This chapter brings up the question of writing and literature because what Mann strongly points to in Death in Venice is the fact that narrative, beyond all else, most potently serves as a domain for the consideration of other options, for possible worlds of side-shadowing and play. One of the most powerful lessons that we learn from Camões, Martorell, and the Rekontamiento del rey Ališandre (among others) is that the world can always be otherwise. The principal focus is on the fact that, even within the totalizing vision of empire, of hard-and-fast divisions between the subject and the object of colonial authority, narrative allows for the infinite to be given play, for a conversation to be taken up.
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