[ilds] Po-co/poco

Ilyas Khan ilyas.khan at crosby.com
Wed Jul 11 13:55:08 PDT 2007

The two places, in my experience, where the conflicting, but valid, views of
British colonial power and the colonised comes forcefully to mind and is
expressed in ways that affect our daily lives, are Palestine/Israel and
Kashmir. Its well nigh impossible to imagine how anyone who lives in these
countries could not be affected in their views, and how, in turn, their
literature, could not be affected.

Michael, what you say is laughable, and the way that you express that
opinion, has reversed, in one fell swoop, the seriousness with which
(despite your ill concealed lack of courtesy in addressing any issues that
might disagree with your opinon) I had come to try and appreciate your
views. Cypriots, Greek or Turkish, are not arguing about the relevance of
British rule to British interests (which is a given), but about the impact
upon their own interests and lives.

Bruce - thanks for the reminder about literary criticism and history
requiring different approaches. Criticism of historical novels is a
particularly dangerous minefield. Is it better to be a historian or a
literary critic to review these works ?

On 7/12/07 4:40 AM, "Bruce Redwine" <bredwine1968 at earthlink.net> wrote:

> Writing history is not writing literary criticism.  The former assumes an
> attempt at objectivity.  The force of po-co and feminist criticism comes from
> the pain or ire of the aggrieved parties.  They have "standing," as one says
> in court when making a complaint.  Being a woman you have that standing when
> arguing as a feminist critic.  When you put on your po-co hat, however, things
> change.  You can certainly try to put yourself in the shoes of those oppressed
> by imperialism, but I would view your arguments suspiciously.  And I would
> think the "oppressed" might have an even more critical view.
> Bruce
> -----Original Message-----
>> From: Pamela Francis <albigensian at hotmail.com>
>> Sent: Jul 11, 2007 12:55 PM
>> To: ilds at lists.uvic.ca
>> Subject: Re: [ilds] Po-co/poco
>> Actually, many, even most of the po-co/poco critics are from formerly
>> colonized regions: Gayatri Spivak, Homi Bhabha, Said (may he rest in peace),
>> Paul Gilroy, Arjun Appadurai, Benita Parry, Chinua Achebe (who is a critic
>> as well as novelist), Apollo Amoko, Gauri Viswanathan, Ania Loomba, Betty
>> Joseph, the Australians, on and on.  However, I don't feel that you have to
>> be a post-colonial subject to be able to analyze situations, any more than
>> you have to be Turkish to write a history of the Ottoman Empire (Lord
>> Kinross) or be in a war to write about the pros, cons, hows and whys of it.
>> You do not have to be an Other to write about Others (and if you think the
>> hyphen is a problem, discuss the capitalization of the O with
>> psychologists...).  If this is the case, white girls like me wouldn't get to
>> say anything about anything, whereas I think I'm fairly capable in my chosen
>> academic fields.  I could, of course, make the case that as a Southerner,
>> I've been colonized by those nasty carpet baggers from Yankeeland.  But it's
>> not all about me, but the issue or field that I am investigating at the
>> time.  And there are many feminist men, some who are even brave enough to
>> pick up the pen (or get out the keyboard) and write about it (John
>> Stoltenberg and Michael Messner are two). To say only Greeks can write
>> anything significant about Greece would put this list serve in a heck of a
>> situation.  In fact, I think we might all be able to say at some point that
>> distance from an issue can make for more careful analysis.  I will certainly
>> trust an analysis of Vietnam from someone who has taken the time to study
>> all the issues, etc., more than from someone who claims authority just from
>> having been through it.  And I said I wasn't going to say anything else
>> about this...
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