Interrupted Subjects

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Interrupted Subjects The Native Informant and Subaltern as Tropes of Resistance
Mukhopadhyay, Aniruddha
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[Gainesville, Fla.]
University of Florida
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Doctorate ( Ph.D.)
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University of Florida
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Committee Chair:
Leavey, John P, Jr
Committee Members:
Amoko, Apollo Obonyo
Schueller, Malini Johar
Kujundzic, Dragan
Alter, Nora M
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Subjects / Keywords:
Alterity ( jstor )
Death ( jstor )
Dialectic ( jstor )
Diasporas ( jstor )
Discourse ( jstor )
Globalization ( jstor )
Hybridity ( jstor )
Jewish peoples ( jstor )
Narratives ( jstor )
Subalterns ( jstor )
English -- Dissertations, Academic -- UF
diaspora -- globalization -- india -- informant -- native -- postcolonial -- resistance -- sovereignty -- subaltern -- tropes
Electronic Thesis or Dissertation
born-digital ( sobekcm )
English thesis, Ph.D.


This project begins with a basic question: How can we imagine a form of resistance to the hegemonic system of (European) modernity that cannot be co-opted by the logic of the dominant discourse? In other words,how can we imagine a radical alterity? The discourse of globalization and the recalibration of national to global sovereignty are explored in relation to the critical theories of radical resistance to the discursive hegemony of the dominant Western discourse. Hardt and Negri’s “multitude” and Nancy’s “singular plural” are attempts to defer the ever-present threat of co-optation by this hegemonic logic. Spivak calls this the “double bind” faced by the critically vigilant intellectual: the “ethical imperative” to articulate a resistant figure like the subaltern while not speaking on behalf of that figure or assimilating its resistance in the narrative constitution of its subjectivity. Following Derrida, I explore the aporia of tracing the subaltern in literary critical readings without rearticulating a subaltern-subject that would reinsert the in-visible universal “subject” in the reproduction of the recognizable “other.” The work of the Indian Subaltern Studies group, especially that of Spivak, opens the distinction between the recognizable difference of the native informant that can be co-opted by the dialectical process of subject-constitution and the irreducible difference of the subaltern that has to be put under erasure. I use the textual subject’s narrative turn away from the subaltern as the basis for an interruptive reading praxis that traces the absent-presence of subaltern difference to deconstruct the subject-constitution of the hegemonic. “Diaspora” is used in postcolonial criticism as a form of hybrid resistance in both national and global terms. I trace the Jewish context of the term to the history of the “Marrano” to name the “secret” of subaltern difference marked in a constitutive erasure in the original act of translation that produced the diaspora. Finally, I bring the Marrano to an impossible face-to-face with the Indian English fiction of diasporic writers like Amitav Ghosh and K. S. Maniam to trace the subaltern absent-presence of the Indian “coolie” in Malaysia. ( en )
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In the series University of Florida Digital Collections.
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Includes vita.
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Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Florida, 2013.
Adviser: Leavey, John P, Jr.
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by Aniruddha Mukhopadhyay.

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2 2013 Aniruddha Mukhopadhyay


3 To my beloved family


4 ACKNOWLEDGMENTS This dissertation owes much to the guidance of my chair, John Leavey. I am grateful to him for not providing easy answers. I understood his valuable questions after understood my work much better than he let on a t the beginning. I am also grateful to the rest of my committee members: Malini Johar Schueller, Apollo Amoko, Dragan Kujundzic, and Nora Alter. Their intellectual integrity informed the work I put into my project I am deeply indebted to both John Van Hoo k and Rebecca Jefferson of the University of Florida Library West for their invaluable help with my research. I am grateful to my friends, Matthew Feltman, Dan Brown, Anastasia Ulanowicz, and Poushali Bhaduri, not only for the intellectual stimulation the y provided, but also for the simple fact of their friendship in a foreign land. I am also grateful to Saikat Dasgupta separation and the test of time. I also thank Makarand Pa ranjape for nudging me towards broader horizons. His constant friendship and guidance enriches my life. This dissertation would also not have been possible without the friendship and support of Creed Greer and Fiona Barnes. I cannot think of life without m y family: my father, brother, sister in law and now the youngest claimant to my affections, my nephew Pipin. And finally, these long years in academia would not have been possible without the unconditional love of my mother. Her at times embarrassing fa ith in me ensured that I never gave up. I hope my work makes her proud.


5 TABLE OF CONTENTS page ACKNOWLEDGMENTS ................................ ................................ ................................ .. 4 ABSTRACT ................................ ................................ ................................ ..................... 7 CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTI ON ................................ ................................ ................................ ...... 9 Resistance of the Radically Other ................................ ................................ ........... 11 Ethical Imperative of an Interruptive Reading ................................ ......................... 13 2 RESISTING GLOBALIZATION: INTERROGATING THE SOVEREIGN ................. 23 The Discourse of Globalization ................................ ................................ ............... 23 From the Sovereign Subject to the Global Sovereign ................................ ............. 27 Writing the Postcolonial Nation ................................ ................................ ............... 36 Constituting the Subject ................................ ................................ .......................... 42 The Native Informant and the Subaltern ................................ ................................ 48 The Subaltern as O/other ................................ ................................ ........................ 52 3 LOCATING RADICAL ALTERITY: ARTICULATING GLOBAL NATIONAL RESISTANCES TO THE HEGEMONIC ................................ ................................ 59 The Textual Apostrophe of the Subaltern ................................ ............................... 59 ................................ ........................ 63 ................................ ..................... 72 ................................ ................... 76 The Im possibility of Interrupting Globalization ................................ ....................... 86 Hybridity as Resistance ................................ ................................ .......................... 92 ................................ ................................ ........... 102 4 BETWEEN NATIVE INFORMANTS AND SUBALTERNS: SITUATING THE OTHER ................................ ................................ ................................ ................. 108 Subaltern as Failure ................................ ................................ .............................. 108 Subalt ern as Narrative ................................ ................................ .......................... 120 Subaltern as Difference ................................ ................................ ........................ 139 Subaltern as Double Bind ................................ ................................ ..................... 148


6 5 NAMING THE MARRANO: TRACING THE DIASPORA IN POSTCOLONIAL THEORY ................................ ................................ ................................ ............... 158 Diaspora in Postcolonial Theory ................................ ................................ ........... 158 The Diasporic Imaginary in Postcolonial Criticism ................................ ................ 167 Tracing the Diaspora ................................ ................................ ............................. 174 Naming the Marrano as Diasporic Difference ................................ ....................... 184 Tracing the Marrano in Jewish History ................................ ................................ .. 188 Marrano as Metaphor of Irreducible Otherness ................................ .................... 195 The Impossible Haunting of the Marrano ................................ .............................. 200 6 AN IMPOSSIBLE FACE TO FACE: READING THE MARRANO IN T HE FICTION OF AMITAV GHOSH AND K. S. MANIAM ................................ ............. 208 The Postcolonial Subject in The Glass Palace ................................ ..................... 210 ............................ 216 Tracing the Subaltern ................................ ................................ ............................ 227 Re ter ritorializing the Subaltern ................................ ................................ ............ 231 The Diasporic Condition of the Hyphenated Ethnic ................................ .............. 243 Interrupting the Trace of the Subaltern ................................ ................................ 250 WORKS CITED ................................ ................................ ................................ ........... 257 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH ................................ ................................ .......................... 265


7 Abstract of Dissertation Presented to the Graduate School of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy INTERRUPTED SUBJECT S : THE NATIVE INFORMANT AND SUBALTERN AS TROPES OF RESISTANCE By Aniruddha Mukhopadhyay M ay 2013 Chair: John P. Leavey Jr. Major: English This project begins with a basic question: How can we imagine a form of resistance to the hegemonic system of (European) modernity that cannot be co opt ed b y the logic of the dominant discourse? In other words, how can we imagine a radical alterity? T he discourse of globalization and the recalibration of national to global sovereignty are explore d in relation to the critical theories of radical resistance to the discursive hegemony of the dominant Western discourse. Hardt and Negri and singular plural present threat of co optation by this hegemonic logic faced by the cr itically vigilant like the subaltern while not speaking on behalf of that figure or assimilating it s resistance in the narrative constitution of its subjectivity. F ollowing Derrida, I explore the aporia of tracing the subaltern in literary critical readings without rearticulating a subaltern subject that would reinsert the in subject T he work of the Indian Subaltern Studies group, especially that of Spivak, opens the distinction between the recognizable difference of the native informant that can be


8 co opt ed by the dialectical process of subject constitution and the irreducible difference of the subaltern that has to be put under erasure. I use the textual subject turn away from the subaltern as the basis for an interruptive reading praxis that traces the absent presence of subaltern difference to deconstruct the subject constitution of the hegemonic. D ias is used in postcolonial criticism as a form of hybrid resistance in both national and global terms. I trace the Jewish context of the term to the history of the i n the original act of translation that produced the diaspora. Finally, I bring the Marrano to an impossible face to face with the Indian English fiction of diasporic writers like Amitav Ghosh and K. S. Maniam to trace the subaltern absent presence of the I ndian


9 CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION My work begins with a basic question: How can we imagine a form of resistance to the hegemonic system of (European) modernity that cannot be co opt ed by the logic of the dominant discourse? Of course, this basic question necessitates many corollary clarifications to be able to clearly conceptualize the problem. How do I understand the hegemonic dominant? What do I mean by resistance that cannot be co opt ed? How is that resistance to be both recognized and reconstituted ? A Critique of Postcolonial Reason I felt the need to bridge the general academic concerns of Eng lish literary and cultural studies in India and the United work crease between global focus on globalization therefore is a good starting point: globalization allow s me to address, on the one hand, the inter connectedness produced by developing technologies and comparatively grea ter mobility, at least for some classes of people, between nations, and, on the other, the growing global inequalities I look at the genesis of globalization not necessarily as a radical break from the political economy of modern nation states, but as the logical global recalibration of capital unequal distribution of resources and labor between nations. And if globalization therefore reveals the teleology of capital ism, then this teleology can be mapped as the evolution of a globa l sovereign reconstitu ting its hegemonic logic through the (Nancy) (Hardt and Negri).


