Postmodern Hybridity in Caryl Phillips’s Crossing the River

Mahendra. M, Central University of Karnataka, India, ID CLEaR2017-453;     ABSTRACT: This Paper attempt to evaluate Caryl Phillips’s seminal work Crossing the River as a postmodernist text that reveals the intrinsic postmodern hybridity. Crossing the River (1993), which consists of four separate stories occurring over the course of two centuries and linked not linearly, but by the polyphonic voices of the diaspora. The polyphonic voices in the novel are taken from different geographical, national, racial and language background, that has given a transnational touch to the novel.  Postmodern hybridity emphasized not fusions, but multiple and mobile positioning created by the performative transgression of national grand narratives-What Homi Bhabha has referred to as the ‘shreds and patches' of many and diverse national voices. Postmodern hybridity is also generated in the articulations of difference marked by nation, class, gender, sexuality, and language and the process of translating across gaps which are characteristics of diasporas. This paper explores Crossing the River as a text intersecting between the postcolonial and the postmodern theories. Nevertheless, looking at the transnational intentions of the author the novel would be analysed from the postmodernist perspectives.

Key Terms: Polyphony, Diaspora, Hybridity, Postmodern, Pastiche, Transnational


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