Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak by Stephen Morton

By Stephen Morton

Spivak is likely to be top recognized for her brazenly political use of up to date cultural and significant theories to problem the legacy of colonialism at the means we learn and look at literature and tradition. constantly state-of-the-art, regularly debatable, Spivak champions the voices and texts of these marginalized through western tradition and takes on the various dominant principles of the modern period. but her highly very important theoretical paintings is frequently difficult to technique for the 1st time. This advisor bargains a stepping stone to such the most important fundamental texts as In different Worlds and A Critique of Post-Colonial cause. It examines her paintings during the problems with kind, deconstruction, the subaltern, 3rd global ladies and western feminism, materialism and cost, post-colonialism and the literary textual content.

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Extra resources for Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak

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In Derrida’s view, linguistic (and non-linguistic) signs are never fully identical with the things they refer to; indeed, signs are structurally incomplete from the beginning, and thus require additional or supplementary terms to complete them. The need for supplementation to compensate for the lack of original self-identity thus reveals how all linguistic or non-linguistic signs are by definition incomplete and lacking in identity or self-presence. In this way, Derrida’s thought radically undermines the authority and centrality of the western humanist subject, epitomised in René Descartes’ statement that ‘I think therefore I am’.

Conrad [1902] 1973: 10) 911 THE QUESTION OF STYLE 19 20 KEY IDEAS Conrad’s correlation of the violent exercise of colonial dispossession and the redemptive ‘idea’ of imperialism as a civilising mission illustrates the damaging effects that western knowledge continues to have on nonwestern cultures. For in emphasising the moral and intellectual superiority of western culture, Europeans were able to justify the violent project of imperialist expansion as a civilising mission. ’ (see pp. 5–6), Spivak’s resistance to the clarity of style associated with ‘plain prose’ is a conscious decision calculated to engage an implied reader in the self-conscious interrogation of how we make sense of literary, social and economic texts in the historical aftermath of colonialism.

For Levinas, western philosophy has traditionally defined the Other as an object of consciousness for the western subject. This reductive definition has effectively destroyed the singular alterity of the Other. Against this reduction, Levinas has asserted that the Other always escapes the consciousness and control of the western self. For Levinas, the challenge that the alterity of the Other poses to the certainty of the Self in the face-to-face encounter between the Self and the Other opens the question of ethics.

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