Itinerant Figures: Textual Mobilities in Fiction’s Diasporic Turn
Diasporas are dynamic and volatile in today’s globalizing realities and imaginaries because the sense of place and location by which diasporic experiences are understood has become fluid, ambiguous, even contested, and no longer a fixed and static space. In the process of globalization fractured at the very site of identification of the postcolonial self, it becomes that liminal space in-between, constituting, at once, demand and desire. In the fictional texts analyzed in this special forum written either during or after direct colonial rule, an access is given to fleeting transnational images of the fugitive and ephemeral displacement, dispersal and migrancy of intellectuals and ordinary people that underscore cultural difference in their diasporic experience. However complex that access might be in view of the diverse and multi-layered methodological protocols of interpretive reading, we find diasporic subjects that are present but invisible in a foreign land, mobile but constrained, located but displaced, connected yet isolated, real but illusory. In other words, we see shadows of metaphorically liminal sites of possession and loss, participation and alienation, subjectivity and subjection.