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Title: Waiting, Part One of a Sarajevo novel : the figure of the siege and the refugee in a selection of twentieth-century siege-exile literature
Author: Morris, Priscilla
Awarding Body: University of East Anglia
Current Institution: University of East Anglia
Date of Award: 2014
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The Painter of Bridges is a hybrid siege-exile novel about a landscape painter, Zora Buka, who loses her life’s work in a fire during the siege of Sarajevo. Part One, presented in the creative paper, is set in Sarajevo and depicts Zora’s experience of the first ten months of the siege. Part Two is set in England: Zora recollects her escape from Sarajevo, and waits for her asylum claim to be accepted. The novel is therefore concerned with portraying the exceptional states of life under siege and of being a refugee. The critical paper shares these concerns and follows the movement of the novel from siege to exile. Beginning with a discussion of the siege in post-war literature, the critical section then looks at the double figure of the siege in Camus’s The Plague, before turning to themes of siege and exile in Susan Sontag’s 1993 Sarajevo production of Beckett’s Waiting for Godot. It finally examines Slavenka Drakulić’s representation of the refugee in her Bosnian war novel, As If I Am Not There. The critical paper thus offers close readings of two war novels and a wartime theatrical production. These texts are seen as ‘works of exception’ which illuminate the liminal spaces that Giorgio Agamben terms ‘zones of indistinction’. The readings of The Plague and Waiting for Godot draw on Agamben's theory of modern life to analyse their depictions of the refugee and the state of exception. Postcolonial questions about the representation of others, meanwhile, are addressed in the second reading of The Plague, where, going against much postcolonial criticism, it is argued a hidden allegory of anticolonial uprising is at work, and again in As If I Am Not There, where the uprooted, violated protagonist is found to have an ethically and artistically flawed doubled consciousness.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available