FOLKLORISTIC HYBRIDS: DIAPORA SPACE IN THE CLARINET POLKA BY KEITH MAILLARD
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The article is an analysis of the representation of the Polish Diaspora in 'The Clarinet Polka', a novel by Canadian author Keith Maillard. Telling the story of the central protagonist with Polish roots, Jimmy Koprovski, who comes back to his family town Raysburg after the war in Vietnam, the novel interrogates the concepts of diasporic and national identity. The authoress applies a substantial body of Diaspora theories (by Avtar Brah, Paul Gilroy and Robin Cohen), trying to show that the Diaspora in Maillard's novel is represented as a conflictual space. Factors such as class and generation in particular differentiate the protagonists' perceptions of their Polish and American identities. The concept of Diaspora that emerges from 'The Clarinet Polka' is not based on homogeneity and purity of origin and tradition but on the recognition of the unavoidable plurality and heterogeneity. She aims to prove that the novel illustrates a (post)modern approach to the Diaspora as a plural space, which constantly (re)produces itself anew, through transformation, transgression of boundaries and difference.
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