Stories of liminal voyage in the Indian Ocean: Michael Ondaatje's The Cat's Table & Abdulrazak Gurnah's By the Sea

Punt, Charli-Ann
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This thesis explores two stories of voyage in the Indian Ocean. These stories are Michael Ondaatje’s The Cat’s Table and Abdulrazak Gurnah’s By the Sea. The Indian Ocean has taken its place as an important emerging area of study as it provides a unique vantage point from which to view the emerging phenomena of the Global South. The story of voyage is useful as it seems to encompass some of the crucial features and themes of the Indian Ocean world. This thesis suggests that voyages operate within a liminal space in both novels. The concept of liminality refers to a state which operates between stable states of being. In both novels the liminal space of voyage can be regarded as an ideological organizing principle which gives particular shape to the meaning expressed in the novels.
Thesis (M.A.)--University of the Witwatersrand, Faculty of Humanities, African Literature, 2013