10 This hegemonic logic of the sovereign is constituted in the language of at its narrative center, and this (post contending narratives, how do we imagine a new form of global dissent that will defer this co opt ation by a recalibrated global sovereign? How do critics like Hardt and Negri, Jean Luc Nancy, Homi Bhabha, Wal ter Mignolo, Spivak and Jacques Derrida enable that cannot be assimilated by the hegemonic? And if such an alterity is assumed to be monic rationalism that is the foundation of modernity, including the academic discourse that this work is a part of, then how is that otherness to be recog nized without re narrativizing and assimilating its radical difference? Of course, the above issues also raise the question whether we need to imagine a radical otherness? Is all rational discourse, in that it traces its genealogy to the colonial history of Western hegemony, necessarily complicit in the perpetuation of a politics of inequality that feeds If discourse is necessarily hybrid as Bhabha points out in The Location of Culture always already other than/to itself ? As Bhabha argues, the sovereign seeks to dialectically resolve its inher ent hybridity in the performative repetition of its pedagogic sign of immanence, but always repeats itself as/in difference. However, acknowledging that the subject is always already hybrid, the dominant reiterates its hegemony by internalizing difference as the same, by assimilating the recognizable difference of the


11 native informant and putting under erasure the irreducible difference of the subaltern. and Nanc s ingular p lural the ever present threat of co optation by this hegemonic logic. And Spivak calls this the articula te a resistant figure while not speaking on behalf of that figure or assimilating the aporias rary critical readings without rearticulating a subaltern subject that would reinsert the in visible subject Resistance of the Radically Other In order to lay out possible postcolonial critical attempts to articulate sites of attempts to posit a radical alternative to the movement of global capital ism, such as the assumption of a radical alterity in global terms that can defer co opt ation by the dialectical logic of the global sovereign. Exploring the dialectical sublation of the other in the performative dissemination of the pedagogical sign of the national global sovereign in the constitution of the hybrid sub ject I address through careful readings of Spivak the difference between the native informant both complicit and resistant to the hegemony of Enlightenment discourse, and the subaltern figure that cannot be assimilated by the dominant. According to Bhab ha, the subject is always rendered unstable by its inherent hybridity. The subject thus tries to resolve its difference by repeating its sign reconstitu ting its difference as same. However, this repetition of difference as the same


12 is always incomplete as the fundamental ambivalence of the subject This ambivalence is a result of the trace of an irreducible difference that the subject cannot fully co opt. Some critics try to retrieve this irreducible difference as the subaltern s ubject by de constructing the dominant paradigm founded upon the logocentrism of the sovereign universal subject So, following Bhabha, within the discourse on hybridity, we need to clearly differentiate between the inherent hybridity of the national global subject and recognized as part of the constitutive hybridity of the subject I aim to interrupt the narrative production of the subject sovereign, national, global, marginal, subaltern, etc. as in both the know er and the object to be known, particularly engaging with this epistemological split that produces what Walter Mignol o concerning nation and n arrative and (2) globalization studies addressing sovereignty and the subject enable an exploration of the im possibilities of imagining sites of radical alterity. constitution, I explore the limina lity of the sign of alterity and of the im locating radical resistance. In the process, I re evaluate the terms of critical engagement of both globalization and postcolonial studies at the point of their convergen ce. I argue that any difference identified in the repetition of the sign of the subject cannot be immediately termed radical since the repetition of the sovereign sign is the process of sublating that difference. Where then can that irreducible difference be subject even the


13 e. Even marginal identities in the process of subject constitution must reconstitu te difference as subsumable other that Spivak identifies as the native informant The difference of the subaltern that the subject cannot subsume, that cannot be textually recognized but can only be traced in its absence is then the trace of irreducible difference. And the tracing of this irreducible difference also marks the distance between complicity and resistance in the native informant and thereby deconstructs the logi c of the subject displacing the repetition of its hegemony into the ambivalence of resistance. In this way, the repetition of the sovereign sign can be made to resist its own reconstitution deferring its hegemony. Ethical Imperative of an Interruptive Read ing This difference between the native informant and subaltern in Gayatri possibility of radical resistance to the hegemony of Enlightenment discourse. I propose the importance of an interruptive reading of critical and fictional literature to map the genealogy of even postcolonial interventions into colonial discourse to create institutional spaces for the subaltern to insert itself into the narrative of subject constitution. H owever, this interruptive reading is not an instantaneous insertion of the subaltern subject as the center of a postcolonial critique of hegemony, to avoid inadvertently or surreptitiously assuming the voice of the subaltern from the standpoint of a postco the against the ess entialism of subject


14 understand the value s argued by the Indian Subaltern Studies group headed by the likes of Dipesh Chakrabarty and Ranajit Guha, did not begin with nationalist postcolonial nation states Resistance in the postcolonial context began with contact with the colonial other, and the project of the Indian Subaltern Studies group has been to recuperate traces of resistance even in colonial narratives of comprehensive native submission or complicit y. In its recuperative gesture, much postcolonial critical work restoration that suggests an uncontaminated sovereign native subject that had been repressed and marginalize d by colonialism, and whose holistic identity must be retrieved by postcolonialism, has been critiqued for its failure to address the fact that in the process of recuperating n ative identity it restores the r ational subject of Western discourse. Even Spiva address the limitations of restorative identity constitution and to problematize the constitution of the Western subject by recuperating only the traces of the native as other as integral to the epistemological teleology of th e Western sign to fractured traces to be defined in the gaps of the hegemonic discourse of Western subjectivity, and on the other, as still employing the tools of Western epistemology. Thus, eve n the Subaltern Studies project must at times take recourse to rationalization of the non rational signs of the native/subaltern as other to reconstitu te traces of native Subalter n


15 Studies: Vol 6 the speech of the subaltern, when it becomes available for study, has already been appropriated by th (315) The appropriation nstitution, but also at the point of postcolonial recuperation. So d oes the value of intervention lie in the interventionist value of the Subaltern Studies project or the critical understanding of that project in its poststructural limitations? Or in other words, is a strategy, once identified, to be valued in its specific application or the strategic recognition of its application and its specificity as both its efficacy and failure? The significance of the deconstructive gesture lies not in a ge neral moment of failure as the recognition of an other point of intervention, important in a certain recognition of a historical context. The project of interruption is t hen to identify an constitution, while assimilating the native informant is unable or unwilling to subsume by rendering it irrelevant and in gesture of the citizen subject the subaltern not beyond the limits of the text, but in t he constitutive erasure of its sign. However, in my reading of interruptive moments, I articulate a site that does not necessarily produce a synchronous contesting narrative. In fact, interruption at an apostrophic moment precisely recognizes an absence o f a synchronous narrative that displaces the interventionist strategy of subaltern subject constitution for the strategic purpose of interrogating the specific apostrophes necessary for that subject constitution.


16 Thereby the reading strategy aligns with Sp theoretical directive against the articulati work the theory cannot substitute for the strategy of reading moments of interruption in a text. The absolute difference of endless interruptions must be deferred through non repeatable interruptive readings of specific textual contextualizations. And while critical interruption will unavoidably re produce narrative recuperations of the subaltern subject effect, the essentializing function of that subjec t effect has to be displaced through the strategic realization of the narrative produced is a synchronous specter substituted for the inability/refusal of the text to narrati vize the subaltern figure. That is why I interject a reading of the historical figure of the Marrano through Derrida to problematize the constitution of subjects of to without recognition. I the n read the fiction of Amitav Ghosh and K. S. Maniam to illustrate this interruptive strategy to defer the slippage of the postcolonial subject into t he specter of absolute difference by retrieving apostrophic moments in the text Some critics, reading Ghosh and Maniam as postcolonial writers whose work allows the subaltern to speak, fail to address the genealogy of the figuration of the subaltern. The positing of postcolonial literature as the site in which the subaltern can finally speak is problematic


17 because of the politics of constituting the subaltern subject as a non Western figure tions, I intercept the narrative constitution of such subaltern subject s and displace the problematic idea of making the subaltern speak to a re evaluation of the site of the non speaking periphery. Such a re evaluation enables resistant readings of the pe riphery in its dialectical and non dialectical relations to the narrative center without refiguring its marginality in terms of a subaltern subject And in that process of interrupting the narrative I hope to elucidate a reading practice that is vigilant of its own critical gesture In Chapter 2 I address the issue of the sovereign subject at the heart of the postcolonial project of discursive resistance to the hegemony of Western logocentrism. of the resistant subject who can only be realized within the ambit of the sove reign rights of the citizen subject Current postcolonial criticism, in keeping pace with the discursive focus on globalization, explores the possibility of global resistance to what Hardt and to the constitution of a global sovereign. However, the work of scholars like Ankie Hoogevelt shows globalization as the evolution of capital ist exploitation based on global in e quities and not marking a radical change in the socio political economy of the world. Keeping that in mind, we need to be careful about easy articulations of radical alterity because a globally resistant postcolonial sub ject faces the threat of co opt ation from what Homi Bhabha identifies as the performative dissemination of the pedagogical sign of the


18 global sovereign. Through the work of scholars like Bhabha, Benedict Anderson, Aijaz Ahmed, Benita Parry, Timothy Brennan and others, I interrogate the nation as both the articulation of the hegemonic and the last defense of the local against the exploitative movement of global capital figured through the dialectical constitution of a global subjectivity that can be easily co opted by the accumulative logic of global capital ism. I begin Chapter 3 with the question of the subaltern as the (textual) site of a radical resistance. I establ ish that simple hybridity cannot be the condition of the radically resistant subject ; instead radical difference must be traced to the specific moment/s in the text when the narrative, in an apostrophic gesture, turns away from an ineradicable difference t hat it is not able or is unwilling to dialectically resolve in the constitution of the textual subject As I clarify in the chapter, I do not wish to retrieve subalternity in a textual figure, at the center or at the periphery, as subject or other/object. irreducible difference that the narrative cannot dialectically sublate and that forecloses the inherent hybridity of the text beyond the assimilation of the native informant Tracing th e subaltern is tracing the genealogy of narrative subject constitution in its attempts to externalize its internal splitting in the erasure of the unassimila ble as the irrelevant. Because positing even a resistant other reincorporates the dominant as su bject at the center of the text, I conceptualize the subaltern in its difference from the native informant I posit the question: i s the difference between the native informant and the subaltern to be identified as the diffrance of the consolidated other to the radically other? I n order to explore the possibility of the radically other as a site of global and


19 s ingular p lural multitude and as well as While these concepts offer interesting possibilities of articulating resistance to the logic of globalization I argue that resisting co optation by the homogenizing imperative of the networks of power of the global sovereign must be c/sited in the im possibility of the Derridean event in Aporias passage, indeed the nonpassage, which can in fact be something else, the event of a In Chapter 4, I take up the central problem of how subaltern resistance can be identified by tracing the narrative process of subaltern subject cons titution without reconstituting essentialist identities and reappropriating marginal voices in the name of postcolonial resistance. I look at major critiques of the work of the Indian Subaltern to clearly understand must not only attempt to retrieve a subaltern agent who can speak for himself or herself, but also deconstruct the critical project of that retrieval in order to interrupt the circulation of systemic theories that known ty in the textual absence that marks the


20 the inaccessible historical figure of the subaltern beyond the margins of the text and instead focuses our critical attenti on on the textual constitution of subjectivity. In Chapter 5, I trace the genealogy of postcolonial theorizations of diaspora to the term Biblical roots, retracing a legacy of erasure to the Marrano experience in 15th century Spain. Following the work of Elaine Marks, I approach the Marrano as metaphor to explore Marrano difference as defining the constitutive gesture of Spanish national identity that in order to externalize and expunge the threat of internal impurity instituted the systematic persecut ion of converted Jews in the form of the Spanish Inquisition. I then follow the legacy of the Marrano to the critical deconstructive practice of Jacques Derrida in whose work I situate develop in my work Tracin g this Marrano difference then enables the vigilant reader to suspend the dialectical production of the textual subject by identifying those specific moments of narrative sublation when the recognizable difference of the other is assimilated in the form of the native informant and the unassimila ble difference of the subaltern is put under erasure. And the specific legacy of the Marrano, in the context of postcolonial critical engagements with the concept of diaspora enables the vigilant reader to interrup t his or her own critical project in order to understand that the native informant is not produced as a result of an essential otherness of these two figures, but is re produced by that dialectical process of narrative sublation through which the subject constitutes itself. This realization is crucial for the critic to defer a similar gesture of critical appropriation in constituting the native informant and especially the subaltern as objects/subjects of this postcolon ial


21 In Chapter 6 I look at the work of two Indian English writers of differing backgrounds to interrupt their fictional narratives as well as the critical approaches to their work to trace the legacy of Marrano difference even in the subject constitution of postcolonial diasporic narratives. Amitav Ghosh is generally regarded as one of the stalwarts of Indian English fiction and many critics regard his work as example s of cosmopolitan postcolonial fiction. K. S. Maniam, on the other hand, is a Malaysian writer of Indian diasporic origins who explores the indentured roots and diasporic identity of the Indian community in Malaysia. Through careful read ings, not only of the works of fiction, but critical responses to the ir texts, I explore how the cosmopolitan identity of the diasporic context of plantation laborers in M alaysia. I trace the legacy of the indentured Indian plantation laborer in Malaysia, displacing that legacy on to the narrative of work process of subaltern subject constit ution to explore how even in the process of giving Maniam has to peripheralize other voices and put other subalterns under erasure. So continue to intervene in the dialectical logic of sublation to strategically interrupt these apostrophic moments of erasing subaltern absent presences to displace the circulation of the hegemonic sig n of even the postcolonial subject in order to create critical spaces


22 for the recog nition of subalternity and to imagine the aporia of the subaltern inserting himself or herself into that discursive space.


