Chapter

The Abjection of American Literature: Jamaica Kincaid and the Ghosts of Postcolonialism

Paul Giles

in Transnationalism in Practice

Published by Edinburgh University Press

Published in print July 2010 | ISBN: 9780748640492
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780748652129 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3366/edinburgh/9780748640492.003.0010
The Abjection of American Literature: Jamaica Kincaid and the Ghosts of Postcolonialism

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This chapter examines the history of the so-called abjection of American literature, focusing on the works of Jamaica Kincaid and considering the ways in which American literature, as the subject has historically been conceived and circumscribed, has related institutionally to postcolonial perspectives. It describes a few of the ways in which postcolonialism has tended to overlook some of its own intellectual genealogies, and suggests how a paratactic reconstitution of postcolonialism within the academic matrix of American literature would elucidate certain blindspots and ideological limitations about how the contours of this Americanist zone have traditionally been mapped out.

Keywords: American literature; Jamaica Kincaid; postcolonial perspectives; intellectual genealogies; paratactic reconstitution; Americanist zone

Chapter.  12246 words. 

Subjects: Literary Theory and Cultural Studies

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