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Title: A gate of dragon's teeth : a decolonial approach to writing precolonial historical fiction in Singapore
Authors: Ng, Yi-Sheng
Keywords: Humanities::Literature
Issue Date: 2021
Publisher: Nanyang Technological University
Source: Ng, Y. (2021). A gate of dragon's teeth : a decolonial approach to writing precolonial historical fiction in Singapore. Doctoral thesis, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore.
Abstract: This creative dissertation consists of a novel titled A Gate of Dragon’s Teeth. This is a work of historical fiction based on the history and legends of precolonial Singapore and the region, as documented in Sulalatus Salatin (also known as Sejarah Melayu and The Malay Annals). Beginning in the year 1025 with the conception of the divine prince Sang Nila Utama, it traces his life through the eyes of other mythical-historical characters, up till his founding of the kingdom of Singapura in 1299. Through the use of immersive detail, fantastical elements and a focus on marginal figures in society, the work prompts readers to reappraise their assumptions about what might constitute a glorious historical past for the nation of Singapore. The exegesis applies the principles of decolonial theory to the creation of novels in this genre, with particular regard to deimperialisation and Walter Mignolo’s model of the colonial matrix of power. Part 1 tracks the shifting place of precolonial Singaporean history in public memory, including its erasure during the early years of independence and its flourishing in the 21st century. Part 2 consists of a survey of poetry, fiction and drama set during this period, with a specific focus on the authorial stance towards royalty and hierarchy. Part 3 documents my creative process, including research, adaptation, characterisation, point of view, aesthetics and incorporation of magic, with the specific intent to challenge the colonial matrix of power and the hubris of the zero point.
DOI: 10.32657/10356/154990
Schools: School of Humanities 
Rights: This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License (CC BY-NC 4.0).
Fulltext Permission: embargo_20240124
Fulltext Availability: With Fulltext
Appears in Collections:SoH Theses

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