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Journal articles

“The World Had Forgotten about Us”: Heterotopian Resistance in Richard Flanagan’s Wanting and Lloyd Jones’s Mister Pip

Abstract : This article explores how the different forms of heterotopias present in Richard Flanagan’s Wanting (2008) and Lloyd Jones’s Mister Pip (2006) articulate problematic identity politics and cultural memory. In Wanting, the collocation of Mathinna’s story with that of the lost Franklin expedition offers a form of reclaiming. This article argues that Flanagan’s novel moves from heterotopias of deviation to a crisis heterotopia, displacing and debunking the compensation function of the colonial heterotopia to highlight the crushing of Aboriginal identity. This shifting heterotopia is doubled by Mathinna’s heterotopic carceral body, that is, body as confined space, which qualifies the act of reclaiming. In Mister Pip, heterotopias concern cultural memory as the island of Bougainville, secluded from the rest of the world, turns into the repository of the villagers’ culture juxtaposed with the reading of Charles Dickens’s Great Expectations (1860–1861). This article argues that Jones’s creation of a palimpsestic heterotopia allows him to resist Eurocentric views as well as to actualize postcolonial concepts. Jones’s novel calls for a dynamic appropriation of literature. Matilda’s ‘Pacific version’ of Pip’s story reflects the cracks in the Victorian and contemporary exploitations of the island. Readers’ immersions in these heterotopias do not provide an escape from but a thoughtful commitment to the past.
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Submitted on : Tuesday, April 5, 2022 - 6:39:35 PM
Last modification on : Wednesday, April 6, 2022 - 3:26:37 AM

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Charlotte Wadoux Wadoux, Charlotte Wadoux. “The World Had Forgotten about Us”: Heterotopian Resistance in Richard Flanagan’s Wanting and Lloyd Jones’s Mister Pip. Humanities, MDPI, 2022, 11 (1), pp.9. ⟨10.3390/h11010009⟩. ⟨hal-03631665⟩



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