Thursday, March 30, 2017
Global Literature Lecture 43
The European Tribe
Colonized identifying with Jewish people
There is a history of oppression w/ both cultures
• Anti-colonial intellectuals saw the holocaust as European barbarity.
• Intellectual history for a writer (identifying with multiple groups)
- Crossing the Atlantic makes the story American, meaning it does not share the
- Axial writer: A writer that struggles through multiple difﬁcult frameworks. | Caryl
Phillips is a writer that follows outside of national frameworks, deﬁnes what we
mean by postcolonial writing.
• Caryl Phillips becomes a model for the transnational writer, making global
literatures become so popular.
• Writing in a global framework, produced by publishers in major publishing
centres: Great Britain, America.
- Loneliness: Caryl Phillips accuses James Baldwin of being lonely when he is actually
lonely himself. A disregarding of feelings, which apprehend the world in this story,
demonstrated as a form of knowing.
- The Merchant of Venice
• Shakespeare has always been important for marginalized groups
• Phillips revisits it and challenges previous interpretations, offers up his own
regarding the Jewish characters
• P55: “Spits in his beard…kicks him like a dog…Shylock has always been my
- Similarity, an expression of solidarity
• “I will buy with you, sell with you, and so following. But I will not eat with
you, drink with you…” — Shylock
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- Refusal to be associated with Europeans.
- Contradictions can be reconciled: he can have African American authors
as a muse AS WELL as a Jewish character.
- Shylock is not a character meant to be liked, not meant to be related to
- Solidarity through affect
• Affective states and affective communities
- Othello: yes, this person is black, but Caryl Phillips does not ﬁnd what he needs
in him; instead, he ﬁnds what he needs in Shylock.
Taking the pound of ﬂesh in tiny bits instead of one large chunk
- Not just reclaiming what’s yours, but causing as much pain as possible so
as to inﬂict misery upon those who hurt you
• They care about getting back/getting revenge on their oppressors
• Communities of the oppressed can never ﬁght a full battle, so it’s in the
everyday menial life where they can execute their revenge.
• Unﬁnished business of colonialism: revenge has not been executed, pain has
not been inﬂicted, so it is not complete.
- Rage, anger, melancholy narrative
• A mode of storytelling in postcolonial writing where authors visit colonial
pasts through the present. The person can be depressed, but it’s different:
trauma can be healed, but the person who refused to heal and move on
becomes melancholy. | unﬁnished mourning/grief
- Stages of grief are in an endless cycle, consistently being worked
- Phillips lets us know indirectly his effective state, seeking companions
who experience these effective states.
- ANNE FRANK CHAPTER
• multidimension memory — Multi-dimensional Memory by Michael Rothberg
- Memory moves in various directions: other groups will use memories to narrate/
investigate their own experiences
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- Not to say the holocaust is power to people, but it serves as a tok