||This thesis aims to offer a reading of Michelle Cliff’s No Telephone to Heaven (1987). Through an analysis of the memory bearing subjects’ wandering life trajectories and their fated-to-be-departed-again encounters, it will bring up how NTH written by the Jamaican-born American writer has dealt with the role memory has played and what memory has effected in the politics of resistance. Particularly, the silences that the memory bearing subjects keep at the moment of speaking memory demonstrate the deconstructive aspect of memory in the politics of resistance. The representability of the subaltern is currently the diasporic intellectuals’ concern in the US, especially when the immigration of the intelligentsia to the US is a noticeable phenomenon by now. Gayatri Spivak is one of those diasporic intellectuals who powerfully bring up this issue. She points out that in their practices of retrieving the subalternity and subaltern voices in order to empower the resistance project, the intellectuals in the metropolitan academy appropriate the subaltern as a signifier for their own academic speaking, and thus wrestling the subaltern speech away from them. As opposed to this, Spivak has advanced that retrieving the subaltern is both a reaching and “un-grasping” of the subaltern. Following Spivak, the retrieving and narrativization of subaltern memory is a question worth pursuing rather than one that can be assumed in reading NTH.
Chapter One is an introduction.
Chapter Two discusses Clare’s intervention practices as a diasporic intellectual. Memory is a complex site fraught with ideologies as the re-construction of it is an act of representation and speaking.
Chapter Three is a reading of Christopher as a subaltern in the novel. It will focus on how the subaltern might be a memory bearing subject but still whose memory and subalternity are not necessarily representable in NTH.
Chapter Four is toward the deconstructive edge of the NTH’s pathos. The deaths of the resisting and subaltern subjects and the elusiveness of their memory are both constitutive of pathos and a deconstructive power of memory.