Multiple Belongings in the Shaping of the Literary Imagination


This article proposes to explore the nature of multiple imaginative belongings as this is inscribed within various Mauritian literary texts, written in three different languages. The tyranny of the desire for national belonging has known varied fortunes over the last 200 years as nationalism has been simultaneously praised and derided in the construction of the national imaginary. In the context of multicultural Mauritius, the complexity of the nationalist paradigm exists in parallel with numerous transnational narratives of diasporic belonging. Nowhere is this more visible than in the literary output, where writers play with the often overlapping realities of multiple belongings.

Key words: postcolonialism, orality, nation, nationalism

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Nandini Bhautoo-Dewnarain
University of Mauritius 
Nandini Bhautoo‑Dewnarain is a senior lecturer in English and Cultural Studies at the University of Mauritius. She specializes in postcolonialism, contemporary and comparative literature. She is a founding member of the Comparative Literature Research Group at the University of Mauritius.