African Literature, Animism and Politics (Routledge Research by Caroline Rooney

By Caroline Rooney

This ebook marks a huge contribution to colonial and postcolonial stories in its explanation of the African discourse of cognizance and its far-reaching analyses of a literature of animism. it will likely be of significant curiosity to students in lots of fields together with literary and important idea, philosophy, anthropology, politics and psychoanalysis.

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Extra info for African Literature, Animism and Politics (Routledge Research in Postcolonial Literatures, 4)

Sample text

Has not colonial discourse, too, been a discourse of liberation? This struck me in reading Said citing Balfour in Orientalism, from a speech made by Balfour justifying the colonisation of Egypt, as follows (although this is but an excerpt from a longer excerpt): All their great centuries – and they have been very great – have been passed under despotisms, under absolute government … but never in all the revolutions of fate and fortune have you seen one of those nations of its own motion establish what we, from a Western point of view call self-government … Is it a good thing for these great nations – I admit their greatness – that this absolute government should be exercised by us?

Stepping back just a little there would at least be Fanon with his philosophical, psychoanalytic and political critiques of colonialism. Then, too, there would be many other intellectuals and poet-philosophers to mention here, such as: Césaire; Senghor; Nkrumah; Nyerere; Cheikh Anta Diop. When Said, Bhabha and Spivak are singled out as a founding trio, where this is not their fault (Bhabha indebting himself to Fanon; Said resisting his identification with what has been termed ‘post-structuralism’; Spivak critical of the neo-colonialisms of a thinking of the post-colonial), the positing of this founding moment reminds me of Hegel turning his back on a dark Africa stripped of its history to announce grandly that the sun rises in the Orient.

It is, of course, easier for some than others to ‘pass’ (for instance, the light-skinned amongst the light-skinned; the homosexual not known to be homosexual; the Jew not known to be a Jew; the well-schooled and ‘well-taught’). In this passing, it is not only a matter of concealed differences or differences that do not reveal themselves, but also a matter of differences not recognised, passed over, disavowed, so that it may be felt important to declare: I am not actually of your gender, your race, your culture, your nation – and even these things plural (not of your genders, races, cultures, nations).

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