Narrative Form and Palimpsestic Memory in Namwali Serpell's The Old Drift

Angelo Monaco
2020 Le Simplegadi  
This essay explores Namwali Serpell's debut novel The Old Drift (2019) through the lens of 'palimpsestic memory', contending that the novel articulates an interconnectedness between memory and migration. Firstly, I will investigate how the tension between aeonic temporality and some paratextual elements that attempt to install order and direct the reader's orientation mimic and resonate with the intricate motif of the palimpsest. Then, I will illustrate how the alternation between extradiegetic
more » ... and intradiegetic narration and the format of the multigenerational novel contribute to create a palimpsestic tale where several generations and different stories are inextricably intertwined, generating a spiral pattern where the multiple and invisible trajectories of temporality are refracted and eventually converge.
doi:10.17456/simple-159 fatcat:r6upxkh2argazoj7ylz7h65h6a