'We and thee (...), us and them': Not Wanted on the Voyage by Timothy Findley as a postmodern parable of difference
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Not Wanted on the Voyage (1984), by a Canadian writer Timothy Findley, challenges the biblical story of the Great Flood providing a postmodern, an alternative and a postcolonial version 'writing back to the colonial empire'. In Findley's reconfiguration offering a story of the Other and describing a practical side of the enterprise, dr Noah becomes a tyrannical leader of a totalitarian state who instead of salvation offers destruction. His vision of the better world excludes various Others of the novel, mainly women and animals, but also those who fail to be contained in binary oppositions. It is the lower orders who embrace difference as the ark becomes a battlefield between the male and female discourses, the powers of reason and imagination, intolerance and tolerance, as well as death and life. In a way characteristic of other novels by Timothy Findley, Not Wanted on the Voyage provides an exploration of fascism. This heteroglot magic realist text revisions the politics of the chooser and the chosen, the dispossessed and the privileged, or the belonging and the unbelonging. Thus, Not Wanted on the Voyage may be read as a postmodern literary commentary on difference by showing the construction of diversity and its ideological foundations, as well as the dangers of failing to accept multiplicity.
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