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Empire and Poetic Voice
Cognitive and Cultural Studies of Literary Tradition and Colonialism
Empire and Poetic Voice
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Patrick Colm Hogan - Author
SUNY series, Explorations in Postcolonial Studies
Price: $65.00 
Hardcover - 299 pages
Release Date: December 2003
ISBN10: 0-7914-5963-2
ISBN13: 978-0-7914-5963-8

Price: $33.95 
Paperback - 299 pages
Release Date: January 2006
ISBN10: 0-7914-5964-0
ISBN13: 978-0-7914-5964-5

Price: $33.95 
Electronic - 299 pages
Release Date: February 2012
ISBN13: 978-0-7914-8569-9

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Explores the relation of post-colonization authors to literary traditions.

In Empire and Poetic Voice Patrick Colm Hogan draws on a broad and detailed knowledge of Indian, African, and European literary cultures to explore the way colonized writers respond to the subtle and contradictory pressures of both metropolitan and indigenous traditions. He examines the work of two influential theorists of identity, Judith Butler and Homi Bhabha, and presents a revised evaluation of the important Nigerian critics, Chinweizu, Jemie, and Madubuike. In the process, he presents a novel theory of literary identity based equally on recent work in cognitive science and culture studies. This theory argues that literary and cultural traditions, like languages, are entirely personal and only appear to be a matter of groups due to our assertions of categorical identity, which are ultimately both false and dangerous.

“[The book] … approaches matters from such an unusual direction in regard to Renaissance studies—outside of Renaissance scholarly circles colonialism and postcolonialism are hot topics—that … readers may well look at this publication and consider how colonialism needs to be considered widely in Renaissance literature, too often too limited to western Europe.” — Bibliothèque d’Humanism et Renaissance

"…offers fine treatments of many authors, texts, and topics, e.g., a critical essay on Anita Desai’s Baumgartner’s Bombay (1988) and its denigration of Indian culture, an exceptionally informative piece on Rabindranath Tagore’s classic The Home and the World (1919), and an equally illuminating one on Derek Wolcott’s Omeros (1990) and especially his Dream on Monkey Mountain (1970) … Highly recommended." — CHOICE

"This is a thoughtful and intense engagement with a series of postcolonial literary texts. Hogan recovers lines of affiliation between these texts and the myths, assumptions, traditions, and works that helped inspire them. He demonstrates that an indigenous text can be just as complicit in the imperial project as any Western text, and that indigenous texts may be as anxious to revise 'native' traditions and views as they are to 'subvert' those of the imposed imperial culture." — Jahan Ramazani, author of The Hybrid Muse: Postcolonial Poetry in English

Patrick Colm Hogan is Professor of English and Comparative Literature at the University of Connecticut. He is the author and editor of many books, including (with Lalita Pandit) Literary India: Comparative Studies in Aesthetics, Colonialism, and Culture and Colonialism and Cultural Identity: Crises of Tradition in the Anglophone Literatures of India, Africa, and the Caribbean, both published by SUNY Press.

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Table of Contents


Introduction: Decolonizing Cultural Identity

1. Ideological Ambiguities of "Writing Back": Anita Desai and George Lamming in the Heart of Darkness

2. Revising Indigenous Precursors, Reimagining Social Ideals: Tagore's The Home and the World and Valmeki's Ramayana

3. Subaltern Myths Drawn from the Colonizer: Dream on Monkey Mountain and the Revolutionary Jesus

4. Preserving the Voice of Ancestors: Yoruba Myth and Ritual in The Palm-Wine Drinkard

5. Outdoing the Colonizer: Homer, Virgil, Dante, Milton, Walcott

6. Indigenous Tradition and the Individual Talent: Agha Shahid Ali, Laila/Majnoon, and the Ghazal

Afterword: "We Are All Africans": The Universal Privacy of Tradition


Glossary of Selected Theoretical Concepts

Works Cited


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