If the Moon Smiles on the Mappers of Madness: A Critique of the Cartographers of Insanity in Chandani Lokug's If the Moon Smiled
MetadataShow full item record
In her novel, If the Moon Smiled, Chandani Lokuge, the Sri Lankan-Australian writer, presents us with a madwoman figure whose gendered body, it can be argued, reflects the symbolic crisscrossing between the body as a 'bounded system' and the nation's territory as a bounded space. The constrictions that this boundedness and embodiedness entail, along with their various cultural encodings, are deftly and subtly treated in Lokuge's novel. The madwoman, Manthri, in the narrative, challenges many of our received ideas about place and displacement, and more importantly, sanity and insanity. Again, the novel stages a metaphorical interplay between the topoi of (gendered) insanity and political insanity, social 'normalization'(a la Michel Foucault) of the sexed body and political normalization of the nation's territorial body. The present article seeks to explore all these themes from the vantage point of gender. At the same time, it also interrogates the political dimension of the 'ethics of sexual difference'(a la Luce Irigaray). The main objective of this article is to situate a diasporic text within the problematic no-man's-land between place and displacement, sanity and insanity, dissent and dismemberment, Self and Other(individual/national/cultural).