23 CHAPTER 2 RESISTING GLOBALIZATION: INTERROGATING THE SOVEREIGN At the juncture of the discourses of globalization and postcolonial efforts to this generalized notion is an expedient category to address a central concern that continues to haunt diverse critical lies the subject e the term postcolonial following the critical trajectory of Ashcroft, Griffiths and Tiffin in their important work The Empire Writes Back Thus postcolonial, in my work (unless otherwise indicated), does not define a political moment of resistance and lib eration at the point of the demise of the colonial, but signifies a discursive field imagined post contact between the colonial West and the The Discourse of Globalization Does globalization reconstitu te the concept of sovereignty and hence the sovereign subject national identity? Does globalization offer avenues of resistant identity formation by liberating the subject from the colonial cartography of nation states? Can the global sovereign subject be the site/s for the articulation of borderless resistant identities, multiple and fluid in their prerogatives, and radically beyond the politics of national priorities? se phenomenon though not homogeneous in its strategic deployments. Thus as a discursive field it incorporates arguments for a liberative expansion of the socio politico su bject again as its implicit


24 center) progressively incorporating previously marginalized sections of the world, and thereby providing people from all nations access to the resources and democratic definition of globalization does not limit its accumulative movement in one direction the marginalized communities are not simply consumed by the hegemonic logic of the West; they enrich global society with their labor and their dive rse cultures, and their of free market capitalism. Globalization as discursive field also includes arguments against the post imperial colonial expansion of Western hegemony through the technological improvements of world capital ism emphasizing the progressive colonization of global labor aided by the comprador bourgeoisie of postcolonial nation states. Globalization in critical discourse also constitutes the site of the transnational diaspora whose multiple, hyphenated identities counter the logic of nation states with their rigidly defined territorial sovereignty producing and limiting the identity of the national sovereign subject Finally, some critics, while argu ing against the politico economic expansionism of global imperialism, also point out the global fault lines opened up by this uneven process; these fault lines marked at the sites of detention centers, refugee camps and illegal immigrants marking identitie s that the discourse of are sites of global oppression and also resistance. I define globalization as a discursive field to highlight its discursive production and emphasis in recent literary c discursively produced, the constitution of a performative and internally coherent


25 discourse also produces identities and affects the identities it produces. Thus I do not mean to dismiss the significa nce of the discourse of globalization by arguing against its emphasize the discursive nature of globalization as in constitution or in performance, and hence, open to c ontesting constitutive gestures that can significantly affect the globalization also define the constitution of the global sovereign subject and by corollary its influence on subject constitution in narratives of resistance. Globalization as a discursively constituted ontological referent is further problematized by the different approaches to its definition. G lobalization is seen by some as a recent politico econo mic phenomenon, originating post World War II as technological innovations, particularly in the spheres of communication and travel, progressively produced a global time and space compression apt phrasing This allowed the evolution of multi national corporations (MNCs). These MNCs aided by the World Bank and the United Nations weakened the regulative and protectionist capabilities of nation states while exploiting the unequal conditions of exchange established through the postcolonia l process that produced the modern cartographic division of the globe into First, Second and Third Worlds. In fact, most developing countries actively seek to attract MNCs by offering to lower tariff barriers, providing free access to resources, and loweri ng taxes, for the increased trade they bring with them. While governments claim job production thus lowering unemployment, critics argue against the destruction of local economies and ways of living as well as


26 against the inter globalization is thus marked by an increased growth in world trade. Ankie Hoogvelt, in her excellent work entitled Globalization and the Postcolonial World published in 1997 has systematically argued against this kind of simplistic definition of globalization as a recent phenomenon that posits a radical break with the pre globalization politico economic setup. If globalization is to be defined by its expanding networks of power spearheaded by technological innovations, then the difference between the early stages of European colonialism and the current stage of globalization is the rate of innovations and not the substance. European colonial expansion, crucial to the development of European nation states, went hand in ha nd with technological innovations, and one process fed, and fed upon, the other. Globalization, then, is substantively a political evolution of the process that gave rise to the postcolonial cartography of the modern nation states. If economically, globalization is to be defined by the increase in world trade, Hoogvelt, after looking at available quantitative measurements of world production and trade from 1800 to 1993, comes to does not dismiss globalization, but defines it a deepening, but not widening capitalist integration capital ist relations with minor recalibrations does not concurrently necessitate greater access to and increased mobility have allowed greater control of inter national labor by the


27 developed nations and some of the larger developing nations while the shared lifestyle of a globalized world is necessaril y restricted to the urban educated elite (preferably time, the logic of globalization (or global capital ist networks of accumulation) functions by the selective exclusio n of large sections of the world population. As noted by Hoogvelt : Within the framework of the new informational economy, a significant part of the world population is shifting from a structural position of exploitation to a structural position of irreleva nce. (89) The growth of world trade cannot be measured without addressing the mode of as discourse, depending on its strategic deployment for politico economic rea sons, has a significant impact on identity politics: from the systemic exploitation of inter national ands a continuous and critical politics of resistance. These resistant identities (global or national/local) are then defined in opposition to the global sovereign subject implicit as the in visible center of the discourse, in whose a priori sign is guaran teed the global imaginary. From the Sovereign Subject to the Global Sovereign The accumulative movement of globalization is realized in the name of a global sovereignty condition of its own institution. T legitimizes the de centered and multi of power. The autonomous, hegemonic authority of the sovereign is realized in the political institution/s of nation states whose narrative production dialectically resolves a


28 radical constitutive split between the pedagogical, historical immanence of its master image and the repetitious, performative dissemination of its variable sign. In the pr ocess, the nationalist narrative sublates its inherent cultural difference, transforming the subject The people/ subject as political entity is stripped of the creat ive force of the multitude and subjected to biopolitcal control, having surrendered its radical agency to the hegemonic law of sovereign authority. in my work to indicate the d constitution aufheben that he uses in the double meaning of ( aufgehoben care of ( wohl aufgehoben Hegel to the The Encyclopaedia Logic in his Transla Logic : Some Minority Comments on Terminology his disagreement with the other two translators over some specific words, elaborates on aufheben English. Suc


29 which one log ical category successively does away with and also includes an Luc Nancy in Hegel: The Restlessness of the Negative property of conjoining two op posite senses, and of thus being by itself, in itself, and Aufhebung significations, the subl ation or up Suchting goes on to point out that J. H. Stirling originally translated aufheben as The Se cret of Hegel meant by its dictionary (xxxv). essentially re coined the term specifically to denote the speculative spirit of the original coinage fulfills its purpose its original obscurity native words to conceptualize his philosophical tenets. The translator believes that the ordinary lation of aufheben as it also carries x vi). He aufheben particularly because aufheben ise up work following the general practice in English translations of Hegel to conceptualize the


30 dialectical process by which difference is bo th assimilated and removed to produce a subject However, this consolidated subject This sublated difference is theref ore both co opt ed and preserved in the subject that In my work engagement with the native informant and the subaltern to distinguish betw een the assimilable difference subject The trace of the native informant ptual subject while the trace of the subaltern can be located at the site the subject cannot (or will not) assimilate. Nancy also states in Hegel: The Restlessness of the Negative that is significant in the context of the representation of subalternity in postcolonial criticism. is also the sublation of its constitution recuperations of the subaltern that I take up in greater detail in Chapter 4. The suppress the unassimilable difference behind the subalternization of that difference in : The concept of sublation is the concept of that which is its own upheaval and which, because it itself suppresses itself, itself succeeds itself, takes up where it itself leaves off. It is the concept of dialectical mediation, which is


31 nothing other than manifestation considered according to the form of its operation. Insofar as it is relation to sel f, manifestation is mediation. (51) So the imperative here is to conceptualize subalternity without sublating its irreducible difference in the constitution of a subaltern subject as the representation (the idea) of a (post )colonial text such attempts inevitably re produce the native informant (recognizable and sublatable) in the name of the subaltern. T to Hardt and Negri produces and controls constituted through the colonial process, and therefore, is a postcolonial p henomenon. Any postcolonial forms of resistance, whether seated at the center or the margins, or globally, must then interact with and oppose the constituting hegemony of the notion of the sovereign. An understanding of sovereignty is crucial to its decons truction, so that the notion of the sovereign may be put under erasure, fracturing its hold on biopower. This biopower must also simultaneously be put under erasure to recuperate the ever )modernity between the sovereign and the people. Though the concept of the sovereign nation state is identified by Hardt and Negri to be Euroce Euroce ntrism parallels the interaction between the colonies and colonial Europe that was crucial to the formation of the modern sovereign identity. As they state in Empire : ith the outside, and particularly through its colonial project and the resistance of the colonized. Modern sovereignty emerged,


32 then, as the concept of European reaction and European domination both within and outside its borders. (70) Therefore, critical readings of the presence/absence of alternative forms of nationalities, diff rance to the very Euroce ntrism they challenge and resist. The very impossibility of escaping the s overeign subject bind needs to be explored and exploded, to be erased and emancipated, for alterities of the modern subject to be proposed. The assumption of sovereignty, especially in Nancy, is the absolutum of its conception that bears testimony to the a ssumption of the universal reach of precedes it or supercedes it, that no authority or instituting force has been exercised ed, betraying the fundamental illegitimacy of certain sections of the masses whos e relation to sovereign law is only determined by force, and not by the force of authority, is not addressed by Nancy. It is possible to read, native informant alway s already present in the sovereign center even and especially tensions of sovereignty the de tachment of the sovereign that actually rested on the


33 detaching of significant sections of the population from the politics of the State as well as the integral conflict that biopolitics engendered that spread back to the Euro center had to contaminate and destabilize the authority of the sovereign. The crisis of the sovereign is/was not an inherent possibility that has manifested in the crisis of post modernity, but has been present from the very conception of this authority; it is only now that the transf ormation of global capital has aligned the dominant discourse in line with the fault lines of this originary conflict and thus allowed the recognition of this crisis. It is now convenient for capital to precipitate a critique of the present form of sovere ignty (of modern nation states) in the necessity of a dismantling and restructuring of a new, global politics of accumulation a re positing of a global sovereignty. This global sovereignty, however, retains structural similarities to the modern notion of t he (national) sovereign as the discursive center of an epistemological paradigm that is strategically deployed to recalibrate and maintain an inter national division of labor under the hegemonic sign of the Western subject In Empire Hardt and Negri ackno wledge the imperialist tendencies of the post modern condition of U.S. tension by progressiv exceptions to the development of imperial sovereignty should [perhaps] instead be linked together as a real tendency, an alternative with (177). The teleology of the global sovereign in its discursive constitution can thus be


