Rebirth of a nation or 'The incomparable toothbrush': the origin story and narrative regeneration in Sri Lanka
journal contributionposted on 2023-06-08, 14:28 authored by Minoli Salgado
I examine the post-Independence role of Sri Lanka’s origin story, revealing the ways in which the foundational myth of the Mahavamsa functions as a conflicted site of cultural ‘encompassment’ (Kapferer) in literary and political discourse. Through an analysis of the fiction of Tissa Abeysekara, Carl Muller and the assassinated president Ranasinghe Premadasa, I show how the scripting of this myth in fiction reveals a shift from the celebratory drives of nationalism to a critique of patriotism in a way that both reflects and anticipates a broader paradigmatic shift in the construction of belonging and the outsider found in post-war Sri Lanka.
JournalSouth Asian Review
PublisherRoyal Society for India, Pakistan and Ceylon
Department affiliated with
- English Publications
Full text available