Linda Warley


Somewhat of a growth industry these days, theoretical formulations of the poetics of autobiography by and large continue to ignore post-colonial writings even though many of the texts emerging from these locations, particularly in the past twenty years, are 'life-writings' .1 Generally, EuroAmerican autobiography theory focuses on its own cosmopolitan space. Displaying an all too familiar geographic and ethnocentric bias, theory is made in the West and it speaks of the West. Because of this bias, theory tends to ignore the issue of place- that is, spatial and geographic location -as a constitutive element of the autobiographical '1'. Where the 'I' is, theory says, doesn't really matter. But this ignores the fact that literary texts are always deeply rooted in specific places and histories. It is my argument that spatial location is crucial to post-colonial autobiographical self-representation, and that the forgetting of the located ness of the subject speaks of an imperialist assumption of centrality that has never been possible for the post-colonial writer.



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