34 traced to the sovereign subject of Western discourse under whose sign the modern cadastral politics of nation states was rationalized usually in West East, North South, d eveloped d eveloping c apitalist c ommunist d emocratic d espotic binary terms. This sovereign sub ject is not the site of universal empowerment for those who read themselves within this discursive paradigm. While the s ign of the sovereign subject is harnessed by those in power as the guarantor of the rules of engagement, which legitimize the existing h ierarchies of exploitation, as a detached signifier of absolute authority it detaches authority from the masses it constitutes as subject to its sovereign logic. This then demands an examination of sovereignty as the site of an essential contestation, but a contestation that is a part of the logic of its conception sovereignty as the site of subjection, where the subject is conceived as the multitude made into to regiment ation, to biopolitics, to control). David Harvey in Spaces of Hope published in 2000, identifies one of the not solely) state powers to regulate money, law, and pol itics and to monopolize the means of coercion and violence according to a sovereign territorial (and sometimes extra the exploitation of the very people whose collect )embodies. The people and the sovereign seem bound in dialectical tension as the creation of the one pre supposes the other, yet neither can be identified as foundational in this symbiotic relationship. The sovereign derives its authorit y from the people, yet it precedes its own :


35 it is the power that founds and forms the bond. The bond is not one of loyalty but authority, in the precise sense that the sovereign is the author of the law, whereas loyalty supposes a law that precedes it. (98) less and nothing more than the absolute monarch: namely, the very exercise of yet the institution as that preceding all other institutions under its purvey, including the institution of the people, stands (or is suspended above as then become s are critical productions of resistant subject s imagined globally, either as borderless or hyphenated identities, or nationally/locally as native or subaltern also necessarily and irrevocably constituted under the sign of the sovereign subject ? As such are these resistant subjectivities only recalibrations of the narrative of sovereign subject constitution? which alon as the source presupposing the body politic. The relation between the sovereign and the people marks the site of contestation where the fault lines of resistance can be imagine d. For sovereignty, overarching authority is this symbiotic relationship, for the finitude of the body politic limits the infinity of self constitution. The possibility of resistance lies in the realization i.e., the people themselves are deeply impli cated in the socio politico economic process of capitalist exploitation, and their own subjection to the global networks of


36 accumulation. There is then a necessity to reconstitu te the self, reimagine another mondialisation as opposed to globalization 28). Thus, the very discursivity of narratives of globalization suggests the possibility of constituting resistant subject s not necessarily sublatable by the hegemonic dialectic of resistance, its radicality is premised upon its eventuality and not its actuality in the present. The imaginary of such resistance seems to be the impetus for current practices of discursive resistance and not their substance. While Nancy envisages a discursive event beyond the dialectical bind that re produces difference as difference within the hegemonic discourse of Western rationality, he does not adequately address how such an event will defer the performative sublation of emergent critical resistances. I explore Chapter 3 Writ ing the Postcolonial Nation Does the passage of modern national sovereignty into the crystallizing dynamics of a sovereign Empire effectively resolve the dialectical tension of modernity and thereby subsume and internalize within its accumulative logic an y radical gesture of self reconstitution by the people ? There is, at present, a noticeable tendency towards national/inter national migrancies of displaced populations. Though the hybridities generated t hrough spatio temporal dislocations significantly reveal the fissures of sovereign borders that define unitary


37 identities of modern nation states, care has to be taken so that these are not effectively co opted in defining a global sovereignty legitimizing global regimes of capital migrant populations do not share either the same legitimacy or the same global mobility, and hence, all hybridities are not transnational in the same way. An important aspect of global sovereignty is that its logic seeks to include the selectively disenfranchises large groups of people, but seeks to simultaneou sly subsume them within its notion of global totality, thereby internalizing possibilities of resistance. Any assumption of an imperial sovereignty should thus immediately necessitate concomitant interruptions, mindful of the fact that this Empire is post national only in the sense that the logic of capital exploitation now seeks to diminish the authority of the nation (Harvey 65) vis vis its function as facilitating (by virtue of providing sta ble labor forces in On Communalism and Globalization: Offensives of the Far Right of the nation within the hegemonic logic of sovereignty becomes a necessary entry point in both modes/sites of resistance to the current politico economic structure of globa lization. On the transformation of the multitudes into a body politic subject to biopolitical control. This transformation is effected through social, histori cal and literary narratives


38 eign state. On the other hand, as both Aijaz Ahmad and Benita Parry argue, the insurgent postcolonial nation is or can be both the last bastion against the progressive agglomerating movement of global capital ist exploitation and the site for emergent artic ulations of identities resistant to the repressive hegemonic narratives of current nation states. In re tracing the emergence of the modern nation state, Homi K. Bhabha, in published in 1990, draws particular attention to the disjunction between the nation as historical reality and the nation as narrative production. In the former case, there is an implicit faith in the rical continuity, the nation national subject of being constructed through repetitious rituals of subjection of a heterogeneous : In the production of the nation as narration there is a split between the c ontinuist, accumulative temporality of the pedagogical, and the repetitious, recursive strategy of the performative. It is through this process of splitting that the conceptual ambivalence of modern society becomes the site of writing the nation (297) The argument that the nation is constituted of the dialectical tension of its pedagogical and performative impetus suggests a progressive narrative resolution that incorporates both aspects of this discursive tension. I agree with the inherent hybridity of th e national identity, but the narrative of the nation in its resolved image is marked by the


39 dissemination of the pedagogical and the erasure or at least the suppression of the performative aspect of its constitutive traces. The recognition of this constitu tive hybridity is essential for the emancipation of the national question from fundamentalist reiterations of purity/indigeny; however, so is the recognition of the essential erasure, sign I writing that the fundamentalism is itself a reaction to the persistent thre inscribed in its own text. This split, however, is a part of the constitutive dialectical marks the movement of meaning between the master ful image of the people and the movement of its sign [that] interrupts the succession of plurals that produce the recuperating this alterity in the constitutive hybridity of the nation in Chapter 3 In other words, the fabric of the nation is not in itself a recognition of its fabrication. My question is rearticulate the national site into a liberative possibility? Or doe s such an acknowledgment necessitate the conceptualization of an im possible site of resistance, if not outside, but displaced beyond the borders of the national narrative? The problem is that resistant narratives that articulate their resistance in the fo rm of emergent reconstitu ted from the fissures of other national narratives and are also subject to the same


40 rmative alterity that in visibly produces the pedagogical narrative of the nation for dissemination. Of course, the nation need not be articulated only in a dialectical discursive movement between the pedagogy and performance of its sign the nation can be bourgeois, identity articulating the national will in its own hegemonic imag e. This then opens the national space to the contestation of multiple imperatives where heterogeneous and differentiated limits of its territory. The nation cannot be conceived in a sta te of equilibrium between several elements co ordinated, The problem here is that this does not alter the fact that this heterogeneity is still conceived within the boundaries of a finite space and what Anderson calls group, community or even narrative is replaced, or the nation fractured into multiple emergent national identities, the narrative gesture that inscribes the body of t he nation the act of writing that mediates between the performative heterogeneity and the pedagogic immanence produces a body politic always already susceptible to sub ject in the name of expediency. state, the last obstacle to the new phase of the world wide expansion of trans national capital, and transform it


41 possible to argue that by all indications the progressive globalization of world capital ism has not necessarily resulted in the deconstructi on of nation states, but has, in fact, from certain perspectives rigidified national boundaries and fundamentalized notions of nationalist indigeny as a reaction to the homogenizing gestures of global networks of power. We must, however, still concur with Radhakrishnan in Between Identity and Location : the Cultural Politics of Theory that there is indeed no contradiction between the logic of globalization and the self interest of dominant nationalisms and nation states. Just as, analogously, notions of tra nsnationalism and internationalism are posited, not on the basis of any critical negation of and/or divestment from the ideology of nationalism but, rather, on the basis of a supra nationalism that holds on to and consolidates the privileges and prerogativ es of dominant nationalism; so too, globalization extends the regime of uneven development as it exists between developed and developing nations. (89) Fanon too earlier in 1961 in The Wretched of the Earth had argued that at the very moment of what was o ften a violent transition of the colonial state to a newly containment as has been noted earlier, had pa rtly developed out of the Enlightenment rationality of Western Europe that coincided with the rise of the bourgeois classes and the realization of the modern nation state Elaborating on this point Aijaz Ahmad states later in 1992 in his book In Theory: Classes, Nations, Literatures that in most (and in the most populous, the largest, the relatively more developed) countries not to revolutionary vanguards but to the national bourgeoisie poised for reintegration into subordi formerly militant sites of resistance were neatly incorporated into a new narrative of the global dominance of sovereign authority perfectly calibrated to feed the networks of


42 Empire by maintaining unequal development of, and unequal exchange between, nations and by extension the unequal global division of labor. In fact, the inability of the national narratives to acknowledge their constitutive heterogeneity is precisely what allows t he expanding networks of globalization to weaken the protectionist barriers of the nation states. Is it possible to reconceptualize national belonging or nationness or even to move beyond the nation state without being reconstitu ted as a part of the globa l subject subject to the accumulative logic of the global networks of power? Can the nation be interrupting those networks of Empire? In a sense then, I am advocating tha t site of necessitate displacing the moment of subjection though articulating a common cause in both its performative and pedagogic aspects. Such a cause, because of it s historic location and performative articulation, has to be necessarily situated in a specific context, but the deferment of the national narrative that would essentially incorporate it into the logic of global capital ism allows it to strategically seek c ommonality with other articulations of resistance from around the world. Such a project necessitates an interrogation of the epistemological constitution of the subject to explore the possibilities of resistant articulations of context specific subjectivit ies not immediately sublatable by the hegemonic narrative/s of the national global subject Constituting the Subject If the constitutive subject object split sublated in the epistemological production of the textual subject (with the subject of the text as its integral/dialectial other) is rearticulated in the narrative constitution of the national subject; if the subject represents


43 a part of the people, but canno t be the people, and if the plurality of the latter term suggests a collectivity or community that does not directly correlate with the individuality and self determination of the (post )modern subject, how might Allegories of Reading publis hed in 1979, re a question o f its constitutive rhetoric? In Allegories of Reading de Man addresses the inside outside and part whole distinction (of the text, i.e., of the sign vis vis its referent) through an interesting reading of the difference between grammar and rhetoric. De Man argues that these distinctions are textually produced and read as rhetorical tropes and that in each instance it can be shown that the two polar sites are actually bound (in text ual reading) in a dialectical relationship metaphorical in the first case and synecdochic (or interaction of grammar and rhetoric the distinction/s being textually produc ed as rhetorical tropes through the rhetorization of grammar, i.e., the production of a rhetorical figure in the syntactic relationship (paradigmatic and syntagmatic) of grammatical units. The significant thing to note is his observation that the rhetorica l figure depends, unlike that is, the rhetorical trope uses the essential ambiguity of reading to produce this dyadic relationship between two terms or two (or more) po ssible interpretations of the text. In fact, de Man argues that the power of the trope lies not in the possibility or existence of various interpretations (i.e. meanings) but because it engenders a


