De-Scribing Empire: Post-Colonialism and Textuality by Alan Lawson, Chris Tiffin

By Alan Lawson, Chris Tiffin

De-Scribing Empire is a gorgeous choice of top quality essays. jointly they research the formative function of books, writing and textuality in imperial regulate and the fashioning of colonial world-views. the quantity as an entire places ahead recommendations for figuring out and neutralising that keep an eye on, and as such is an enormous contribution to the sector. will probably be priceless for college kids in post-colonialist feedback.

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Extra resources for De-Scribing Empire: Post-Colonialism and Textuality

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In this way it balances itself between the postmodern dream of infinity and the realist dream of closure. Supplementarity Another mode of post-colonial excess is one I want to call ‘supplementarity’. In his book The Accursed Share (1967), Bataille proposes a theory of excess which stems from a general economy of energy. Thus ‘if the demands of the life of beings (or groups) detached from life’s immensity defines an interest to which every operation is referred, the general movement of life is nevertheless 36 BILL ASHCROFT accomplished beyond the demands of individuals’ (Bataille 1967: 74).

The nationalist view of language, for instance, might suggest that certain words are inherently applicable to place in a way that the imperial language is not. As writers sought to challenge inherited names in Australia, words such as ‘creek’, ‘bush’ and ‘gully’ were coined for topographical features which appeared to have no comparison in the European landscape. But the word ‘creek’, for instance, is not a more inherently appropriate description of an 42 BILL ASHCROFT Australian watercourse than ‘brook’ or ‘stream’.

It is the space within which Bhabha locates the condition of post-coloniality itself. 2 As I said at the beginning, this paper is an attempt to understand the specificity of ‘post-colonialism’ within the frame of a professionalization of the field, and the problem I am about to address is the way in which a scramble over this field is threatening to disperse it into heterogeneous, in fact contradictory, ends. I think the motives behind this scramble for the ter r itor y of postcolonialism are grounded in the unresolved debates that trouble colonial discourse theory at present, and are predicated on the conceptual slipperiness of ‘discursive colonialism’ in terms of historical specificity and of agency.

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