Postcolonial singularity and a world literature yet-to-come
MetadataShow full item record
This article considers the challenge posed by Gayatri Spivak to rethink world literature along postcolonial lines as an ethical encounter with alterity. Read in this way, Spivak participates in a reframing of world literature that retains the critical gains made by postcolonial theory and suggests that the work of world literary analysis ought not necessarily be de/prescriptive (classifying and ordering) but might involve a contestation of the power relations that structure the world. In developing this argument, I draw on four further perspectives: Pascale Casanova's problematic assertion of literary singularity in The World Republic of Letters; Fredric Jameson's theorization of “third world literature” as counterpoint to Casanova's limiting understanding of national literature; Gilles Deleuze, who offers a way to rethink world literature in a process of becoming; and Édouard Glissant, whose work proposes a “relational” vision of difference that, like that of Spivak, demands an ethical, imaginative response to literature as literature.
Burns , L M 2015 , ' Postcolonial singularity and a world literature yet-to-come ' Angelaki : Journal of the Theoretical Humanities , vol 20 , no. 4 , pp. 243-259 . DOI: 10.1080/0969725X.2015.1096650
Angelaki : Journal of the Theoretical Humanities
© 2014. Taylor & Francis. This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis Group in Angelaki on 27/10/2015, available online at: http://www.tandfonline.com/10.1080/0969725X.2015.1096650
Items in the St Andrews Research Repository are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated.