A Critique of Postcolonial Reason
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A Critique of Postcolonial Reason : Toward a History of the Vanishing Present

3.97 (418 ratings by Goodreads)

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Description

Are the "culture wars" over? What is their relationship to gender struggle and the dynamics of class? Gayatari Spivak poses these questions and attempts to understand and describe a more responsible role for the postcolonial critic, tracking the figure of the "native informant" through various cultural practices - philosophy, history, literature - to suggest that it emerges as the metropolitan hybrid. The text addresses feminists, philosophers, critics, and interventionist intellectuals, as they unite and divide. It ranges from Kant's analytic of the sublime to child labour in Bangladesh. Throughout, the notion of a Third World interloper as the pure victim of a colonialist oppressor emerges as sharply suspect: the mud we sling at certain seemingly overbearing ancestors such as Marx and Kant may be the very ground we stand on.show more

Product details

  • Paperback | 464 pages
  • 157.48 x 238.76 x 33.02mm | 748.42g
  • HARVARD UNIVERSITY PRESS
  • Cambridge, Mass, United States
  • English
  • New
  • 1 line illustration
  • 0674177649
  • 9780674177642
  • 112,977

Review quote

Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak, one of the foremost thinkers in postcolonial theory, looks at the place of her discipline in the academic "culture wars." A Critique of Post-Colonial Reason includes a reworking of her most influential essay, "Can the Subaltern Speak?" which has previously appeared in only one anthology. Publishers Weekly Gayatri Spivak's long-awaited book...sets out to challenge the very fields Spivak has herself been most associated with--postcolonial studies and third world feminism...[A Critique of Postcolonial Reason] is remarkble for the warnings it provides--powerful critiques of diverse positions structure the author's stance--as guardian in the margin. Spivak forcefully interrogates the practices, politics and subterfuges of intellectual formations ranging from nativism, elite poststructuralist theory, metropolitan feminism, cultural Marxism, global hybridism, and "white boys talking postcoloniality." -- Yogita Goyal New Formations A Critique of Postcolonial Reason is almost above all else self-conscious, self-aware, self-deprecating. In 139 brilliant footnotes to "Culture," Spivak carries on a running engagement with the flotsam and jetsam (what Walter Benjamin called the "detritus" of culture or "Trash of History") of what passes for public life and the attendant information and culture industry in this global thing we live in: ad campaigns by clothing designers, articles and stories from the New York Times or "Good Morning America"...Spivak's tone makes the book a constant pleasure. A mocking smile seems always present, along with sincere engagement with important issues...From the first page of the preface to her footnote almost 400 pages later about the exchange with the World Bank official at the European Parliament, Spivak focuses on the ignorant, arrogant Eurocentric destruction of people and the environment and the enabling practices of culture that make it possible...This is a most important and significant book. -- David S. Gross World Literature Today Spivak focuses on the relationship of debates in philosophy, history, and literature to the emergence of a postcolonial problematic. Overall, she seeks to distance herself from mainstream postcolonial literature and to reassert the value of earlier theorists such as Kant and Marx...Those already interested in the postmodern and postcolonial debates may find her style invigorating. -- Kent Worcester Library Journal Gayatri Spivak's most recent text, A Critique of Postcolonial Reason, brings together in a single volume a wide range of her work in postcolonial studies...She weaves together these multiple levels of critique brilliantly, presenting a rigorous reading of the discourses of imperialism... A Critique of Postcolonial Reason presents a scrupulous discussion of imperialism in European philosophy, literature, history, and culture. -- Rachel Riedner American Studies Internationalshow more

Back cover copy

In her first full treatment of postcolonial studies, a field that the helped define, Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak, one of the world's foremost literary theorists, attempts to describe a responsible role for the postcolonial critic within the postcolonial enclave. A Critique of Postcolonial Reason tracks the figure of the "native informant" through various cultural practices -- philosophy, history, literature -- to suggest that it emerges as the metropolitan hybrid. The book addresses feminists, philosophers, critics, and interventionist intellectuals as they unite and divide. It ranges from Kant's analytic of the sublime to child labor in Bangladesh.show more

Table of contents

* Preface *1. Philosophy *2. Literature *3. History *4. Culture * Appendix: The Setting to Work of Deconstruction * Indexshow more

About Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak

Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak is University Professor at Columbia University and a trainer of elementary school teachers in West Bengal. She is the author of A Critique of Postcolonial Reason: Toward a History of the Vanishing Present.show more

Rating details

418 ratings
3.97 out of 5 stars
5 31% (128)
4 43% (178)
3 22% (91)
2 3% (14)
1 2% (7)
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