Aus unseren Neuerwerbungen – Anglistik 2019.8


Fab­u­losa! The sto­ry of Polari, Britain’s secret gay lan­guage
Polari is a lan­guage that was used chiefly by gay men in the first half of the twen­ti­eth cen­tu­ry. At a time when being gay could result in crim­i­nal pros­e­cu­tion – or worse – Polari offered its speak­ers a degree of pub­lic cam­ou­flage, a way of express­ing humour, and a means of iden­ti­fi­ca­tion and of estab­lish­ing a com­mu­ni­ty. Its roots are colour­ful and var­ied – from Cant to Lin­gua Fran­ca to pros­ti­tutes’ slang – and in the mid-1960s it was thrust into the lime­light by the char­ac­ters Julian and Sandy, voiced by Hugh Pad­dick and Ken­neth Williams, on the BBC radio show Round the Horne (‘Oh Mr Horne, how bona to vada your dol­ly old eke!’).
Paul Bak­er recounts the sto­ry of Polari with skill, eru­di­tion and ten­der­ness. He traces its his­tor­i­cal ori­gins and describes its lin­guis­tic nuts and bolts, explores the ways and the envi­ron­ments in which it was spo­ken, explains the rea­sons for its decline, and tells of its unlike­ly re-emer­gence in the twen­ty-first cen­tu­ry.
With a cast of drag queens and sailors, Dil­ly boys and macho clones, Fab­u­losa! is an essen­tial doc­u­ment of recent his­to­ry and a fas­ci­nat­ing and fan­tas­ti­cal­ly read­able account of this fun­ny, filthy and inge­nious lan­guage.
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Minor gen­res in post­colo­nial lit­er­a­ture
Mov­ing beyond the post­colo­nial lit­er­a­ture field’s tra­di­tion­al focus on the nov­el, this book shines a light on the „minor“ gen­res in which post­colo­nial issues are also explored.
The con­trib­u­tors exam­ine the inter­sec­tion of gener­ic issues with post­colo­nial real­i­ties in regions such as South Africa, Nige­ria, New Zealand, Indone­sia, Aus­tralia, the Unit­ed King­don, and the Caribbean. These „minor“ gen­res include crime fic­tion, let­ter writ­ing, radio plays, poet­ry, the nov­el in verse and short sto­ries, as well as blogs and essays. The vol­ume clos­es with Robert Antoni’s dis­cus­sion of his use of the ver­nac­u­lar and dig­i­tal resources in As Flies to What­less Boys (2013), and sug­gests that „major“ gen­res might yield new webs of mean­ing when dig­i­tal media are mobi­lized with a view to cre­at­ing new forms of hybrid­i­ty and mul­ti­plic­i­ty that push genre bound­aries.
In focus­ing on under­rep­re­sent­ed and under­stud­ied gen­res, this book pays jus­tice to the mul­ti­plic­i­ty of the field of post­colo­nial stud­ies and gives voice to cer­tain lit­er­ary tra­di­tions with­in which the nov­el occu­pies a less cen­tral posi­tion.
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