Imagination as emancipation

Challenging mental slavery

Featured in

  • Published 20180206
  • ISBN: 9781925603293
  • Extent: 264pp
  • Paperback (234 x 153mm), eBook

THERE IS A condition described by Maya Angelou in the first instalment of her memoir I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings (Random House, 1969), in which a traumatised young girl retreats from the world in preference for the safety of a cultivated interiority. Hemmed in by convention and a bad experience, she relies on herself, her capacity to imagine scenes more conducive to her health. The outside world of grown-ups constitutes an abiding threat; the inside world of her own making provides safety and sustenance.

Could the same malady be applied to history? Can a person feel afflicted to such an extent by knowledge of a history of damage that the hurt of history becomes personalised, no longer a matter of another time and people but felt as real and here and now?

Already a subscriber? Sign in here

If you are an educator or student wishing to access content for study purposes please contact us at griffithreview@griffith.edu.au

Share article

About the author

Fred D’Aguiar

Fred D’Aguiar’s most recent books are the novel Children of Paradise (HarperCollins, 2014) and the poetry collection The Rose of Toulouse (Carcanet, 2013). Born...

More from this edition

We are the world

MemoirTHERE COMES A stage in life when one sometimes forgets to celebrate the passing years; truth be told, it’s hard enough just to keep...

The long journey home

MemoirWHEN I LOOK online, I do not find my great-uncle Michael Kanerusine’s name on any of the websites my research brings up – not even...

Stay up to date with the latest, news, articles and special offers from Griffith Review.