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‘Tsiganes on the Brain’: The‘Last Gypsy’ as a Case of Archive Fever

Matthews, Jodie (2013) ‘Tsiganes on the Brain’: The‘Last Gypsy’ as a Case of Archive Fever. Immigrants & Minorities. ISSN 0261-9288

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The article identifies some of the ways in which the ‘Victorian Gypsy’ was constructed by a group of authors known as Gypsy lorists, and develops reading strategies that highlight the politics of their writing, in particular using Jacques Derrida’s theorisation of the archive. For the Victorians, it seemed that the Gypsy way of life would soon die out. The Gypsies’ apparently imminent disappearance marks their world as delicate, natural and formerly pure. However, the structure of the archive means that the lorists’ attempts to preserve their version of Gypsy culture are threatened from within: they hasten the forgetting of that which they would conserve and archivally silence Gypsy voices with their own. Claims of extinction have evidently been disproved, however, and new archives successfully augment what the lorists considered to be the last word on Gypsies in Britain.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: P Language and Literature > PR English literature
Schools: School of Human and Health Sciences
School of Human and Health Sciences > Academy for British and Irish Studies
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Depositing User: Jodie Matthews
Date Deposited: 28 May 2013 14:17
Last Modified: 03 Oct 2013 11:04


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