Craig Tapping


In my own research and teaching of Commonwealth hterature, I am ever more conscious of a dilenmia confronting those who would wrestle with contemporary theory and yet remain committed to the cultural practices and literatures being produced on the decentered margins of former Empire.^ Contemporary theory, first generated from within academics of the 'developed' world, is then exported for use in explaining, debasing, and re-inscribing subordinate positions for the subjects and creators of literature from the so-called 'underdeveloped' world Theorists either reinscribe the canonicity of the very texts they claim to 'decenter', or use Euro-American ideologies of language and textuality to re-colonize writing from newly independent, formerly silences regions of the world.^ Once again, the 'underdeveloped' world provides the raw materials for the careers and profits of more technologically advanced master-consumers who import the raw material (literature) and convert it to their own ends (theory)/ This unfortunate condition underwrites whatever it is I do - for example, in an essay such as this - with novels from the Caribbean.



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