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Unlocking the postcolonial experience with the keys of history - Essay Example

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Summary
In my reading of history I have found that the meaning of history is different for different people.In other words any history,which includes also the postcolonial one,has a subjective meaning for the individual.However,an objective approach to history can unlock the impasse of interpretation of history to the reasonable satisfaction of all people…
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Unlocking the postcolonial experience with the keys of history
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Unlocking the postcolonial experience with the keys of history

Download file to see previous pages... In my reading of history I have found that the meaning of history is different for different people.In other words any history,which includes also the postcolonial one,has a subjective meaning for the individual.However,an objective approach to history can unlock the impasse of interpretation of history to the reasonable satisfaction of all people.I have observed that the tone of eulogy that characterized the early writers in the heyday of colonization has given way to less buoyant enthusiasm in the postcolonial literature after the liquidation of the empire. I should think that the Postcolonial writer now expresses his authentic subjective experience, not only of the colonial past, but also his perception of the aftermath of colonization.History is important in Postcolonial studies because it fixes the parameters for inclusion or exclusion the sources that we should study. Experience of a historical colonial past and the literature that reflects this is included as the canonical works for study. However, many argue that the colonial past though politically over is actually present because of the overwhelming influence still exerted by former rulers on their former colonies. Some others argue that colonization is still a reality as some powerful nations still exercise political power from a distance through their conglomerates.1 There is a school of thought that argues that colonial experience is universal in human history because some time in the remote or recent past most countries or peoples had the experience of being subjugated by another powerful people.2
What is Postcolonial
I feel that it is necessary to have a clear idea of the term Postcolonial. It became prominent terminology in academic parlance with the publication of Edward Said' vehement critique of western ideas of the Orient in his work Orientalism. His work highlights the inaccuracies of a wide variety of assumptions accepted on individual, academic and political levels. It is a mirror image of what is inferior and alien to the west (Said 1978). According to Said a historian and a scholar should see the diversity of culture and allow room for a dynamic variety of human experience. However, I find that Said was insistent about the essential difference between the orient and the occident. So I feel that in spite of the stereotype that European perception has of the orient there is different subjective perception of one another. In this context it is desirable to read Daniel Defoe's Robinson Crusoe. From this we get a proper insight into the colonial mind.3
With the appearance in 1989 of the work The Empire Writes Back: Theory and Practice in Post-Colonial Literatures, Postcolonial studies became a branch of study by itself and earlier terms like Colonial Literature, Commonwealth Literature and Third World Literature were replaced by Postcolonial. However many do not consider the term suitable. In fact some use term to signify a stand against Imperialism and Euro- centrism often surprisingly ante-Americanism. In this context I wish to compare and contrast the perspective of earlier writers who were conscious or unconscious appendages of the Raj by examining the work, In an Antique Land by Amitav Ghosh.4
Is American Experience Part of Postcolonialism
Americas were one of the earliest scenes of European colonial adventure. The American expansion at the cost of the native American population is one of the saddest chapters of world history. Similarly the flourishing slave trade and the vestiges of which remained in our recent memory makes the America all the more a part of essential colonial experience. The white chroniclers of European explorations cinemetically focussed on what they saw through a single lense. However the Postcolonial historians capture the quite mystique of the discovery of the unfolding virgin America with the eyes of the natives Americans also.This ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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