44 constitutive uncertainty in the reading where one interpre tation/meaning cannot be immediately and assertively given precedence over others. In his words : The grammatical model one hand, a literal meaning and on the other hand a figural meaning, but when it is impossi ble to decide by grammatical or other linguistic devices which of the two meanings (that can be entirely incompatible) prevails. Rhetoric radically suspends logic and opens up vertiginous possibilities of referential aberration. (10) In this sense, the dya p eople subject functions subject on the one hand, allows for the subjectivity of t he individual and, on the other, recog nizes the sovereignty of the (inter the subject nor the people precede the other, but are dialectically produced in the transformation of the multitude into a political constituent under the hegemony of sovereign law: if the concept of the people subsumes the cultural difference of the multi tudes, then the subject contains this difference as individuation of a collective identity without disrupting the sovereignty of the collective. As Bhabha aptly puts it: Out of many one its spatial expression of a unitary people subject serves as the name of subject without eople and no eople without subject This problem resurfaces in my engagement with the multitude in Chapter 3 particularly in reference to the work of constitution of the subject and to deconstruct it unde r the sign of its difference. The


45 constitution of the national subject correlates to the narrative dialectic of the nation state the citizen; the subjective space reconciles the possibility of individual agency with the legitimacy of sovereign/national autonomy. In fact, it is in the realization of this sovereign autonomy that the national subject coincides with its global form. The global subject need not be articu lated in supra national terms. In so far as global sovereignty power that produce, maintain and exploit the unequal division of labor, the post national subject is coincid ent with its national avatar as integral to the inter national cartography of Empire. In this process of nationalist subjection, the radical difference that the subject tive split, instead of marking an inherent, irreconcilable heterogeneity, becomes necessary for the performative articulation of national individuality from within the pedagogic immanence subje ct within the (post )national space is precisely this dialectic between pedagogic immanence and performative continuity: t he transformation of the multitude by the s based on the pre repetitiously reconstitu of signification that must erase any prior or originary presence of the nation people to demonstrate the prodigious, living principle of the people as that continual process by which the national


46 life is redeemed and signified as a repeating and reproduct this essential doubling of the temporal (and spatial) id dialectically subsumed into the reconstitu tion of a homogeneous site of national sovereignty. The problem, it would seem, with my understanding of the subject in the dialectical movement of narrative production is the possibility of the complete subsumption of subjective agency in the dialectical resolution of the pedagogic and performative temporalities of the national body politic. As I explore later in an important debate within the project of the Indian Subaltern S tudies group in Chapter 4, it is precisely this understanding of the complete subsumption of subjective agency and the possibility of resistance that can inadvertently reify the hegemonic sovereign in postcolonial theory in the very attempt to recognize an d resist its dialectical reach. The postcolonial subject in the reconstitu tion of the postcolonial nation was also subjected to bourgeoisie hammered into the colonized m ind the notion of a society of individuals The Wretched of the Earth does not divest the postcolonial subject of anti colonial agency though it is not clear how he emancipates the si te of subjection from its dialectical bind. In fact, he colonized subject (later transformed into the postcolonial subject regulating role in ensuring the colonized


47 subject embourgeoisement of the colonized mind, however, shows a recalibration of the national sovereignty. As Benita Parry argu es in Postcolonial Studies: A Materialist Critique published in 2004 knowledge about itself, the less it is able to assume political agency on behalf of that in In Theory urrently fashionable theories of the fragmentation and/or death end of the social, the impossibility of stable subject positions, hence the death 65). Ahmad, while arguing against the comprador bourgeois subject of the postcolonial nation, also objects to the surrender of the site of the subject to the hegemonic log ic of dialectical sublation under the sign of the sovereign. It seems to me (Radhakrishnan 142). Radhakrishnan, in Between Identity and Location goes on to argue tha creation of a new subjectivity is not entirely emancipatory; it is equally a matter of :


48 It is of vital importance that nationalist thought coordinate a new and differ ent space that it can call its own, a space that is not complicit with the universal Subject of Eurocentric enlightenment, a space where nationalist politics could fashion its own epistemological, cognitive, and representational modalities. The break from colonialism has then to be both political and epistemological. (194) The problem is that even while conceptualizing an epistemological break, there is a need to be aware of the pre given epistemological terms reincorporated into the conception of radical a lterity. Radhakrishnan does realize that in the articulation of a postcolonial subject no matter how radical its premise, there is a concurrent and national identity. In h is words : The contradiction lies in the fact that the unification of the people is going to be undertaken not in their own name, but in the name of the emerging nation and the nation state that is to follow. The subaltern valence of the people has to be reformed as a prerequisite for their nationalization. The people thus become a necessary means to the superior ends of nationalism. (198) The Native Informant and the Subaltern T he pedagogical constitution of the sovereign subject and its performative repe tition in the national global imaginary are coincident in the postcolonial context with the discourse of Western hegemony. Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak, in A Critique of Postcolonial Reason published in 1999 traces the constitution of this sovereign subject to the Enlightenment discourse on Rational Man. Her argument is that the discursive production of the Rational Man in the works of Kant, Hegel and Marx foreclosed the figure of the native informant Man native informant needed the native informant ree


49 subject Thus unlike the subaltern, the native informant is visibly present as the repository of the negative affects expulsed from the discursive constitution of the des ire and repulsion in relation to the native informant a desire implicit in the implicit foundation of the sovereign subject as the center of Western rationalist discourse. In her excellent The Critique of Judgment Spivak states for gems ] a final pur pose we must assume, not only first an intelligent Being (for the possibility of things of nature for which we are compelled to judge of as purposes ), but also a moral Being, as author of the CJ 22). The teleology of the Enlightenment su bject that legitimizes the discourse of rational purpose, the discourse of my project as well, links it to the sign of the sovereign that also rationalizes the inter national and now global exploitation of those sections of the world population that it dis tropology of the native informant The pedagogical institution of the rational and free subject by repressing the difference within in the repetitious performance of foreclosing the other as Native Informant mirr ors the discursive re production of the nation in the argument native informant Spivak reads this discursive ruse as the name of Man


50 This discursive foreclosure of the native informant as the sign of difference sublated in the dialectic of the We stern subject is at the heart of the crisis of resistance. At the same time Spivak argues that this act of foreclosure also marks the native informant as the site of resistance. I quote her at length before exploring this assertion : The possibility of the production of the native informant by way of the colonial/postcolonial route and thus, ultimately, in books such as this one, is lodged in the fact of that, for the real needs of imperialism, the in choate in fans ab original para su bject cannot be theorized as functionally completely frozen in a world where teleology is schematized into geo graphy (writing the world). This limited access to being human is the itinerary of the native informant into the post The discur sive production of the teleology of Western hegemony as it re produces the performance as it repetitiously reconstitu tes the native informant as the fetishized other, performat ively consumable as its constitutive difference. The constitution of the native informant as completely recog nition as the always present, repetitiously narra tives of postcolonial resistance. This entry cannot be read, however, as the reconstitu tion of the native informant subject Spivak reads the native informant We stern subject subject fetishized native informant pos tcolonial subject inhabits the (im)possible perspective of the native informant or the native informant is (im)possible precisely because the possibility of its resistant reading lies in the imp ossibility of the retrieval of an authentic essentialist native subject Reconstructions


51 of native native informant as the subject writer re produces the native subject in a d iscursive performance as repetition in difference of the hegemonic discourse it seeks to destabilize. Instead of essentializing this discursive reproduct ion of an image of native authenticity, I argue that it is more fruitful to read the repetition in diff erence as repetition as difference, i.e., the critical appropriation of the discourse of identity formation to deconstruct hegemonic identities and in the process posit counter hegemonic identities as strategic contestations of power. Reading the native in formant as native subject discursively re produced as the narrative center of resistant d workings of this complicity. the subaltern. While the native informant is marked by the always present differe nce of its sign, the figure of the subaltern is marked by its always absent presence. The native informant is its presence speaks (is spoken for) precisely of its otherness and the need for its rejection. The subaltern, a its presence (and it has a presence that produces its discourse, or to be more precise, its discourse produces its presence) is constituted by its silence/absence. The speaking subaltern or the subaltern subject in the act of speaking has already overlapped into the role of the native informant Both figures are spoken for in postcolonial discourse, but while the native informant


52 subaltern as a strategy for layering the postcolonial text its textual constitution of spatio temporal borders and the outside as well as the point of mediation between the discursive hegemonic center and the native periphery While the native informant is the mark of mediation where the colonial subject rhetorically constitutes its sovereign identity, the subaltern is the site of liminality where the excess of the native, after its hat excess which cannot be uttered), is displaced. The Subaltern as O/other articulates her objections to the limit ations of postcolonial critical gestures In her seminal essay, Chow argues against the essentialisms of postcolonial narratives of native authenticity, but at the same time finds the project of recovering native identity in the g aps of the dominant discourse problematic. She addresses the grain. In Chapter 3 forms of knowledge or


53 postcolonial cri image identif ication, the two types of freedom the subaltern has been allowed object formation and subject constitution protection (as object) from her own kind or her achievement as a voice assimilable to the project of evidence of imperialist oppression (the nak ed body, the defiled image) and what, in the absence of the original witness to that oppression, must act in its place by performing or feigning as the pre imperialist The Colonial Harem Chow critiques his project of recovering the identities of Algerian women in picture post cards that French soldiers aphic gaze of the French soldiers is critic sympathizes with the natives, his status as invisible writing subject is essentially different from not identical with, th stable ontology for the pictures or the pornographic gaze, Chow suggests that in the process of his critique Alloula re


54 images in terms of content rathe r than as a signifying process which bears alternative her one alternative to avoid the critical reinscription of a (post strategy presumably wo uld draw attention to the discursive production of the colonial text instead of re producing the colonial gaze. Eventually, Chow goes on to elaborate her thesis as combating the construction of the native as the straightforward or direct native as subject, nor the gaze of the anti imperialist critic like Alloula; rather it is a simulation of the g prior to her becoming image. (139) si her focus on native silenc e, I also take up in my project what I believe is an enabling distinction between the figures of the native informant and the subaltern. While both would still be projections of the objet petit a the name for those 138). She clarifies that the


55 mode of understanding the native that is, an existence contact, an text, her postulation of the meta produces a binary discourse of pre and post contamination/colonization as a meta text premised upon the historical coordinates of 2002, she ds light on the structural problematics of this theoretical framework. In this article, she argues against the implicit recourse to the hegemonic discourse of Western (colonial) rationality by postcolonial, poststructural narratives of resistance. Early on in her article, there is a disconcerting confusion between readings of structuralism and poststructuralism. In her own words : The one indisputable accomplishment of poststructuralist theory in the past several decades has been its systematic unsettling o f the stability of meaning, its interruption of referentiality. If such meaning had never been entirely stable even in pretheory days, what poststructuralist theory provides is a metalanguage in which it (meaning) can now be defined anew as a repetitive ef fect produced in the chain of signification in the form of an exact but illusory correspondence between signifier and signified. (172) While the distinction between structuralism and poststructuralist theory is not absolute, and the first bleeds into the s econd, the two categories can be strategically deployed to


56 highlight significant discursive differences. The poststructural systemic constitution of meaning that Chow identifies is generally ascribed to the structural theories of Saussure and Lvi Strauss; poststructuralism refutes the internal coherence of the linguistic structure as a stable system of meaning and point of reference for the signifier, thus interrupting the repetitive performance of the systemic constitution of meaning. It seems to me that this general confusion has some bearing on her eventual recourse in the she imperfect, irreducible difference that is not pure difference but difference thoroughly 185). Chow pr oduces a generalized and inclusive notion of poststructuralism and its deployment by postcolonial critics that is supposed to circumvent the notion of inclusive. She argues t (180). However, that same process of their criticism of Western would in fact ne ed to go against or abandon altogether the very theoretical premises (of She


57 equates deconstructive practice with what she identifies as the repetitive gesture of post structural meaning constitution, stating : Inevitably, difference as such will continue to fragment and dismantle whatever specificity that may have been established through it, once again rendering the goal of stable objectification impossible. Permanent differentiation and permanent impermanence: these are the key features of poststructuralist theoretical practice as we find it today. (179) While critical deconstructive practices have countered epistemological claims of a positivistic ontology, Chow ignor I posit that the argument needs to be displaced to a different register of enquiry namel well as their limitations as they seek out subaltern identities (premised on race, gender, class, caste and other identity markers) as sites of resistance from traces of hybridity coincident with the rep etitious performance of the dominant subject My purpose in deconstructing literary and critical constitutions of subalternity is not to universally reject the hege mony of Western discourse, but, in those specific instances, to fore stall and defer the constitution of the subaltern subject Chow goes on to ask that if theoretical references to Western discursive practices are test imony to the hegemony of Western discourse itself, then what to be located at some radical site outside the referentiality of Western discourse. Arguing against a ssumptions of radical non Westernity from within Western discourse,


58 in Chapter 3 I explore theoretical articulations of radical resistance as sites of counter hegemonic postcolonial identities.


