Travelling Through a Sea of Poppies: from the Geographical to the Cultural Frontier

  • Elisabetta Zurru
Keywords: Ghosh, Amitav, Sea of Poppies, Journey, Cultural frontier, Negotiation, Contamination


The paper focuses on the relation between the concepts of geographical and cultural frontiers, using Sea of Poppies (2008), Amitav Ghosh’s last novel, as a case study. Indeed, the journey of the ship Ibis from the Gulf of Bengal to the Mauritius islands provides the backdrop against which the theme of the crossing of religious, social and caste boundaries is developed: as the Ibis crosses the frontier which divides India from the Mauritius, the men and women on board, embodiments of both colonizing and colonized values, are subjected to a series of (religious, linguistic, social) negotiation processes. The aim of the paper will be to analyze some of these processes in order to show that in the novel negotiation and contamination become synonymic with cultural resource and new beginnings.


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Author Biography

Elisabetta Zurru
Elisabetta Zurru holds a PhD in Comparative Literatures (University of Cagliari) and is Junior Lecturer in English Language and Linguistics at the University of Genoa. Her main research and teaching interests lie in stylistics, pragmatics, structural grammar, translation and  postcolonial studies, and multimodality. Her publications include: “Viaggio di un mito ai Caraibi: l’Odisseo di Derek Walcott”, Letterature Straniere &: Quaderni della Facoltà di Lingue e Letterature Straniere dell’Università degli Studi di Cagliari 10 (2008), 223-238; “Translating Postcolonial English: The Italian Translation of D. Walcott’s The Odyssey: a Stage Version”, ELOPE 1-2 (2008), 229-241; “Breaking the Crystal Shoe: a Multimodal Stylistic Analysis of the character of Cinderella in the Shrek Saga”, Textus XXIII:1 (2010), 235-262; and the book-length study  Exploring Linguistic Meaning-Making: Exercises in Stylistics, CUEC, Cagliari, (2008).


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How to Cite
Zurru, E. (2011). Travelling Through a <i>Sea of Poppies</i&gt;: from the Geographical to the Cultural Frontier. Between, 1(1).
Geocriticism, Geopolitics: The Gaze of the Other