New PDF release: All the Difference in the World: Postcoloniality and the

By Natalie Melas

ISBN-10: 0804731985

ISBN-13: 9780804731980

This booklet is set tradition and comparability. beginning with the historical past of the self-discipline of comparative literature and its forgotten relation to the positivist comparative strategy, it inquires into the belief of comparability in a postcolonial global. comparability used to be Eurocentric by means of exclusion whilst it utilized simply to ecu literature, and Eurocentric by way of discrimination while it tailored evolutionary versions to put eu literature on the vanguard of human improvement. This publication argues that inclusiveness isn't really a enough reaction to postcolonial and multiculturalist demanding situations since it leaves the foundation of equivalence unquestioned. the purpose isn't just to convey extra items less than comparability, yet relatively to ascertain the method of comparability. The booklet deals a brand new method of the either/or of relativism and universalism, within which comparability is both most unlikely or assimilatory, by way of focusing in its place on quite a few different types of “incommensurability”—comparisons within which there's a floor for comparability yet no foundation for equivalence. each one bankruptcy develops a selected type of such cultural comparability from readings of significant novelists (Joseph Conrad, Simone Schwartz-Bart), poets (Aimé Césaire, Derek Walcott), and theorists (Edouard Glissant, Jean-Luc Nancy).

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Extra info for All the Difference in the World: Postcoloniality and the Ends of Comparison

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In Grass’s fiction being an adolescent witness is never an entirely passive role anyway. Remaining inactive in the face of injustice can be a form of action, as Pilenz and in particular Liebenau know too well. Had Grass been just two years older, let alone ten as he conjectured in Headbirths, then by 1945 his past could have looked very different. He could have been called up in the autumn of 1942 instead of 1944; it is likely his SS division would have been involved in reprisals against civilians, such as the shooting of partisans, or in supplying the human material to the extermination camps in Poland.

There is a deliberate association of current acts, then, 27 frank finlay with the crimes of the National Socialists. This verbal hand grenade is designed to goad Grass’s targets into a counter-attack, preferably one which would do them little credit, so leaving him safely occupying the moral highground. Furthermore, mention of Bismarck imputes an historical teleology and continuity with the period of German imperialism, its aggressive foreign policy which triggered the First World War, and the aberrant Sonderweg (‘Special Path’) which culminated in Hitler and genocide.

And it is in this regard that Grass’s political rhetoric is arguably at its most literary. Thus in order to justify his partisan stance, he deploys intertextual and interdiscursive references to the strong republican tradition of the literary writer as political tribune in the US and France, as well as to examples of ‘democratic’ German writers in the nineteenth century and the Weimar Republic. To this extent the speeches read as an implicit exhortation to his fellow writers to get off the ideological fence and campaign for democratic renewal.

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All the Difference in the World: Postcoloniality and the Ends of Comparison by Natalie Melas


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