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Dialogics of the Oppressed

Dialogics of the Oppressed

Peter Hitchcock
Copyright Date: 1993
Edition: NED - New edition
Pages: 272
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  • Book Info
    Dialogics of the Oppressed
    Book Description:

    “Presents a provocative set of readings-through the Bakhtinian model of dialogism-of texts by four women writers of the twentieth century. . . instructive and compelling.” --Barbara Harlow

    eISBN: 978-0-8166-8446-5
    Subjects: Language & Literature

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-viii)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. ix-x)
  3. Preface
    (pp. xi-xxii)
  4. Acknowledgments
    (pp. xxiii-xxiv)
  5. CHAPTER 1 Dialogics of the Oppressed: Theorizing the Subaltern Subject
    (pp. 1-24)

    I wish to consider the following formulation for its possible contradictions and potential solidarity. The dialogics of the oppressed trace a theoretical space in which cultural criticism in particular and the (Western) academy in general articulates the voices of the marginal, the subaltern, and the dispossessed. It is not, however, a methodology that rationalizes and codifies a pregiven object of analysis, and in this way it not only signifies a critical process (as in the process of the critic) but in turn also refers to the oppressed’s dialogism, the multiple and interactive voicing that challenges major forms of social inequality....

  6. CHAPTER 2 Firdaus; or, The Politics of Positioning
    (pp. 25-52)

    Is not any “Western” consideration of the feminist work of Nawal el Saadawi, and in particular one by the Western male, bound, by its very point of reference, to reproduce a hegemonic rendering of the colonial subject? Is not the very voice of “Western” criticism an unequal exchange of articulation, explication, for “silence,” real or imagined? Specifically, is not colonial discourse itself a representation of phallogocentric certitude in the face of its castrating Other? Surely, whatever the “Western” appeal to the democratic vistas of dialogue, the collective voicing of solidarity, a “Western” critique of el Saadawi must fall afoul of...

  7. CHAPTER 3 Radical Writing
    (pp. 53-82)

    In his analysis of the work of George Eliot, Raymond Williams discusses the concept of a “knowable community,” the tension between the voice of the educated observer and the lived relations described.¹ The success of the narrative depends not on the sublimation of the one by the other, but on the ways in which the dynamism of both is preserved and empowered. Williams uses this concept to show how the knowledge of community existence increasingly becomes problematic in English fiction from the nineteenth century on. The fissures between the voice of the author and the communities to some extent authored...

  8. CHAPTER 4 The Ark of Desire
    (pp. 83-127)

    The following notes on Zhang Jie are predicated on three disparate but related moments in the contemporary ethos: (1) the moment of literary theory in the discursive structures of (primarily) “Western” cultural critique; (2) the moment of revolution in Chinese history (which, contrary to most reports regarding June 4,1989, has scarcely begun); and (3) the moment of an increasingly global feminism, which, rather than elide the specificities of national and international women’s struggle, attempts to harness heterogeneity by any means necessary in order to transcend relations of domination. Although I will not attempt to detail here the elements of this...

  9. CHAPTER 5 The Other Agnes
    (pp. 128-169)

    On November 12, 1923, in a letter to her friend Florence Lennon, Agnes Smedley wrote:

    You say . . . that although girls should not be feebleminded, they should not attempt to take the place of men in nature. I answer this: I do not know just what woman’s “place in nature” happens to be, except sexually — that “place” is quite clearly marked out. But as to socially, I do not know but that nature has been mauled over the head by men, and woman has been forced to occupy positions for which she is not fitted by nature, but...

  10. CHAPTER 6 Translation Relations
    (pp. 170-202)

    Translators are the unacknowledged legislators of the world. Can Shelley’s revolutionary zeal for the poet in the nineteenth century be reinvested in the task of the translator for the twentieth and beyond? The function of translation and the role of the translator go to the heart of what is meant by the “dialogics of the oppressed.” I wish to consider the translator as something considerably more than the conduit between languages, and indeed something more than the individual translator whose labor often goes unrecognized and underrewarded. This entails both a collective subject for translation and a set of translation relations...

  11. Notes
    (pp. 203-228)
  12. Selected Bibliography
    (pp. 229-238)
  13. Index
    (pp. 239-244)
  14. Back Matter
    (pp. 245-245)