Peter Barry
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Postcolonial criticism
in Beginning theory (fourth edition)
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Postcolonial criticism emerged as a distinct category only in the 1990s. One significant effect of postcolonial criticism is to further undermine the universalist claims once made on behalf of literature by liberal humanist critics. The ancestry of postcolonial criticism can be traced to Frantz Fanon's The Wretched of the Earth, published in 1961, and voicing what might be called 'cultural resistance' to France's African empire. Reading literature with the perspective of 'Orientalism' in mind would make readers critically aware of how Yeats in his two 'Byzantium' poems provides an image of Istanbul, the Eastern capital of the former Roman Empire. A STOP and THINK section shows how postcolonial criticism draws attention to issues of cultural difference in literary texts. It also describes some activities of postcolonial critics and presents the essay by Edward Said on Jane Austen's Mansfield Park as an example of postcolonial criticism.

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Beginning theory (fourth edition)

An introduction to literary and cultural theory


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