The Disharmonized Space in Postcolonial Memoirs: The Case for Said and Achebe


This research paper will attempt to understand how space is integral in the formation of the colonial/postcolonial subject through the memoir of Edward Said's Out of Place, and Chinua Achebe's There Was a Country and give justice to their spatial reality. The paper will respond to the primary texts through a focused theoretical understanding of Lefebvre's spatial triad that he develops in The Production of Space, and comparatively understand and analyze how spaces are (re)presented through (post)colonial memoirs. I argue that both texts, in their discourse, show a disharmony when dealing space in the memoirs; and through Lefebvre understanding of spatial triad, we see that both texts' spatial triads show dominance of one of the triads, creating a disharmony of space in the text. I find that in Said's memoir the dominant triad is the representational space, while in Achebe's memoir it is the representations of space. The question to be asked then, what does this disharmony to space in memoir? For Said, the space became personal, and for Achebe the space is political. We, therefore, see the power that language has in creating the space that we want and need, and this freedom is itself the justice that a subject could have in his/her lives.

Author Information
Abdollah J. Zeynabi, American University of Sharjah, UAE

Paper Information
Conference: IICAHDubai2016
Stream: Humanities - Literature/Literary Studies*

This paper is part of the IICAHDubai2016 Conference Proceedings (View)
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Posted by James Alexander Gordon