French late colonial rhetoric, ‘myth’ and imperial reason
in Rhetorics of empire
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In this chapter, 'rhetoric' is taken as the public expression of colonial 'doctrine', which might also be informed by a wider and more abstract conception of 'discourse'. To these overlapping but not interchangeable terms, a fourth term is added, which is that of 'myth', used in two contrasting but, it is proposed, mutually reinforcing senses. First, in one of the founding texts in the historiography of French decolonization, D. Bruce Marshall refers to a French colonial myth. Second, in order to develop the powerful concept of myth, the authors turn to a reading of Roland Barthes' Mythologies (1957). The dilettante, sometimes playful, one might say apolitical, Barthes functions here both as theoretician and as contemporary witness, albeit a dubiously reliable one.

Rhetorics of empire

Languages of colonial conflict after 1900


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