Inscriptions of dev/fiance: mtissage in Mauritian literature

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Abstract:

This essay highlights and studies the tensions and paradoxes underlying the concept of mtissage within the Mauritian context. While mtissage has long been considered as the impossible meeting ground that splits entities implicitly inscribed in mutual opposition, critical perspectives on this concept have evolved to the point where it is now read as a generative space of creative tension, giving rise to a liminal identity, a space of rhizomic transculturation. Given the varied and disparate visions of the diasporic experience that traverse our modern world, its corollaries of exile and migration suggest that identity can ultimately be defined only as a postmodern play of displacement and metaphoric representations. With its ethnic history of pluralism, and contemporary claims to an effective representational praxis of its multicultural and multilingual politics, Mauritius suggests itself as an ideal site from which to interrogate the possibilities and parameters of identity, particularly the complex inscriptions of the mtis. Through close readings of Carl de Souza's Le Sang de l'Anglais, Marie Thrse Humbert's A l'autre bout de moi and La Montagne des signaux and selected poems of douard Maunick, the inconsistencies and incongruities of Mauritian mtissage will be underlined and analysed.

Keywords: Mauritius; defiance; deviance; diaspora; identity; mtissage; multre

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1386/ijfs.8.2.199/1

Affiliations: University of Mauritius, Rduit.

Publication date: August 1, 2005

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