Home-spun songs of the subaltern: Writing race in fiction
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Reams of words have already been written on (the bodies of) the marginalised. I argue that the language we use to tell stories of difference has become so saturated with overdetermined and proscriptive meaning that its efficacy in articulating the complexity of life at the margins has been compromised. Language, both academic and creative, has absorbed a sophisticated, quasi-religious trope that is shot through with images and references to 'the sacred', and while purporting to 'help' serves to further silence the lived experience of whole sections of the community already struggling to be heard. My aim is to mine a seam of language from the collective imagination that will depict aspects of the real and the now that remain for the most part unspoken, if not unspeakable.
TEXT: Journal of Writing and Writing Courses
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Studies in the Creative Arts and Writing not elsewhere classified