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Reworking of Myths by Pakistani Poets Writing in English

Dr. Amra Raza, Chairperson, University of the Punjab, Lahore

Mythical Space as opposed to physical space is extremely fertile and capable of unifying diverse elements. It is also self reflexive. Its creation and evolution becomes a quest to find the meaning of existence and man’s place in the cosmos. This paper examines how Pakistani poets, in particular Alamgir Hashmi and Zulfiqar Ghose, writing in English draw on mythical space as a frame of reference and apply complex techniques such as adept incisions and replacements, miniaturizing, elastic expansion, spatio-temporal manipulation, subversion and the use of literary devices in order to effect appropriation and contemporanizing. This process leads to a reframing of selected Greek myths (related to Orpheus and Eurydice, Ulysses’ encounter with the Sirens, Penelope, Agamemnon and Iphigenia) in which Homer’s position as omniscient narrator is challenged and the Pakistani poet’s predicament of writing in English are explored.

About the presenter:

Dr. Amra Raza is an Associate Professor and Chairperson of the Department of English Language and Literature, University of the Punjab. She is a creative writer, teacher trainer and researcher. She holds the Jane Townsend Poetry Prize (1990) and is the co-editor of Voices and Visions: Young Writers from Pakistan. Her poems and research articles have been published in Pakistan and abroad.

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posted by S A J Shirazi @ 4/03/2014 11:10:00 AM,

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