59 CHAPTER 3 LOCATING RADICAL ALTERITY: ARTICULATING GLOBAL NATIONAL RESISTANCES TO THE HEGEMONIC How is the subaltern to be defined and to be identified? Who is/are the subaltern? Here the choice between the singularity and plurality of the subaltern is an important one because the choice is between the ind ividualization of the radically other and the plurality of a radical collective. Again, in the case of the latter, is the collective a singular (hence, potentially political) body that is unconscious of its own political potential? Or are the collective a multitude of differences strategically identified as subaltern in the radical solidarity (a potential solidarity; a very strategic politics of solidarity) of their unvoicing? Or is subalternity a theoretical term strategically employed to mark the a prio ri slippage of an other the other that has not been (cannot be) postcolo into irrelevance? Each of these questions mark s the problematic of the subaltern, its essential undefinability, not because it remains beyond definition, but because it has no presence in definition. It indefinitely defers its definition because it can only be defined (identified) at a strategic theore tico The Textual Apostrophe of the Subaltern in performance of the statement of identity: national global, colonial, postcolonial, etc. This hybridity cannot be the universal particular, the answer to the question of radical difference. The identification of hybridity is the fulcrum of the deconstructive strategy of intercepting the reading of a text that cannot end with the identification of the representative hybrid as the radical subject The problem lies in the project of identification, the subject constitution of the chosen identity as a troping of the rational


60 subject In her reading of Roberto Spivak clearly cautions : If, however, we are driven by a nostalgia for lost origins, we too run the risk that he is a name i n a play, an inaccessible blankness circumscribed by an [C] laiming to be Caliban legitimizes the very individualism that we must persistently attempt to undermine from within. (118) This is precisely why I read the subaltern at the sit e of the textual apostrophe. A Critique of Postcolonial Reason The word apostrophe ine the apostrophic moment in the text as the precise point at which the narrative turns away subject The apostrophic moment is thus other dialectic, but is also the deconstruc tive moment of the essential unraveling and revealing of textual hybridity. As Spivak has shown, it is imperative for the critical reader to intercept this apostrophic moment to enable a truly interruptive reading strategy, to interrogate the narrative mec hanisms by which the text constitutes its subject and its other/s, and refuses turns away from constituting the subaltern. The subaltern essentially lies outside subjection, not because it is ontologically indefinable, but because it is epistemologically spot. The subaltern, and here I am reading a very literary subaltern, the subaltern as text, has no ontological presence beyond the text to be retrieved. I am interested in the trace of the subaltern that marks the constitution of the hyb ridity of the textual play of the subject and the native informant The textual subject turns away from the native informant only to mirror


61 in performance of the statement of its identity has to constitute the borders of its narrative and consequentially define the limits of its performance. In the process, it not only performs its hybridity through the subjects of its narrative, both subject and other, but also performs the absence of what lies beyond its definitive boundaries. The subaltern is not the radical outside of the text and its textual boundaries, but necessarily a trope to conceptualize that outside. The subaltern is a turning away rel the text. It importantly helps the reader as interceptor, the interruptive reader, to realize constitutive statement. The subaltern is therefore the closest we can get to writing about speaking o f the radically other, which is not an subject refuse to or are unable to textually consolidate it. The sign of the subaltern is not the constitution of the textually radical. It is traced and lost at the site of the narrative in performan ce has to turn away in order to perform its statement of identity, and the interruption of subalternity, its sign in strategic interruptive reading, is made to bear the statement of this apostrophic performance. The subaltern sign is neither a testament no r testimonial to radical alterity, which is also a trope of truth telling. My engagement with the figure of the subaltern is precisely to defer this critical trope of radical alterity that often becomes the backdoor for consolidating more native


62 informant s to the truth telling of the Western subject and effectively re turn the conversation to the strategic deconstruction of literary texts for specific subaltern traces. In f apostro phic instance is also the instance of interruption at both instances of writing and subaltern, and my proposed critical reading interrupts the narrative turn at t his moment recog nize the eruption of the im possibility of re figuring the subaltern. This interruption is marked at the interception of the text in its movement from the implied reader to the implied receiver. How can the subaltern be radically other? The conceptualization of the radically other, or even of radical difference, pre conceives a narrative epistemological center in the sovereign subject to posit the possible alterity. My reading seeks to displace th is problematic of the alter subject to tracing the im possible narratives from which dominant historiography turns away as its philosophical, ethical, and political imperatives. The weight of the significance of this crucial distinction between the subalte rn trace and radical alterity is arrived, cannot arrive and is being conceived of. It signifies the eventuality of an im possible realization of the finitude of sovereig nty and by corollary sovereign, democratic, rational discourse, not by tracing some impossible other as the other subject but by


63 re tracing the subaltern that the sovereign refuses to, and therefore is unable to, by its own narrative compulsion, recog nize. Is the difference between the native informant and the subaltern to be identified as the diffrance of the consolidated other to the radically other? Is the subaltern, as opposed to the sovereign subject native informant in self constitution, the site of radical resistance to the dominant narrative of Western epistemology? Christopher Watkin points out that this question of radical alterity has haunted Western and particularly French philosophy since the publication of Levin Totality and Infinity resistance as alterity as a means to situate the native informant and th e subaltern through the ideas of Nancy, Hardt and Negri, Derrida, Homi K. Bhabha, Radhakrishnan, and finally, Walter Mignolo. The expanding networks of Empire progressively subsuming the globe by the logic of c apitalist accumulation has in the last few decades brought about an urgent sense of the necessity of a global resistance. The question is how to envision this resistance: whether as a global movement capable in its scope of resisting the expansive reach of globalization, or as multiple local resistances, distinct in their contextual specificity, yet global in their multitude, thereby defeating the very logic of translating the world into a single consumable global idiom? Would a global resistance necessitat prerogatives, or in other words, provincial loyalties, capable of presenting a unified front against the advance of Empire? I have previously argued the problems associated with


64 the a ssumption of a global subject as the other of an imperial sovereignty, which would legitimize a global structure of exploitation and internalize/institutionalize resistance as subject to its own logic. The need for resistance from within, for a deconstru ctive movement questioning the self constitutive institution of imperial sovereignty, is of the utmost importance at present; any such deconstructive gesture, however, has to be particularly aware of its own assumptions and whether such assumptions are ali gned with the logic of the very exploitative regime it seeks to resist. At the same time, we need not assume the institution of Empire inevitable. The formulation of resistance in global terms need not a priori assume the institution of a and Negri in Empire by preserving the differences that localized individuals and communities share i n material, political, social and ideological terms, without translating the detached authority of its own sovereignty. Empire in 2000 and then dedicated their subsequent publication Multitude in 2004 to resist the subsumption of resistance under the sign of the sovereign subject in the figure p eople lready explored in Chapter 2 The p eople


65 Multitude by imagining a singular body of resista nce composed of a set of singularities whose difference cannot be reduced to sameness, a difference that contrast to the undifferentiated unity of the people. (99) Luc Multitude even though the latter introduced the idea in his book The Inoperative Community in 1991 and then in 1996 devoted tre Singulier Pluriel (translated into English in 2000, the same year as the publication of Empire ) to further explore this notion of a Being in common or Be ing with that avoids the subject other dichotomy of the Heideggerian Dasein clearly stat es in Being Singular Plural that the origin of Being is the affirmation of with is traced in the multiplicity of origins of the originary idea of Being( in common). This originary multiplicity does not indicate multiple origins, but posits repetitions of an originary an alter originarity) being other dichotomy. According to Nancy : the being other of the origin is not than the than the world; it is a question of the alterity or alteration of the world. In other words, it is not a question of an aliud or an alius or an alienus or an other in general as the essential stranger who is opposed to what is proper, but of an alter each one and it is ea ch time one, one among them, one among all and one among us all. In the


66 simultaneous as well as success ive, in every sense), the other origin of the same world. (11) in common is not founded on a simple plurality of singular beings. Such a commonality would suggest that the singularity of identity precedes the plurality of a finite community while Being defined in the sharing of an originary Being together. In The Inoperative Community Nancy states : Being in common means that singular beings are, present themselves, and appear only to the extent that they compear ( comparaissent ), to the extent that they are exposed presented, or offered to one another. This compearance ( comparution ) is not something added on to their being; rather, their being comes into being in it. (58 [emphasis mine] ) other re in the plurality of Being with. The presentation of singularities that is in with and can only present itself in the plurality of its but being appearing to itself, not even in common with itself, just immanent Being immersed in a dense pearance ( parence compar oir appear forma notion of Being definition, in diffrance to certain possible meanings that it does not wish to share. I retrieve the trace of this judgment, of the law


67 subject of in with is very important, for here Nancy is clearly opposing the idea of radical alterity as an al ter identity that is radically different to the world, an essential Other to the essential Self. This distinction subject in Location of Culture in 1994, the Other as the essential alterity to the Self is necessarily constitutive of that Self and is part of its identity. In a sense, radical alterity is not an alterity at all, in the sense of an alter identity, as it is the non other, that which is not conceived in the constitution of the world. Nancy here seems to have taken this a step farther to argue that there is no possibility of such a radical alterity, since identity as Being is fundamentally reduced to Being other which is Being with where all into being of the multitude, Nancy each time Being in interrogate the limits of this idea of sharing of meaning that Nancy elaborates in Being Singular P lural scearu that is so central to the articulation of the commonality of Being with. To propose an idea of sharing that is all inclusive is a recourse to a rhetorical trope that denies the Being otherwise of every(one)thing that cannot partake


68 inevitable, but I argue that Nancy falls into this trap as he attempts to articulate an all inclusive no rhetorical trope can still follow the dangerous trajectory of identity politics unless critically intercepted. While I argue that the radically Other cannot be defined without ass imilating its radical difference, I locate the trace of the radically unknowable, the im possible, in the trace of the subaltern. Derrida would argue that one has to face the possibility of radical difference in the im ose on that im possibility is to erase the trace of the subaltern and deny the apostrophic moment wherein the subject sublate the singularly im possible whose trace marks the limits of both singularity and plurality. While the trace of the subaltern is has to be f the subaltern marked by that trace both in its present absence and its absent presence must remain radically im possible. In Derridean terms, I argue that Nancy merely defers in definitely the subject meaning among the multitudes. The presence of this Being with, this Being in common, defines this presence as different from the pure p resence that is undivided and hence is both absent and present. In the context of my work


