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Title: W. Somerset Maugham and the East : a postcolonial reading of the implications of history, culture and text in the work of a 'popular' writer
Author: Chaudhary, Mamta.
ISNI:       0000 0001 3530 5267
Awarding Body: University of Wales, Cardiff,
Current Institution: Cardiff University
Date of Award: 1995
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This is a study of W. Somerset Maugham's writings about the East as colonialist discourse. It examines Maugham's representation of 'white' men in the colonies, of the 'natives', and of the environment and landscape in which his stories are set. Drawing upon the work of the 'subaltern' group of Indian historians, and using historiography as a point of departure, the reading analyses the extent of the exclusion of 'subaltern' consciousness and history in Maugham's texts. It also locates the margins and the silences in his texts as sites for the recuperation of 'subaltern' presence and history. His representation of 'native' men, of 'native' women and of 'half-castes' is given particular attention. Racial hierarchies intersect with those of gender when 'white' women as 'sexual' beings share the condition of subalternity with 'natives'. Again, Eastern lands are also seen to be inscribed as feminine and as such made available for (Western) male occupation and domination. This reading also interrogates the dominant 'humanist' paradigm of Maugham criticism which has consistently read his work as being an 'exact' or'true' representation of the worlds he writes of, and demonstrates the extent to which his writing draws on Orientalist constructions of the East, and far from valorising the East (as traditional criticism has it), works within prevalent colonial discursive structures to reaffirm not only binary structurations of the world but also the relations of power that such structurations install and consolidate.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available