Abstract: Alexis Wright has a unique way of appropriating and adapting the English language to an indigenous world vision in the manner in which she reactivates dead metaphors, mixes literal and figurative meanings, and uses elements of nature and artifacts in her similes and comparisons. She thus investigates the way words in English, the language of the colonizer, may have actual impact on her characters, on the world they inhabit, and eventually, on her readers. Her metaphors (from Greek meta-pherein, “carrying from one place to another”) function to displace a Eurocentric world vision and offer an alter/Native connection with the community and Country. This article demonstrates that Wright creates and re-creates an organic world in which everything is unified, and animate—a world which has been severely damaged by colonialism. Revisiting the notions of ownership and Law, she conceives of a way to integrate indigenous thought within the language of the colonizer in writing about the land, the sea, and the sky, a language she transforms into an expression of Country, both tangible and holy.
Keywords: Alexis Wright; metaphors; metamorphosis; community; indigenous vision; ecopoetics