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Anticolonialism has often been regarded as a constitutive feature of “postcolonial...

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weazel21 | Student, Undergraduate | eNotes Newbie

Posted February 18, 2011 at 1:34 AM via web

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Anticolonialism has often been regarded as a constitutive feature of “postcolonial literature”. Do you agree?

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lprono | Middle School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator

Posted February 18, 2011 at 3:17 AM (Answer #1)

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The rejection of colonialism and its exploitation of the subjects of the Empire is certainly a feature of postcolonial fiction. However, critics from a New Historicist perspective often argue that rejection and rebellion often hide a complicit attitude. Thus, some texts produced by Europeans but that could be considered postcolonial because they were influenced by imperialist discourse such as E. M. Forster's A Passage to India or J. Conrad's Heart of Darkness have been subjected to increasing critical scrutiny as far as the representation of the empire and the natives is concerned. Such analyses have aimed to bring out the authors' complicity with the system that they apparently challenged. 

A general strategy common to postcolonial texts is the technique that critic Abdul JanMohamed has called "writing back". Postcolonial writers use literary modes and devices from the Western tradition to create a counter-hegemonic discourse. As JanMohamed has argued in Manichaean Aesthetics (1983), the rejection of the colonial past always involves admitting the enduring influence of that past in the construction of postcolonial identities and discourses.

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