marginal positions.

Full text of this article.

Postcolonial Web India OV Canada Michael Ondaatje

Last modified: 12 August 2004