69 both absent and present, that is a could never have been presence of an ontological essence of Being, Nancy h as also foreclosed on the subaltern, and consequently produced a pure absence that is also both absent and present and whose trace I retrieve at this apostrophic turn of the text (of Being Singular Plural ). I disagree with Nancy that this absent presence ( or present absence) does not conceptualization of this Being in common that evades the subject other dichotomy of Dasein the alterity for the need for radical alterity. The absent have marked as the subaltern is also undivided because it has no presence because it is a present absence; it has no singularity, but is contextual in producing contextually the singularity of the textual subject even when th at subject seeks to avoid/defer its own with. I explain my assertion of the ce of the subaltern in Chapter 4 when I engage with the problematics of subaltern representations. At present, I argue Being with is actually grounded in an evasion of the recog nition of plurality in difference and of indifference i.e., the repetitive reconstitu tion of difference and indifference to possibility of re engaging with this pr oblem of plurality later on. To be clear, Nancy does not propose some essential commonality/ies to gloss over the differences that mark the


70 plurality of individuals. Nancy recognizes the repetitive gesture of the articulation of Being with without laying c laim to some ontological originary essence; his challenge is to test and contest the discursive and disseminative primacy of the plurality in difference that marks current identity politics across the globe today. Nancy asserts that what each ng with, or each repetition of Being with, shares is the very plurality of differences, the plural repetition of its differences. In The Inoperative Community he an d consequently everyone's non identity, each one's non identity to himself and to recognition and reconstitution of mutuality on the basis of an acknowledgment of this sharing of differences (but not a particular difference), th e Nancy calls for a re definition of Being as Being reconstitu te the mutuality that it shares instead of merely repeating its d ifference; he clearly provides this call in Being Singular Plural in the words : From now on, we, we others are charged with this truth it is more ours than ever sense of the world as the spac ing and intertwining of so many worlds (earths, skies, histories) that there is a taking place of meaning, or the crossing through [ passages ] of presence. (5) deconstructed in the recognition of the illocutionary act of this call. Nancy, through this illocutionary act is proposing the coming into being of a Being with of the shared mutuality of difference/s. I argue that this Being with that is to come through a collective defin ition of mutuality becomes the origin of its own call and coincides with the subject as the pre condition of its own origin. In Being Singular Plural Nancy, in the circulatory mediums of the repetition of Being with,


71 are we to ascertain the circulation of mutuality amongst those deemed not hum an, deemed irrelevant to this question of mutuality; unless this notion of Being with transcends the narrative bounds of language, in which case, we need to interrogate this rhetorical slippage into the trope of pure essence that is not bound by recog nitio n through repetition in language. In fact, Nancy goes on to elaborate : Language speaks for all and of all: for all, in their place, in their name including those who may not have a name. Language says what there is of hem as well as in view of them, in order to lead the one who speaks, the one through whom language comes to be nevertheless [emphasis mine] ) My point here is that Jean Luc Nancy actually limitlessness of language does not address the problem of recog nt) recognize (and constitute) in language the repetitive only by its absence ncluded, assimilated, in language without addressing the subject each time assimilative inclusi ve limits of language to the proposed limitlessness of Being with? I address the invisible subject little later on in this chapter.


72 Christopher with that shares a fundamental realizing that primordial m each time is incommensurable mutuality of Being in common. He explains that touch for Nancy is always an indication of both proximity and distance, contact and impenetrability. Touching in distance characterizes the relation of singularities in the 'we'. Touching one another with th eir mutual weights, bodies do not become undone, nor do they dissolve into other bodies, nor again do they fuse with a spirit. This is what makes them, properly speaking, bodies. (59) However, the mutuality produced through the touching of bodies is not co nstitutive of an oikological o transcend the subject other dichotomy of the Heideggerian Dasein it) through erasing the limits/boundaries of the subject and in the process, as I pointed out earlier, erasing the im possibility of the subaltern. Of course, this marks the ment of erasing, and simultaneously siting the subaltern trace of the absence of, the irrelevant other. Nancy (and Watkin) does not address a subject subject


73 Thinking Bodies but does not address the subject of that configuration. Who configures? Who configures the body politic? And in whose name is the body politic (to be) configured? It is the problem of the invisible subject thaumazein of the pre Socratics with is this assertion of presence without signification as an attempt to break out of textuality to avoid the inevitable limits of a text in definition l subject, from the Latin root Watkin does not address how the eyes of the sovereign imperial subject in the language (text) of moderni ty in definition as subjects and objects, as subject s and others that was constitutive of the sovereign subject of Enlightenment rationality. I do not think paradigm can be rethought and re defined as the Being with of global mutuality by project


74 subject ) in the figure/s of the native informant while erasing many, rendering them irrelevant (those whose absence postcolonial discourse has attempted to re trace under the sign of the subaltern). subject that initiates the mutuality of the touch, or the subjects of masks the re entry of the (reconceptualized, but still) sovereign subject of Western and the configuration of the Western rational subject is the fact that his own discourse is completely limited to Western ological call to global commonality that epistemologically limits its own paradigm, i.e., its conception of premise for the being in common of his conceptualization of Being with needs to be interrogated as well. In its singularity p eople Chapter 2 As with his notion of Being repetition of the ever present danger of bi o power in its manipulation of the body of the Does the recognition of t he mutuality of differences necessarily allow a politics of solidarity?


75 assimilative narrative of Enlightenment rationalism suggesting the incorporation of native inform ant s in the sharing of difference/s. Thus each repetition of subject constitution in difference is a repetition of Being (textually) unable to recognize the radical alterity to Being with as Being without the subaltern. This assimilative mutuality of Being with diffrance is synonymous with the agglomerating movement of Empire. At best, we are assimilation ern herness by fter always already after with. I explore this constitutive hybridity through the work of Homi K. Bhabha later on in this chapter. Thus instead of merely opposing Der identity politics beyond the otherness of the other and the same to a shared otherness


76 acknowledge, in defending Nancy against Simon Nancy togetherness is to a politics of inclusivity subject epistemology that is always susceptible to indifference to its own agglomerating movement. He does not address a politics of resistance against that indifference the indifference of the mutuality of differences and the urgent need for solidarity in Hardt and Negri deal with this precise problem of the indifference of all inclusivity by acknowledging the primacy of plurality in difference in current global identity politics. the decision to make common cause, not in spite of, but acknowledging differences in resistance to the networks of power of Empire by harnessing the shared commonality of those very networks. Amartya Sen, in Identity and Violence: the Illusion of Destiny identifies this gesture as prioritizing deny that group identification can produce, or may be the result of, what George Akerlof between individual priorities, in resistance to the manipulations of identity politics, can panding notion of a multitude.


77 The multitude thus draws strength from its global plurality but retains the autonomy of its multiple local singularities. The inherent and constitutive difference social revolution against the agglomerating logic of Empire. In fact, they argue th at the multitude is an inevitable Here it is worthwhile to quote them at length as they preface their argument for the multitude as the site for global resistance. In the ir book Multitude they state : there are two faces to globalization. On one face, Empire spreads globally its networks of hierarchies and divisions that maintain order through new mechanisms of control and constant conflict. Globalization, however, is also the creation of new circuits of cooperation and collaboration that stretch across nations and continents and allow an unlimited number of encounters. This second face of globalization is not a matter of everyone in the world becoming the same; rather it p rovides the possibility that, while remaining different, we discover the commonality that enables us to communicate and act together. The multitude too might thus be conceived as a network: an open and expansive network in which all differences can be expr essed freely and equally, a network that provides the means of encounter so that we can work and live in common. (xiii xiv) Hardt and Negri define the plural body and loci of this resistance as singular in its difference from previous forms of resistance. But as they have pointed out, the expansive mode of Empire is different from the territorial mode of the nation state; so modal difference? This does not deny the mult singular s ubject constitution. If in order to understand the movement of Empire, we need to recalibrate our understanding of the biopower of the sovereign n ation state, then perhaps, we need to also recalibrate our unde


78 constitutive other of this fundamentally new evolution of global subjection. As critical readers, we need to stay vigilant against any hasty celebration of new modes of relationship with the agglomerating movement of Empire. There is no denying that seated in diverse localities across the globe, in communication with other movements and populations, deriving sustenance and inspiration from the same networks that feed into Empire, this mult itude of resistance forces the latter to continually recalibrate its enables/forces Empire to adjust to and learn from the resistances of multitude; in which case, while the networks of multitude provide the means for a global resistance to Empire, are the authors able to really articulate a radical alternative to Empire, one that provides the multitudes of the exploited the im M A Grammar of the Multitude translated and published in English in 2004. Lotringer argues that in spite of having his political roots in the Operaismo and later Auto nomia movement s of the 60s and 70 s in Italy, Negri (along with his co author Hardt) does not a rgument for the hegemony of the sovereign ( subject p eople Virno argues that the evolution of post Fordist capital ism (synonymous in Hardt a nd Negri with Empire) was a reaction to, a recalibration as a result of, the pressures of the


79 the sovereign logic of State capital ism. Tracing the concept back to Spi noza and paradigms, artificial languages, and conceptual clusters which animate social commun p eople subject that I explored in Chapter 2 the multitude according to A Grammar of the Multitude y resists authority, does not enter into lasting agreements, [and] never at tains the status 23). However, according to Virno, the multitude s urvived into modernity through the hyphenated space of the dialectical relations of the public private and the collective Here it is important to point out the dif p eople the sovereign citizen subject The multitude finally mobilized itself in resistance to the regularization and rigidization of its labor power by Fordist capital ism in the mobility of capital


80 V capital ism to transform to its individuated and diverse contours. Thus he reads four attributes of the multitude opportunism, cynicism, idle talk and curiosity as the new requirements of labor in the post Fordist workplace. And the fact that in the new techno economic entirety ) is the realization of post Fordist capital multitude. This is the purpose of bio politics to enable the realiz labor on and is the premise of the multitude. Virno argues that the multitude too desires this realization of its potential and hence the charac teristics of the new techno economic relations of production mirror its attributes in: Opportunism Cynicism rules which artificially structure the bound Idle talk event consisting of itself, which Curiosity consider the known as if it were unknown to to consider the unknown as if it were known to become familiar with the unexpected and the surprising, to become accustomed to t 93).


