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‘Baía dos tigres’ and ‘Mongólia’. Meeting the other in ex-centric transatlantic locales

Other

English

ID: <10670/1.x2ld3g>

Abstract

This article is a comparative analysis of Baía dos Ti- gres (1999) by the Portuguese writer and journalist Pedro Rosa Mendes and Mongólia (2003) by the Brazilian journalist and writer Bernardo Carvalho. Written about Africa and Asia respectively, these travel narratives emphasize the pursuit of the Other in an attempt to overcome alterity, exoticism and a Eurocentric vision framed in the current discourse on Transatlantic Literary studies. Baía dos Tigres na- rrates the route crossing the African continent from the coast of Angola to Mozambique in 1997 and re- presents an attempt to overcome the colonial and ethnocentric ideology underlying the hierarchy of difference and racism. In Mongólia the reader is in touch with the recurrent Eurocentric position of a Western perspective of the exotic East, where the postcolonial Brazilian viewpoint does not reflect a critical intercultural dialogue as an alternative to the global epistemological structure. In this narra- tive there is the representation of irreconcilable forms of diversity that privilege cultural differences culminating in a search for social identity as well as an individual one. Both novels are examples of Transatlantic Literary Studies where a contact zone comes from different points of departure and arri- val. Both reveal transatlantic visions of different and distant ex-centric locales, Africa and Asia. The search for the Other and for his own identity is common to both novels yet it arises from different perspectives and emphasizes different alterities.

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