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Title: The art of an emotional past; memory and lament in the Singaporean novel.
Authors: Ng, Apple Keng Ee.
Keywords: DRNTU::Humanities::Literature::Singapore
Issue Date: 2012
Abstract: "I remind that pain resonates better than celebration. More importantly, we are tired of celebrating the “happy”, clean and “desirable” elements of our society. The celebratory tone when approaching our memory has taken an aggressive forefront of the tourism board brochures and official social mantra. This results in reactionary local artistic expression that does not seek to masquerade our history, but begs to remind us of the unsavory and unmentioned dimensions that give our past a sense of credibility and depth. ... Viewing a valuable past would create a growing sense of lament and regret. In my opinion, this theme of viewing memory with emotional lenses is commonplace in Singaporean novels. I posit that this state of viewing our past emotionally is an intentional reaction designed by the writers. For the purpose of this essay I will explore a sample of three novels to analyze how they invoke these responses aesthetically and thematically. Firstly, I will begin by exploring how Suchen Christine Lim establishes a sense of loss and lament in Fistful of Colours, followed by how Phillip Jeyaratnam invokes a mode of regret in Abraham’s Promise, and finally how Goh Poh Seng creates a position of disappointment and helplessness in If We Dream Too Long"
Rights: Nanyang Technological University
Fulltext Permission: restricted
Fulltext Availability: With Fulltext
Appears in Collections:HSS Student Reports (FYP/IA/PA/PI)

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