The circulatory connectivity that defines the Indian Ocean as critical object also inheres in objects themselves and the descriptive economies surrounding them. Combining regional chronotopes, the thingly imaginary of Abdulrazak Gurnah’s novel By the Sea, Graham Harman’s object-oriented ontology, and world literature, this essay explores how a close encounter with objects, stories, and descriptive language can reveal the form and poetics of the Indian Ocean. A concept of regional relationality, encompassing both connectivity and narratability, emerges alongside the liquid reading of Indian Ocean fluidities. Linking descriptive chronotopes of the region to By the Sea’s object worlds and the words that carry them, the essay links a single instance of Indian Ocean literature to larger speculation about the regional object itself. Tracking flows of space, time, memory, affect, description, and narration as they cut across the novel and the region, the author pursues the hermeneutic possibilities of a notion of circulatory form.

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