Waiting, Part One of a Sarajevo Novel: The Figure of the Siege and the Refugee in a Selection of Twentieth-Century Siege-Exile Literature

Morris, Priscilla (2014) Waiting, Part One of a Sarajevo Novel: The Figure of the Siege and the Refugee in a Selection of Twentieth-Century Siege-Exile Literature. Doctoral thesis, University of East Anglia.

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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.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Arts and Humanities > School of Literature and Creative Writing (former - to 2011)
Depositing User: Users 2593 not found.
Date Deposited: 29 Jan 2015 11:52
Last Modified: 29 Jan 2015 11:52
URI: https://ueaeprints.uea.ac.uk/id/eprint/52063


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