Anne Maxwell


In a recent article entitled 'Problems in Current Theories of Colonial Discourse', 1 Benita Parry is critical of the recent trend in contemporary anticolonialist criticism to 'disown work done within radical traditions other than the most recently enunciated heterodoxies' .2 In her opinion the contemporary taste for 'theory' has led to the down-grading of the antiimperialist discourses of colonial liberation movements begun in the 1950s, and in particular the 'exemplary and exceptional radical stance' of Fanon. And she warns that this development may result in a criticism which is unable to withstand the force of the dominant order. In taking up such a position, Parry claims to be siding with critics such as Edward Said and Abdul Jan Mohamed, for whom resistance requires not a return to a transparent realism, but an oppositional stance (she is particularly impressed by Jan Mohamed's theory of Manichean aesthetics)? and to be distancing herself from critics like Homi Bhabha and Gayatri Spivak, who confine themselves to the purely negative task of deconstructing the texts of colonialism.



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