The Diasporic Conditions and Poetics of ‘Unsatisfaction’ In Selected Works of Abdulrazak Gurnah


  • Seraphine Chepkosgei Kerich Seraphine Chepkosgei Kerich, Department of Literature University of Eldoret, Kenya


This paper explores diasporic conditions and poetics of ‘unsatisfaction’ as delineated in the texts studied through the sufferings, hopes, nostalgia and desires of the dispersed Zanzibari Arabs. For these Zanzibari Arabs, diaspora has been established through trade, displacement and adventure.Their diasporic situation is paradoxical as they suffer a sentimental attachment to Zanzibar that is manifold: many have a kinship bond; others are defined by peculiar accounts of arrival and return that may be physical or psychological, while others encounter and confront cultural shock(s) that results in cultural inwardness and/or ‘un-adaptability’ that manifest through trauma. This is in tandem with (Ley’s, 2008) assertion (about traumatic memory) that, in her view, lacks the mental constructs which people use to make sense of experience and that even though traumatic textual features may fail to create fully cohesive and healing narratives, they present a representation of subjective relations to the world that would otherwise be ‘unrepresentable’. (Ley’s, 2008) study was important because the texts can only manage to capture an appreciable degree of the individual and collective traumatic experiences of the protagonists by embodying them in narrative forms and by elucidating them using various allegorical devices that can give a semblance of tangible meanings to these experiences as evoked through memory.


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How to Cite

Kerich, S. C. (2017). The Diasporic Conditions and Poetics of ‘Unsatisfaction’ In Selected Works of Abdulrazak Gurnah. Nairobi Journal of Humanities and Social Sciences, 1(2).