[ilds] RG Bitter Lemons -- post- ("with such dexterity")

Richard Pine richardpin at eircom.net
Tue Jul 10 11:49:06 PDT 2007

There is no such thing as post-colonial theory, only the application of ideas from one part of society to those of another. Anyone could, I suppose, elucidate a theory from doing so, but what use would it be? It would be - wait for it! - purely theoretical. What I said in a previous message a few minutes ago was that the value of postcolonial studies is in the practical evidence they provide of how a new, independent, former colony exercises its freedom.
PS - the women members (!) of this group need not answer the following, altho their 'take' on it would certainly be different, but has anyone actually tried it with a melon (and how did the melon react? anger, bitterness, resistance?)
  ----- Original Message ----- 
  From: Michael Haag 
  To: ilds at lists.uvic.ca 
  Sent: Tuesday, July 10, 2007 5:46 PM
  Subject: Re: [ilds] RG Bitter Lemons -- post- ("with such dexterity")

  Actually, apart from saying postcolonial theory is crap, I have also directed attention to ugly women, hermaphrodites, the ecstasy of melons, the avoidance of dwarfs, insanity, bombs, terrorism, empires (several), seashells, wedding rings, drunkeness, etc, etc. And what comes back is choric motifs! This is a book about a man's experience of life, and nobody wants to get close to that life.


  On Tuesday, July 10, 2007, at 05:35 pm, slighcl wrote:

    On 7/10/2007 11:27 AM, Pamela Francis wrote:

    I would suggest, for general reading, Bill Ashcroft, Gareth Griffith, and 
    Helen Tiffin's Post-Colonial Studies: the Key Concepts, Routledge, 1998. It 
    is quite handy and has an excellent entry on the post-colonial/postcolonial 
    issue. Also, you can read the relevant material on Amazon books--I think 
    Google has scanned the relevant pages too.

    Okay, Pamela.  That is a bit more specific.  But could you offer a specific example or two of a postcolonial insight into "Voices at the Tavern Door"?    How do you or another postcolonial critic show us something new and valid about General Envy, Clito, Frangos, and Durrell?  

    I make this request because, in truth, our discussion of this topic has failed to proceed beyond tit-for-tat assertions.  One camp says poscolonial "does."  One camp says postcolonial "does not."  That is, we are merely telling, not showing.  I would prefer to find someone showing us in the most concrete terms possible how a postcolonial reading brings new light to Bitter Lemons.   Perhaps a highly-particularized working analysis of the encounter between Durrell and Frangos could help us judge better?

    I do not mean to put you on the spot, Pamela.  But then by your email and your article I judge that you have made a recent tour of postcolonial scholarship.   Help to show us what is what in "Voices at the Tavern Door."

    Any other contributions are welcome and appreciated.



    Charles L. Sligh
    Department of English
    Wake Forest University
    slighcl at wfu.edu

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