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Classics in Post-Colonial Worlds$
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Lorna Hardwick and Carol Gillespie

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780199296101

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: February 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199296101.001.0001

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‘The Same Kind of Smile?’ About the ‘Use and Abuse’ of Theory in Constructing the Classical Tradition

‘The Same Kind of Smile?’ About the ‘Use and Abuse’ of Theory in Constructing the Classical Tradition

(p.245) 14‘The Same Kind of Smile?’ About the ‘Use and Abuse’1 of Theory in Constructing the Classical Tradition
Classics in Post-Colonial Worlds

Freddy Decreus

Oxford University Press

This chapter takes a sometimes wry look at the intellectual infrastructure of concepts of the post-colonial, locating these in the polarities between post-modernism and western humanism, but showing how the history and aspirations of post-colonial approaches actually challenge both systems of thought. In particular, the chapter investigates the impact of ancient non-western predecessors of the paradigm of tragedy (such as Gilagamesh), and modern non-western concepts and practices brought into productions of tragedy from Buddhist and Taoist traditions. It suggests that post-colonial analysis is part of a general politics of resistance which challenges closure in the western mind, and can enable the previously colonised ‘Other’ to turn the tables, transposing the western self into a psychoanalytically repressed ‘Other’. This chapter looks at colonialism and post-colonialism, classical literature and essentialism, and tragedy and universalism.

Keywords:   post-colonialism, colonialism, post-modernism, tragedy, resistance, classical literature, essentialism, universalism

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