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Crossing the Figurative Gap: Metaphor and Metonymy in Midnight’s Children

The Journal of Commonwealth Literature , Volume 39 (3): 45 – Sep 1, 2004


Sage Publications
Copyright © 2004 by SAGE Publications
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Crossing the Figurative Gap: Metaphor and Metonymy in Midnight’s Children


Crossing the Figurative Gap: Metaphor and Metonymy in Midnight's Children Mac Fenwick Peterborough, Canada Among the great dangers of every revolution, success is surely the most pernicious. The academic and institutional revolution occasioned by postcolonial (post-colonial?) studies is not exempt. Having successfully carried the theoretical day and secured a place in both the syllabuses and teaching faculties of virtually every university, post-colonialism (post- colonialism?) has become home to, and perhaps even dependent upon, a number of what can only be called canonical maxims. Post (with or without the hyphen) colonialism is about questioning accepted truths; it is dedicated to opening up new fields of inquiry in old literatures, and to providing a space for previously ignored voices; it is anti-hegemonic, anti-hierarchical and anti-canonical. It is not post-structuralism; it is or ought to be politically committed. Above all else, post/colonialism (to dispense with the hyphenated/non-hyphenated debate altogether) is dedicated to the proposition that the world cannot be rightly or properly understood according to the old imperialist terms of "us and them," centre and margin, right and wrong: binary opposition is to be aban- doned, and a more flexible and relational form of understanding and interpretation is to be embraced.
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