By Caroline Rooney
This ebook marks a tremendous contribution to colonial and postcolonial experiences in its rationalization of the African discourse of realization and its far-reaching analyses of a literature of animism. will probably be of significant curiosity to students in lots of fields together with literary and significant thought, philosophy, anthropology, politics and psychoanalysis.
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Extra info for African Literature, Animism and Politics (Routledge Research in Postcolonial Literatures, 4)
The second half of the chapter attempts to offer a more distanced and critical reflection on issues raised by readings of a cross-cultural Antigone or of texts that have their own Antigone-like configurations. Antigone constitutes only a starting point here, out of which bridging points can be made towards a reading of African writing. In the first part of the chapter, there will be an engagement with Lacan’s reading of Antigone and Derrida’s consideration of Hegel’s reading of the play. What this has in part been prompted by is an impression of certain comparative muteness or mutedness within French intellectual culture as regards colonial legacies whereby, given that Antigone may be redeployed as having an anti-colonial significance, the text serves as a possibly somewhat clandestine crossroads.
This struck me in reading Said citing Balfour in Orientalism, from a speech made by Balfour justifying the colonisation of Egypt, as follows (although this is but an excerpt from a longer excerpt): All their great centuries – and they have been very great – have been passed under despotisms, under absolute government … but never in all the revolutions of fate and fortune have you seen one of those nations of its own motion establish what we, from a Western point of view call self-government … Is it a good thing for these great nations – I admit their greatness – that this absolute government should be exercised by us?
26 Lacan suggests that it is Christianity that replaces this sphere (of these ‘gods’) but not altogether. What is interesting is that Antigone is being associated with a not quite surpassed animism (whereby this too may be read as a threat to Western thought). At this juncture, I would like to improvise a little with glancing reference to Derrida’s Glas. Derrida, with reference to Hegel, writes (or so I paraphrase) of the Holy trinitarian family of Christianity in which the phenomenon of Immaculate Conception serves to maintain a severance of the father (knowledge) from immediacy whereby sexual differences are set up and cancelled in terms of opposition (with the mother on the side of worldly immediacy).
African Literature, Animism and Politics (Routledge Research in Postcolonial Literatures, 4) by Caroline Rooney