2004
Volume 27, Issue 2
  • ISSN: 1384-5829
  • E-ISSN: 2352-118X

Abstract

Abstract

Kader Abdolah, a Dutch author of Iranian origin, repeatedly sketches father and mother characters who can be seen as representations of his own parents. As they are handicapped in their ability to communicate (the father is deaf and the mother suffers from deteriorating dementia) the son takes upon himself the task to tell their stories. This article presents an analysis of Abdolah’s works in which father and mother figures feature prominently, [Cuneiform] (2000) and [The Curtain] (2017). Referring to theoretical studies about the representation of proximate others in autobiographical writing, an attempt is made to answer the question about the character of these representations and their role. Because both parents are disabled, the analysis presented here is based furthermore on theoretical studies concerning representations of disability in (autobiographical) literature. As it turns out, disability is often being used as a narrative prosthesis that serves the author to catch the readers’ attention and to frame his or her story. As a result, disabled others are often being ‘absented’: their stories are being subordinated to the author’s own purpose, presenting themselves to their readership in a particular way.

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