Postcolonial Poetics

BookPostcolonial Poetics

Postcolonial Poetics

Genre and Form

Francophone Postcolonial Studies, 2


November 16th, 2011





Postcolonial literature has often tended to invite readings that focus on the relation between texts and political contexts, not surprisingly perhaps, given the fraught historical moments of colonialism and decolonisation with which it frequently engages. Nevertheless, critics such as Nicholas Harrison have argued for attention to the literary as literary, and have explored the ways in which literary representation makes any assumed ideological content necessarily indeterminate. Taking into account this call for attention to the literary, this volume investigates more specifically the idiosyncrasies of postcolonial poetics, including postcolonial literature’s use of and experimentation with genre and form. However, this attention to poetics is not intended to replace political engagement, and, rather than privileging the literary at the expense of the political, this volume analyses how texts use genre and form to offer multiple distinct ways of responding to political and historical questions. Postcolonial texts engage with the political world in a variety of ways, directly or indirectly, and it is in their specific uses of genre and form that they alter or develop our understanding of the particular contexts with which they grapple. According to Graham Huggan, postcolonial studies is inherently plural and interdisciplinary, in that it is made up of literary and cultural analysis as well as political theory, psychoanalysis, anthropology, history and philosophy. It is in the combination and manipulation of such forms of analysis that postcolonialism is able to imagine alternative identities and societies. This volume of postcolonial poetics therefore probes some examples of different kinds of literary writing, its blurring with other discourses and its manipulation of genre and form, in order to achieve a better understanding of its transformatory power.This exploration of the poetics of genre also sheds light on how different kinds of texts offer specific, distinct modes of thought.

... this book will provide a key reference point for researchers embarking on analyses of postcolonial cultural production.
Gillian Jein, French Studies, vol 67, no 1

Author Information

Patrick Crowley is Senior Lecturer in French at University College Cork. Jane Hiddleston is Professor of Literatures in French at the University of Oxford.

Table of Contents

Section TitlePage
Preface - Dominique Combe
Introduction - Jane Hiddleston
Literary Form and the Politics of Interpretation
'New World' Exiles and Ironists from Evariste Parny to Ananda Devi - Framcoise Lionnet
''... without losing sight of the whole': Said and Goethe - Matthias Zach
Metaphorical Memories: Freud, Conrad and the Dark Continent - Nicholas Harrison
Playing the Field/Performing 'the Personal' in Maryse Conde's Interviews - Eva Sansavior
Writing Subjectivity, Crossing Borders
A Concern Peculiar to Western Man? Postcolonial Reconsiderations of Autobiography as Genre - Bart Moore-Gilbert
Still Beseiged by Voices: Djebar's Poetics of the Threshold - Clarisse Zimra
Algerian Letters: Mixture, Genres, Literature Itself - Patrick Crowley
Postcolonial Poetics
How to Speak about It? Kateb Yacine's Feminine Voice or Literat Wager: A Reading of Nedjma - Mireille Calle-Gruber (translated by lane Hiddlestor.
The Rise of the recit d'enfance in the Francophone Caribbean - Louise Hardwick
Reinventing the Legacies of Genre
The Tragedy of Decolonization: Dialectics at a Standstill - Martin Megevand
J. M. Coetzee's Australian Realism - Elleke Boehmer
Ambivalence and Ambiguity of the Short Story in Albert Camus's 'L'H6te' and Mohammed Dib's 'La Fin' - Andy Stafford
Writing against Genocide: Genres of Opposition in Narratives fror and about Rwanda - Zoe Norridge
Notes on Contributors