Laura Chrisman
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Robert Young and the ironic authority of postcolonial criticism
in Postcolonial contraventions

This chapter emphasises the theories and critiques of different postcolonial theorists such as Robert Young, Edward Said, Homi Bhabha and Gayatri Spivak. What outlines its elements are Robert Young's intercession against Parry, the assumptions about power and intellectual authority written into his language use, and the implications of these for postcolonial critical dialogue and analysis. The chapter contrasts Young's summary dismissal of Parry's work and politics with his serious description of, and respectful engagement with, the Marxist anti-postcolonial work of Indian critic Aijaz Ahmad, to observe the ways in which South Africa and its products may somehow license metropolitan critics to depart from their general intellectual standards of assessment, and from their rigorously academic modes of operation. Young's insistent emphases on nationality and ethnicity as determinants in the political identity of Parry and Spivak have no corollary in a national or ethnic self-description.

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Postcolonial contraventions

Cultural readings of race, imperialism and transnationalism


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