The IUP Journal of English Studies
Temporality of Migration: A Study of Past and Present Lives of Migrants in Narratives from India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh

Article Details
Pub. Date : June, 2020
Product Name : The IUP Journal of English Studies
Product Type : Article
Product Code : IJES50620
Author Name : Bibhudatta Dash
Availability : YES
Subject/Domain : Arts & Humanities
Download Format : PDF Format
No. of Pages : 14

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Abstract

Often migrants are caught between spaces where they live negotiating between their past and present selves. A sense of nostalgia traps them from within, which gets reflected in comparative parameters through their interaction with the new place and culture, through changing frameworks of family and relations, and through varying levels of perceptions. As a social phenomenon, migration gets potent when seen through the perspectives of time, nostalgia, and memory. Temporality hence is closely connected to the understanding of the process of migration. This paper aims to analyze the conditions and situations that the migrants face when aspects of time and remembrance are brought together on a temporal scale of past and present from select migrant narratives of India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh.


Introduction

It is important to understand the past, as the trials and tribulations of the present have roots in the past's unfinished business (Walton and Jones 1999, 34). According to Leahy (1953, 378-379), there are three types of past: ?There is the given past, which is in fact not a past at all but a name for those vestiges of the past which persist in the present as symbols. There is the problematic past, the past of our present, which we have described as those conditions which render our present experiences intelligible.? And thirdly, there is ?the ?past as it was,? the past as a ?tissue of facts? or as ?the realm of truth.? The ?given past,? the ?problematic past,? and the ?past as it was? come together to build a ?linear narrative? in the face of the migrant?s ?discontinuous present? (Rodriguez 2002, 156). The flow of ?the past in the present and the present in the past? (Rodriguez 2002, 154) makes one understand that ?past is merely a function and production of a continuous present and its discourses? (McDowell 1989, 147).


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