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Postcolonial PoeticsGenre and Form$
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Patrick Crowley and Jane Hiddleston

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9781846317453

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: June 2013

DOI: 10.5949/UPO9781846317187

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date: 21 November 2017

A Concern Peculiar to Western Man? Postcolonial Reconsiderations of Autobiography as Genre

A Concern Peculiar to Western Man? Postcolonial Reconsiderations of Autobiography as Genre

Chapter:
(p.91) A Concern Peculiar to Western Man? Postcolonial Reconsiderations of Autobiography as Genre
Source:
Postcolonial Poetics
Author(s):

Bart Moore-Gilbert

Publisher:
Liverpool University Press
DOI:10.5949/UPO9781846317187.007

This chapter draws upon Fredric Jameson's essay, ‘Magical Narratives: On the Dialectical Uses of Genre Criticism’ to show the potential productivity of its arguments as a means to bring closer together opponents in the heated debate over the political credentials of postcolonial literary studies. It suggests that postcolonial re-articulations of Western generic conventions project ‘value-systems’ which are materially consequential to the extent that they seek to galvanize readers to reimagine the world as a preliminary to changing it. The chapter demonstrates the possibility of a mode of critical reading which is at once politicized, attentive to both the overt politics and ‘political unconscious’ of the text in question and respectful of its specific aesthetic character. This argument is advanced in relation to the genre of autobiography.

Keywords:   Fredric Jameson, genre, criticism, postcolonial literature, postcolonial literary studies, Western autobiography

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