Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS:
Title: Inheriting the other : an aesthetic of postcolonial custodianship
Author: Menozzi, Filippo
Awarding Body: University of Kent
Current Institution: University of Kent
Date of Award: 2012
Availability of Full Text:
Access from EThOS:
This study provides a response to current controversies in postcolonial studies. While recent interventions have proposed a rerouting or reconstruction of the postcolonial, this research argues that the postcolonial could be redefined as a form of custodianship. Indeed, this notion has not yet been recognised as such, but it has always been a central issue in postcolonial criticism. It has been adopted to portray the postcolonial intellectual as "custodian" or doorkeeper, in the derogatory sense of someone who claims to represent the essence of a culture. Yet custodianship does not correspond to the authority of cultural representation. Instead, it might be the fidelity to an ethical imperative, a responsibility for the other in forms of cultural and literary inheritance. For this reason, it is not something that needs to be formulated as an abstract theory, but rather it can be learned as a practice through the reading of literary and poetic forms. The aesthetic of custodianship presented in this research detects modes of transmission in the figurative, rather than strictly thematic aspects of canonical and non-canonical postcolonial literary objects. The thesis engages with influential postcolonial authors: Anita Desai, Mahasweta Devi, Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak, Arundhati Roy, and a young tribal artist, Bhajju Shyam, whose work has received no extensive attention in the postcolonial discourse. This inquiry illustrates that the postcolonial has addressed, and continues to address, a crucial problematic about how to transmit, to read and to inherit, not only one's own tradition, but also legacies of the other. The postcolonial could still be relevant today as an aesthetic of custodianship, that is, as an understanding of literature itself as a practice of poetic transmission able to weave figuration and worldliness in a common ground.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available