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By Aijaz Ahmad

This paintings presents a critique of the most important theoretical statements on "colonial discourse" and "post-colonialism", aiming to dismantle a number of the commonplaces and conceits that dominate modern cultural conception.

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Additional info for In Theory: Classes, Nations, Literatures

Sample text

None of the small places where great revolutions had occurred had the space, the time, the material resources, the assistance, the conditions of peace to make possible the correction of the distortions which inevitably arise in the course of collective human projects of such magnitude, undertaken in conditions so very punishing. 29 JN THEORY IV A rough periodization is also possible. A very large number of sovereign states emerged in Asia and Africa during the first twenty years after the Second World War, mainly under the hegemony of the respective national bourgeoisies and subordinated ro regimes of advanced capital.

Cuban performance has likewise been better than that of comparable countries in rhe Caribbean and Central America- all this with no imperialist loot, no Marshall Plans, and under conditions of extreme duress. But none of these countries is ever judged on its economic performance in relation to irs own past, its inherited environment, irs regional location: China is nor compared with India, Cuba with Haiti, Bulgaria (once a periphery of the Ottoman Empire) with Turkey (the 24 LITERATURE AMONG THE SIGNS OF OUR TIME central formation of that empire).

Rather, it was in France that the successive shocks of the colonial wars in Indochina and North Africa, coming hot on the heels of the Nazi Occupation of France itself, tended to polarize the intelligentsia; the well-known confrontation between Sarrre and Camus was the specific expression of a much broader polarization. In the Anglo-American academy, the radicalizing impact came in the second phase of decolonization - ushered in, schematically speaking, by the Cuban Revolution (1958-9), Algerian independence (1962) and the 39 IN THEORY onset of the Third Indochina War with the introduction of American troops during the Kennedy Administration.

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