[ilds] baboonism

Michael Haag michaelhaag at btinternet.com
Sat Jul 7 17:29:08 PDT 2007

Yes, but where did this term 'postcolonial' theory come from?  There is 
an angle to it, I suspect, and a boundary -- things it includes and 
excludes, and does so in certain ways to a certain purpose, and 
arranged by certain people with an agenda.  My suggestion is that the 
so-called theory is in fact a highly tendentious, ideological and in 
fact extremely narrow-minded, short-sighted and basically unlearned way 
of looking at history and culture, not to mention literature.


On Sunday, July 8, 2007, at 12:26  am, Pamela Francis wrote:

> Michael said:
>> No, Bill, you do not understand.  Postcolonial theory is about
>> colonialism and what follows.  So they tell me.  How can you read a
>> book without knowing whether the writer is oppressed?  But it is such 
>> a
>> big field.
> I would like to venture that both Bill and Michael are more rigid in 
> their
> use of "theory" than the issue warrants.  i think now that my use of 
> Bill's
> "categories" unintentionally enforced that rigidity. The only non-leaky
> commonality of postcolonial theories, readings, etc., is that they 
> deal with
> areas once ruling or once ruled by empires--I actually prefer to think 
> of
> the general field as Empire Studies, rather than postcolonial.  In any 
> case,
> Empire (in Egypt, for instance, Ptolemaic, Ottoman, French, British, 
> etc.)
> absolutely affected the political and cultural permutations of the 
> region, a
> point made by Michael:
> If reading Durrell, for example, one would want to know
>> about post-Ottoman colonial theory, and also post-Byzantine colonial
>> theory, and that is just for reading Bitter Lemons.  Post-Arab 
>> colonial
>> theory would not go amiss for catching the wider frame of reference.
>> These are after all the great imperiums that have shaped and continue
>> to shape the Middle East and the Mediterranean to this day -- culture,
>> language, thought, religion, even landscape.
> Michael's summary is fairly straight on, though I will take exception 
> to his
> earlier comment that one can't read a book without knowing if the 
> author is
> oppressed.  That is exactly what youdon't assume; close reading will 
> elicit
> power structures or their subversion--think of LD's description of
> Mountolive's dealings with Memlik Pasha or Nessim's gift of the Qu'ran.
> Postcolonial reading just keeps an eye open to the relationships of a
> work--race, gender, power relationships.  No, it doesn't save the 
> world.
> But this discourse is especially productive, I think, for critical 
> thinking,
> as the parallels of past empires and present international politics are
> evident, even for the untrained undergraduate.
> So I would like to know
>> from Pamela which of these relevant postcolonialisms she deals with
>> when turning out her product.
> I hope that I answered the question.  peace, all--Pamela
>> :Michael

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