Self-Othering and Redemptive Narratives in Literature and the Arts

Gabriela Ioana Mocan

Babeș-Bolyai University (Romania), Faculty of Economics and Business Administration

Department of Modern Languages and Business Communication


Abstract: In spite of the increased interconnectedness of today’s world, brought about by globalization and, more recently, by the digital reconfiguration of our lives due to Covid-19, humankind is still – and paradoxically so – grappling with the legacy of colonial sovereignty. Stigmatization of Otherness has become a fad and labels are stitched with burning needles while we are being swept toward the edge of the whirling falls. New forms of intolerance are looming in the darkest corners of our seemingly civilized world and the door to the outer rings of this mental maze seems to have been boarded up, just like those of the shops during the pandemic. While pointing to the threats of Othering all that is unfamiliar to us, the present paper aims to articulate the strength that resides in the rhetorical portrayal of Otherness by some of the most prominent UK-based writers and artists today, whose stories can move even the most biased of ‘readers’. Literature and the arts, I believe, are our last glimmer of hope, and redemption can only be attained through truth and the ancient Greeks’ ideal of beautiful goodness (‘kalokagathia’).

Keywords: storytelling, self-othering, contemporary art & literature, UK, identity crisis, intercultural sensitivity.

Rhetoric and Communications Journal, issue 50, January 2022

Read the Original in English