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Postcolonial ContraventionsCultural Readings of Race, Imperialism and Transnationalism$
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Laura Chrisman

Print publication date: 2003

Print ISBN-13: 9780719058271

Published to Manchester Scholarship Online: July 2012

DOI: 10.7228/manchester/9780719058271.001.0001

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Robert Young and the ironic authority of postcolonial criticism

Robert Young and the ironic authority of postcolonial criticism

(p.138) 8 Robert Young and the ironic authority of postcolonial criticism
Postcolonial Contraventions

Laura Chrisman

Manchester University Press

This chapter emphasises the theories and critiques of different postcolonial theorists such as Robert Young, Edward Said, Homi Bhabha and Gayatri Spivak. What outlines its elements are Robert Young's intercession against Parry, the assumptions about power and intellectual authority written into his language use, and the implications of these for postcolonial critical dialogue and analysis. The chapter contrasts Young's summary dismissal of Parry's work and politics with his serious description of, and respectful engagement with, the Marxist anti-postcolonial work of Indian critic Aijaz Ahmad, to observe the ways in which South Africa and its products may somehow license metropolitan critics to depart from their general intellectual standards of assessment, and from their rigorously academic modes of operation. Young's insistent emphases on nationality and ethnicity as determinants in the political identity of Parry and Spivak have no corollary in a national or ethnic self-description.

Keywords:   Robert Young, South Africa, nationality, ethnicity, political identity, Marxist, Aijaz Ahmad, metropolitan critics

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