Becoming the Rhizomatic Outsider: A Study of the Narrative Deconstruction of Being in Ali Smith’s The Accidental


  • Sara Nazockdast University of Tehran
  • Zohreh Ramin University of Tehran



time, postmodernism, deconstruction, différance, supplement, rhizome, subversion, becoming, Deleuze, Ali Smith


Ali Smith’s novels and short stories are violently realistic in terms of depicting the hollow and disconnected lives of the postmodern individual. However, they also, albeit obliquely, aspire for hope and change. The loss of a sense of location, direction, and, as a result, a meaningful presence is interwoven in The Accidental’s persistent concern with time. Accordingly, in this essay, drawing upon Michael Kane’s analysis of postmodern time and space, The Accidental is studied with regard to capitalist time and simulacra, the culture of pastiche and spectacle, and spatiotemporal fragmentation. Within this backdrop and informed by Derridean deconstruction complemented with the study’s Deleuzian framework, the novel’s subversive deconstructions of a metaphysics of being and the substitution of fictional becoming are explored. It is argued that The Accidental corporealizes supplementarity and employs rhizomatic disruptions in the lives of the characters and the structure of the narrative to open up deterritorized spaces for monoritarian authenticity, agency, and creativity.


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How to Cite

Nazockdast, S., & Ramin, Z. (2023). Becoming the Rhizomatic Outsider: A Study of the Narrative Deconstruction of Being in Ali Smith’s The Accidental. ELOPE: English Language Overseas Perspectives and Enquiries, 20(1), 203–221.