Rebirth of a nation or 'The incomparable toothbrush': the origin story and narrative regeneration in Sri Lanka

Salgado, Minoli (2012) Rebirth of a nation or 'The incomparable toothbrush': the origin story and narrative regeneration in Sri Lanka. South Asian Review, 33 (3). pp. 239-256. ISSN 0038-2841

[img] PDF
Download (140kB)

Abstract

I examine the post-Independence role of Sri Lanka’s origin story, revealing the ways in which the foundational myth of the Mahavamsa functions as a conflicted site of cultural ‘encompassment’ (Kapferer) in literary and political discourse. Through an analysis of the fiction of Tissa Abeysekara, Carl Muller and the assassinated president Ranasinghe Premadasa, I show how the scripting of this myth in fiction reveals a shift from the celebratory drives of nationalism to a critique of patriotism in a way that both reflects and anticipates a broader paradigmatic shift in the construction of belonging and the outsider found in post-war Sri Lanka.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: myth, origin story, Sri Lanka, nationalism, the Mahavamsa, Tissa Abeysekara, Carl Muller, Ranasinghe Premadasa
Schools and Departments: School of English > English
Subjects: P Language and Literature
Depositing User: Minoli Salgado
Date Deposited: 30 Sep 2013 08:01
Last Modified: 06 Mar 2017 03:53
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/43768

View download statistics for this item

📧 Request an update