Thursday, November 06, 2008

Malaysian Political Imagination and the Novel

While Malaysia is anything but a full-fledged democracy, its relative openness permits a spectrum of debate, which allows for a certain flowering of creativity. ...

... Samarasan, Aw, Tan, and Tei matter because, being from an ethnic minority, they provide a different perspective to Malaysia's divided polity, given that Malaysia's preferential policies benefit the majority, and not minority, communities. Furthermore, these writers provide a local voice looking at the country and its past. This is important, because until recently, fiction about Malaysia or Singapore looked at the region from an outsider's perspective, with the natives offering colourful backdrop ...
Salil Tripathy pens a very important piece on the political imagination and literature of Malaysia and Singapore for the current issue of the Indian literary journal Biblio. You will need to subscribe to the journal to access the full piece.

In the same issue there's also a very nice piece about the litbloggers of Asia by Jai Arjun (who blogs at Jabberwock). Jai very kindly writes about my blog, and also mentions other local bloggers doing a great job - namely Amir, Eric, Glenda. (This article can be read for free but you need to register first).

3 comments:

X said...

What does democracy have to do with openness?

Anonymous said...

I can't open the link, but the extract posted doesn't make sense. Samarasan, tan and aw (no idea who tei is) wrote stories and I didn't get a sense of them trying to give a perspective of an "ethnic minority" who don't get privileges. This sounds like an outsider who doesn't appreciate how the natives think.

Animah

bibliobibuli said...

Tei of course is Chiew-Siah! (Tut-tut Animah!)

Sorry I can't post more up here, I wonder what you would think of the rest.