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Title: The Importance of Reading Refugee Literature
Keywords: Refugee, Literature, Fictionalizing, What is the What, Iser, Eggers
Issue Date: 17-Jan-2012
Citation: SIM POH LING CHRISTABEL (2012-01-17). The Importance of Reading Refugee Literature. ScholarBank@NUS Repository.
Abstract: This essay attempts to critically analyze examples of refugee literature from a theoretical perspective. In particular, the essay looks at UNHCR literary fictions and Dave Eggers?s novel, What is the What. With Wolfgang Iser?s notions of ?fictionalizing as an act of overstepping? (Iser 939) the reality of lived experiences guiding our understanding of refugee literature, this essay argues that it is the defamiliarization of the refugee from its doxological representations through the use of fictional technique that enables refugee literature to rise above individual refugee experiences to foreground the urgency of the worldwide condition of refugees post-World War II. If literary fictions can reproduce the illusion of the refugee experience for readers, then refugee literature can be considered successful acts of fictionalizing. The successful texts do more than enlarge the experience for their readers; they represent the hope of survival in that other refugees can one day share their stories.
Appears in Collections:Master's Theses (Open)

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