BEYOND THE BORDER AND THE WORD: WONDERING SUBJECTS IN THREE ANGLOPHONE TEXTS
In cultural terms, wondering subjects like vagrants, homeless and migrants are often relegated to liminal social positions and neglected complete identities. However when novelists give them a voice, they can reconstruct and reinvent language and bring to the fore the tense reaction and challenge of the periphery to the monolithic sense of order and power that lies in mainstream lifestyles and canons. My paper focuses on three very diverse Anglophone fictional renditions of this complex scenario, in its postmodern, dystopian and diasporic articulations, respectively represented by Next (Christine Brooke-Rose 1998), Divided Kingdom (Rupert Thomson 2005) and Harare North (Brian Chikwava 2009) and sets out to analyse how these novels subvert the stereotypical vision of vagabonds and squatters and turn them into unusual tropes of alterity and diversity. Their fragmented, exuberant language uses constitute the backbone of these texts, which attempt to mirror or re-imagine the contemporary tangling and breaking of different viewpoints, stories and identities via innovative forms of eye-dialect, slang, and antilanguage. From a thematic perspective, therefore, these outcasts provokingly go beyond borders and vigorously express other voices by re-appropriating and re-shaping communicative codes and social practices.