Part 1 of Poetry in English from Singapore and Malaysia

Rajeev S. Patke, DPhil (Oxon.) Department of English Language and Literature, National University of Singapore

Adapted from Post-Colonial Literatures in English, ed. Rajeev S. Patke, 1998, by George P. Landow, Professor of English and Art History, Brown University; Distinguished Visiting Professor, NUS, 1998-99.

Understanding the literary culture of Singapore-Malaysia requires learning about the formations which have shaped writing in diachronic (historical) and synchronic (geographical) terms. We will then make a selective survey of issues and individuals of contemporary relevance to the scene of poetry in English. Our survey is deliberately selective. In each of the three parts constituting this case study the texts and issues selected for discussion are handled in such a way as to give you ample opportunity for independent work on topics and writers not touched upon except glancingly. The second part will discuss fictional writing both in general and in specific terms, and the final part of this case study will deal with drama and theatre in the region by taking up one specific play for study. The issues concerning post-coloniality and post-modernity which have been engaged sustainedly from the General Introduction, through Case Study 1 to 2, will be kept continuously in mind as the common thematics that unite this Study Guide and the three diverse literary cultures and the three literary genres it addresses.

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