Moments of Truth and Lyrical Musings on Goa's Traumatic Process of Decolonization: A Reading of Surya and Monsoon by Vimala Devi

Cielo G. Festino

Published Date: Feb 28, 2022


The aim of this paper is to analyze in counterpoint a selection of short stories from Monsoon and poems from Surya, both collections written by Vimala Devi, in light of theories concerning the intersection of trauma, narrative, and the postcolonial. This approach permits an understanding of effects produced by colonialism such as dispossession, forced migration, diaspora, segregation, racism, and political violence (Craps and Buelens 3). My analysis is carried out from a culture-bound perspective (3), which considers each case of colonial and postcolonial trauma not only as having its own singularities, but also as producing effects on the colonized cultures at both a personal (Caruth) and collective level (Rothberg). Also, we consider some of the singularities of the colonial situation in Goa (Santos). For the contrastive analysis between poems and short stories, in terms of the condition of the Goan elite and subaltern (Fernandes, “Recovering”; Citizenship), we consider Devi ́s rendition of the pastoral (Alpers) as well as her use of some elements of Portuguese Neo-Realism (Lourenço; Gama). The article is divided into the following sections: “The End of an Era,” about the trauma caused by the end of Portuguese presence in Goa; “Some Other Kind of Living,” about the way in which Goans had to adapt to the new circumstances; “What Went Wrong?” on the condition of the Goan subalterns; and the last section, “Devi ́s Answer to Trauma,” about Devi ́s way of dealing with the painful divisions at the heart of Goan society.


Surya, Monsoon, colonial, postcolonial trauma, pastoral, subaltern

Please login first to access subscription form of article

Read Full text in PDF

Browse By

Kritika Kultura
Department of English
School of Humanities
Ateneo de Manila University

The Philippine Commission on Higher Education (CHED) declares Kritika Kultura as a CHED-recognized journal under the Journal Challenge Category of its Journal Incentive Program.

International Board of Editors

Jan Baetens
Faculty of Arts
Katholieke Universiteit te Leuven (Belgium)

Joel David
Professor of Cultural Studies
Inha University (South Korea)

Michael Denning
Professor of American Studies and English
Department of English
Yale University (US)

Faculty of Cultural Sciences
Universitas Gadjah Mada (Indonesia)

Regenia Gagnier
Professor of English
University of Exeter (UK)

Leela Gandhi
John Hawkes Professor of the Humanities and English
Brown University (US)

Inderpal Grewal
Professor of Women's Gender and Sexuality Studies
Professor of South Asian Studies, Ethnicity, Race and Migration Studies
Yale University (US)

Peter Horn
Professor Emeritus and Honorary Lifetime Fellow
University of Cape Town (South Africa)
Honorary Professor and Research Associate in German Studies
University of the Witwatersrand (South Africa)

Anette Horn
Professor of German Studies
University of the Witwatersrand (South Africa)

David Lloyd
Distinguished Professor of English
University of California, Riverside (US)

Bienvenido Lumbera
National Artist for Literature
Professor Emeritus
University of the Philippines

Rajeev S. Patke
Director of the Division of Humanities
Professor of Humanities
Yale NUS College (Singapore)

Vicente L. Rafael
Giovanni and Amne Costigan Endowed Professor of History
University of Washington (US)

Vaidehi Ramanathan
Department of Linguistics
University of California, Davis (US)

Temario Rivera
Professorial Lecturer
Department of Political Science
University of the Philippines

E. San Juan, Jr.
Philippines Studies Center (US)

Neferti X.M. Tadiar
Professor of Women’s, Gender, & Sexuality Studies
Barnard College (US)
Director of the Center for the Study of Ethnicity and Race
Columbia University (US)

Antony Tatlow
Honorary Professor of Drama
Trinity College Dublin (Ireland)