PJAS 16-9

Paulina Ambroży and Alicja Kozłowska
Native American Gothic as Third Space: Stephen Graham Jones? The Only Good Indians
Polish Journal for American Studies, vol. 16 (2022), pp. 115-134

Abstract: The intention of the article is to examine Stephen Graham Jones’ most recent novel The Only Good Indians (2020) from combined ecogothic and postcolonial perspectives. The central concept informing the analyses is that of Third Space, as formulated by Homi Bhabha in The Location of Culture, and adapted by the spatial turn critic, Edward W. Soja in Thirdspace. Marking the onto-epistemological condition of in-betweenness, openness and ambivalent cultural identities, Third Space will be employed here to interrogate hybrid interspaces and generic dislocations in Jones’ new novel. As will be argued, Jones rewrites the Gothic slasher with a view of unsettling the inherited paradigms of thought, identity and representation. The writer reclaims the conventions and tropes of the genre, such as supernatural figures and events, the return of the repressed past, delayed revenge, and excessive acts of violence, and fuses them with the Native American settings, temporalities, tropes of spirituality and modes of storytelling. Jones’ novel, as we would like to propose, undermines any claims of a coherent identity and turns the Gothic mode into Third Space, characterized by an excess of ambiguous signification and revealing entangled ontological, ethnic, ecological and cross-cultural locations of horror.

Keywords: Native American Gothic, Third Space, ecogothic, postcolonial criticism, Stephen Graham Jones

DOI: 10.7311/PJAS.16/2022.09

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