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Ozawa, Shizen

Ozawa, Shizen

Professor of Anglophone Literature @ Tamkang University


Shizen Ozawa teaches Anglophone literature in the Department of English at Tamkang University, Taiwan. Ozawa’s research interests include postcolonial literature and travel writing. His publications include "Returning to East Africa via India: On M. G. Vassanji’s And Home Was Kariakoo." CLCWeb: Comparative Literature and Culture 23.4 (2021) and “‘With this past before you, all around you’: On the Transformation of Identities in M. G. Vassanji’s No New Land.” The Wenshan Review of Literature and Culture, vol. 12, no. 2, June 2019, pp. 81-101. He is also active as a translator, and co-translated V. S. Naipaul’s Miguel Street into Japanese.

Geographical location : Taiwan

Research Area and Interest : postcolonial literature and travel writing

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Literature and Colonisation


Returnees’ Predicaments: On George Lamming’s Of Age and Innocence and Season of Adventure
Summary: In George Lamming’s philosophy of cultural decolonisation, geo-cultural translocation plays a crucial role. As his second novel The Emigrants portrays, journey to England constitutes a significant stage for forging a decolonised cultural identity in that it makes Caribbean migrants realise how much they have been conditioned by colonial values. While Lamming considers their return the inevitable next step for further cultural decolonisation, the bleak tone of Of Age and Innocence points to its tremendous difficulties. This paper analyses the difficulties in question and Lamming’s tentative solution for them, by focusing on the returnee characters in Of Age and Innocence and Season of Adventure. To be concrete, I first examine how Shephard, the main character of Of Age, seeks to achieve his psychological decolonisation through his involvement in independence movement. Next, I analyse how serious limitations in Shephard’s personal attempt, as well as the paralysis of another returnee Mark, reveal immense obstacles in the way of further psycho-cultural decolonisation. Finally, I consider the extent to which these problems are overcome in Season, focusing on the crucial supporting role Chiki the returnee artist plays in the personal transformation of the main character Fola, and by extension in the on-going socio-political struggles in post-independent San Cristobal. My paper thereby seeks to offer a starting point to consider the poetics and politics of return at the time of decolonisation.

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