Sunday, March 12, 2006

progress on the essay

The essay's taking shape! There really is a lot of material available to me, if I had the desire and the time (which I don't, on both counts), it could easily be a 10,000 word essay or more. There's still a long way to go yet, though.

For those of you who are interested - and that means I'm talking to the air here - I'm writing an essay on postcolonial literature, looking at the early works of Rushdie and Coetzee, and seeing how their novels engages, or rather, refuses to engage, with History. Loads of funny postmodern ideas - History becomes a linguistic construct, straightforward binary oppositions are challenged, totalizing projects are to be resisted etc. etc. (I'm really grateful to Kevin Vanhoozer now for helping me see things more clearly - see my reading list on the sidebar). Having done a term of postcolonial studies, I've realised that it draws just about all its ideas from postmodernism, so much so that on one level, you may as well use both terms interchangeably even if they ostensibly mean different things.

OK, I'm rambling. Onward!

P/S Btw, thanks to Anonymous in the last post, I appreciate it!

Blogger Sivin Kit said...

interesting insight on the relationship between postmodernism and postcolonial studies. confirmed some of my gut feeling non-researched thoughts. When we meet I must hear from you more. how about a summary huh?

3:04 pm  
Blogger BK said...

hehe...I can't claim to be an expert by any means, the jargon in this field is quite amazing!

I suppose couple of things to consider, like the fact that "postcolonial studies" is a subject birthed in Western universities - an interesting thing to consider in itself - and even more interestingly, falls under the faculties of English in most universities, and not say, political science or sociology or anthropology. That tells you something in itself; textual politics are of primary interest here.

Not surprisingly, postcolonial studies draws a lot of its impulse from a Foucauldian suspicion of authority, and a lot of theorists in this field want to go beyond a simple dualism of colonizer/colonized, or self/other. Questions of communication, i.e whether the subaltern can speak are asked. (so like pomo language games!)

It's still very much an emerging field. I have to admit I woudn't really want to touch this topic again for a long time!

12:48 pm  

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