Postcolonial Philology and the Passage of Literature

Christopher GoGwilt

in The Passage of Literature

Published in print December 2010 | ISBN: 9780199751624
Published online January 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780199866199 | DOI:
Postcolonial Philology and the Passage of Literature

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Chapter 8 offers some concluding reflections on the practical and theoretical consequences of the book's comparative study of English, Creole, and Indonesian modernist formations. The chapter outlines the emergence of a postcolonial philology in the shift from nineteenth-century European comparative philology to twentieth-century literary criticism. This re-examination of the “linguistic turn” of twentieth-century literary theory is revealed in the contrasting colonial and anti-colonial linguistic phenomena of the Oxford English Dictionary (exemplifying the formation of English modernism) and the new language of bahasa Indonesia (exemplifying the formation of Indonesian modernism). Both phenomena together draw attention to the theory and practice of a postcolonial philology that grasps the individual passage of literary text as the fragmentary deposit of multiple, overlapping, and contested literary systems of culture.

Keywords: postcolonial; philology; passage; literature; Indonesian; English; language; oxford english dictionary; Joseph Conrad; Jean Rhys; Pramoedya Ananta Toer; House of Glass; Chinua Achebe; Naipaul

Chapter.  15650 words. 

Subjects: Literary Studies (19th Century)

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