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Indigenizing Intertextuality: Literacy and Orality in Albert Wendt's Pouliuli

Hayward, Matthew C. (2018) Indigenizing Intertextuality: Literacy and Orality in Albert Wendt's Pouliuli. Journal of Modern Literature, 41 (2). pp. 96-111. ISSN 0022-281X

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The intertextuality of Albert Wendt’s early novel Pouliuli (1977) reflects the complexity of Samoan modernity, bringing together traditional myths and legends with European and other postcolonial texts. Tracing allusions in Pouliuli further demonstrates the breadth of the novel’s intertextual range, and leads to a new understanding of Wendt’s negotiation between the strong oral tradition for which Samoa has long been renowned, and the form of literacy introduced by European colonialism. Pouliuli functions as a written narrative that retains characteristics of an indigenous oral mode, staging at a formal level a counter to the novel’s otherwise pessimistic depiction of the corruption brought by European colonialism. Identifying Wendt’s intertextuality as a development of Samoan storytelling challenges the Eurocentric privileging of the Global North as the seat of literary modernity, and registers the essentially self-determining nature of Pacific literature.

Item Type: Journal Article
Subjects: P Language and Literature > PL Languages and literatures of Eastern Asia, Africa, Oceania
Divisions: Faculty of Arts, Law and Education (FALE) > School of Language, Arts and Media
Depositing User: Matthew Hayward
Date Deposited: 01 May 2018 00:32
Last Modified: 01 May 2018 00:32

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