81 A close reading of Empire reveals that Hardt and Negri do repeatedly articulate capital deterritorializing desire of the multitude i s the motor that drives the entire process of what is the crucial difference in their two positions? Virno focuses on the dialectical relationship between the multitude and post Fordist capital ism, particularly on the constitutive role that the multitude has played in shaping the networks of power characteristic of capital dialectical relation is marked b previously mirrored in both the new relations of production and the multitude can be realized in negative and positive ways as articulated in the varied negotiations of individuals (not necessarily as cit izen subject s as the sovereignty of n ation states is weakened as a barrier against the exploitative networks of Empire) with the new capital ist regime across the globe. As Lotringer notes : posing not with Empire, within itself (17) However, Virno does not imagine a break from this dialectic or propose a vision of a nteraction between multitude and post Fordist capital point that Empire For Hardt and Negri the multitude is not just the constitutive force behind the concerted resistance to the expansive movement of global capital ism. In Multitude t hey clearly state :


82 class struggle. The multitude from this perspective is based not so much on the current empirical existence of the class but rather on its conditions of possibi optation by the sovereign logic of Empire. As they had originally laid out the problem in Empire : totalitarianism consists not simply in totalizing the effects of social life and subordinating them to a global disciplinary norm, but also in the negation of social life itself, the erosion of its foundation, and the theoretical and practical stripping away of the very possibility of the existence of the multitude. (113) They defer the threat of this co singularities cannot be reduced to sameness, a difference that subject sum up in their words : The multitude is an internally different, multiple social subject whose constitution and action is based not on identity or unity (or, much less, indifference) but on what it has in common. (100) The important thing here is the rhetorical negotiation to define a subject of resistance while deferring the constitution of a sovereign subject that will become the constitutive unit of a global sovereignty legitimizing the logic of Empire. In contrast, Virno in A Grammar of the Multitude individuates the multitude co opt ation by arguing that the unity of this general individuated representation of the multitude is not based on (and is not consequently the


83 addre sse d earlier, of itself and capital ism, i.e., the dialectic that defines human society in his work in the language of modernity. To clarify, I argue that Virno is this rhetorical turn coincides with the same autonomous logic of sovereignty that point with an important example. multitude, in this case is to examine it with the eyes of one who has As I have quoted him previously, Virno, drawing on Hobbes, points out that the any status of juridical co opt ed by the logic of the sovereign, b ecause it refuses to can be defined as pre existing the legal authority of the sovereign, such rights cannot be recog nized without the guarantee of the sovereign that establishes the language of rights. Thus Virno, by ids and/but is caught in the enables it to come into being (be recog nized). In fact, he has to return to this


84 has to confront in defining the multitude, he argues for its conceptualization as a premise promise in the individuation of the One from the unity of the people nted, as a background or a necessary precondition ( emphasis mine ) While clearly calling for the conceptualization conceive of a One which, far from being something conc lusive, might be thought of as the base which authorizes differentiation or which allows for the political social existence of the many seen as being many many seen as being many The problem for Hardt and Negri, on the other hand, is that in their articulation of the multitude to come that ca n in its constitutive solidarity resist Empire, they define a democracy of differences where differences do not matter for Virno the multitude multitude as a politica demonstrate[] the common conditions of those who can become the multitude. Common conditions, of course, does not mean sameness or unity, but it does requir e that no differences of nature or kind divide the multitude It means, in other words, that the innumerable, specific types of


85 labor, forms of life, and geographical location, which will always necessarily remain, do not prohibit communication and collabo ration in a common political project. (105 106 [emphasis mine] ) Lotringer critiques this gesture towards an other politics, a politics of alterity radical enough as Hardt and Negri claim in Empire the other side [emphasis mine] ). The precise need to articulate multitude as radically different is to break its dialectical relation to global capital ism. Lotringer argues, the multitu global counter power precedes the vitality of the multitude necessitate a multitude to come that will somehow not only overc capital ism but move towards a radically different future. I agree that this telos of the multitude in Hardt and Negri puts it in an inevitable dialectical relation with Empire as the two concepts feed off each definition, a teleology of resistance that originates from the global networks of pow er of Empire; at the same time, Hardt and Negri do not address the fundamental inability to necessarily un recog nizable from within the epistemological paradigm of Western modernity. As Lotringer points out, how are we to assume that this alterity is the better alternative ? On another note, the difficulty in imagining a global resistance constituted of mult iple local resistances lies in the fact that local concerns are often at odds with each other, even when they are aligned against the exploitative processes of globalization.


86 These shifting dynamics of strategic alignments premised upon the changing priori ties ional flows of information technology while seeking to subsume the globe within their accumulative logic, produce neither a socio political nor a material homogeneity in the of cross globalization progressively alienates large sections of the world population, creating and First World that are no longer relevant to the workings of the global informational e core, politico economic possibilities of resistance from the disenfranchised populations at the geographical peripheries of the current world order. In fact, globalizati exclusion are inflected in their difference as exercised in locally specific contexts across the world. On the one hand, it diminishes the power of the nation ) and on the other, it exploits the politico economic inequalities demarcated by national borders, to sustain its regime of agglomeration. The Im possibility of Interrupting Globalization So localized resistances, constrained within the networks of imperia l power, often exhaust their deconstructive potential, either trying to bridge context specific differences


87 to unify disparate struggles across nations, or fighting the wrong enemy in attempts to localize the source of exploitation. At the same time, in re action to neo liberal globalization, such resistances often generate extremisms and fundamentalisms of the acerbate the very striations that feed into capital global reach. Castells, in The Power of Identity defines the problem of defensive identities as, forms of collective resistance against otherwise unbearable oppression, usually on the basis of ident ities that were, apparently, clearly defined by history, geography, or biology, making it easier to essentialize the the exclusion of the excluders by the excluded ity in the terms of dominant institutions/ideologies, reversing the value judgment while reinforcing the boundary. (9) increasing inter connection between the two extremes of extensionality and intentionality: globalising influences on the one hand and personal dispositions on the Zapatistas to show how a locally specific soci al movement was internationalized by networks of power. We do not need, however, to identify with the Zapatistas so much as ce, and acknowledge it as a strategy against the global processes of exploitation and find common cause with their struggle. Assumption of shared identity through some misguided notion of sympathy/empathy


88 can make us unmindful of our daily investment in th ose aspects of the global political economy that form an integral part of those very networks of global capital ism that have contributed to the exploitation of indigenous Mexicans for centuries. I do not mean to devalue the significance of urban resistance against co optation by the logic of agglomeration, but there is an obvious need to differentiate between diverse social movements originating from diverse locally and globally specific imperatives that may often be at odds with each other. The acknowledgm ent of such difference is essential to The alignment of this multitude of resistance in a coherent challenge to imperial logic thus seems impossible without being co opted by the homogenizing imperative of a sovereign subject It is this im possibility of resistance that then needs to be recuperated since it proposes a differential challenge, i.e., the integral difference of the multit ude in definition must resist and defer the homogeneity of Empire. This Derridean im possibility is defined in Aporias aporos or of the aporia : the difficult or the impracticable, here the impossible passage the refused, denied, or p rohibited passage, indeed the nonpassage, which can in fact be something else, the event [emphasis mine] ). The im possibility of the imperiali sm, but outside the bounds of the possible determined by the current institutional structure of transnational political economy. This im possibility is not utopic; it is realized in the acknowledgment of the differences of social movements situated across


89 with (and at times against) each other to effectively combat the networks of exploitation, both at the local and global levels. This diversity of interests and concerns of the multitude rife with misdirection, misalignment, shifting loyalties, strategic advances and withdrawals, and the ever present threat of co optation enables it to effectively resist the imperative of homogenization and define the site/s of im possible resistance. These movements, however, have to be continually vigilant against on the one hand, the constant threat of internalization by the logic of globalization, an d on the other, their internal tendency to self essentialisms that aid Empire. The deconstructive gesture of resistance must assume of exploitation to which it is responding. Jacques Derrida sums up the important function Aporias as : interr upting the relation to any presentable determination but still maintaining a presentable relation to the interruption and to what it interrupts. (17) The urge to determination, to essentialism, has to be deterred, so that the im possibility of resistance cannot be terminated, limited, given an end. Each interruption is a necessary responsibility of resistant awareness, a necessary response to the contou rs of global capital ism as it negotiates the subsumption of the movement; in the process, these interruptions mark the eruption of new im possibilities of strategic alignment in response to the changing dynamics of the situation at hand. Therefore to addr ess the problem of the teleology of the multitude that I outlined


90 future defers susceptible to subsumption by the logic of the global sovereign This gesture does not produce a definite teleology with a definable end, but articulates strategies of seeking c ommon ground. These strategies are always already limited within the epistemology of modern ethics, but they problematize, in their global and local differences, the universalization of the sovereign narrative of that ethico politics. What cannot be (must possible future without which these t is a within its rhetorical bounds. It defers the realization of the epistemologically possible the dialectic as the inevitable, the assimilable through the trope of the im possible p eople subje ct to the logic of Postcolonial Studies in 2005, Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak argues that the as dangerous a hypostatizati general category that has no necessary class readings of traces of the m ultitude in diverse acts of resistance across the globe are


91 necessarily contextualized in terms of class and gender. However, by their own a ffiliations to avoid differences that can divide the agent of resistance against itself. As I have noted earlier, it is the recog nition of an undivided co opt ation b y the sovereign logic of Empire. Interrupting this teleology, if we defer the i.e.,we read them as identifyin g themselves both through and in resistance to the active categories of race, class and gender (and others) within the dominant epistemological paradigm of (Western) modernity. And in the context of my project, as we engage with this problem of defining th e subject of multitude in diffrance to the possibility of its own subjection to the dialectic of sovereignty, we need to intercept the apostrophic turn away from the subaltern irrelevant to any definition of commonality. Thus to re formulate the problem in the terms of my project: the trace of the less, un gendered and de l sovereign And my proposed interruptive reading strategy necessitates the interception of each of the diverse narratives of resistance in the context of class, gender and race to critically read the subject constitution of the agency commonality towards the im in his or her s ubject constitution on the one hand, to recognize and reconstitute


92 resistance in dif france to the dialectic of the sovereign subject ; and on the other, to subject (an alter subject) under the sign of the native informant the sign of slippage into silence, a slippery sign. We need to be critically vigilant of the po litics of that resistance, to interrupt any rhetorical strategy (always possible) of through the exploration of the figure of the native informant To sum up, in the conte xt of the multitude, the trace of the subaltern marks the im possibility of the advent of the multitude as alterity in diffrance to the multitude as telos, the constitutive other of global sovereignty, while the figure of the native informant enables th e strategic politics and the critical reading of resistance in diverse contexts as a continuing gesture towards that im the process of its retrieval) into the figure of the native informant spoken for and constituted into the resistant subject is the deconstructive strategy of deferring the totalization of the multitude in the teleological definition of radical alterity. I have therefore argued for the resi stance of the multitude in the hybridity of subject constitution. I now explore the constitutive hybridity of the subject through the work of Homi Bhabha and the possibility of recuperations of an other narrative, an alter narrative of radical alterity, th rough the work of Walter Mignolo. Hybridity as Resistance 2 as a point of departure, I now seek to interrogate the site of the hybrid as the location of alterity, of the ther in its migrant, minority, or any other form. The importance of this constitutive of the dialectical progression of the national narrative that resolves itself


9 3 repetiti al identity; hence, I caution against the supplementary production of the space of hybrid alterity, which is produced, and is hence subsumable, by the hegemonic narrative of Western/modern epistemology. Bhabha, of course, has identified the sign of alterit possibility of the recuperation of the radical o ther, the doppelganger, the subaltern radical im possibility of alterity that Hardt and N egri explore under the sign of the multitude is coincident with the constitutive hybridity (otherness) of the sovereign sign of the nation s subject the p eople) that Bhabha was mapping out on the national terrain in 1990. are of significant importance supplementarity and c ultural difference. Drawing upon Of Grammatology Bhabha points out that although the concept can be read in its cumulative and accumulative logic, the itself subject ) that is being supplemented is importantly marked by an otherness a radical de ferral of the self completion that it seeks which it is never able to completely exorcise. The act of supplementation, in its


94 .. [a]s (Derrida 145). So essentially, through his engagement with supplementarity, Bhabha narrative turn in the self constitution of the sovereign subject away from the constitutive native informant ; and the the trace of the radi cally different in the sublation of the irrelevant other. (Brennan 51) of the nation Polis producing the 1 Yet that very same ritualistic need for such performative supplementation bears testimony to that alienating alterity t hat continually haunts the identity of the nation. And therein lies the ther the minority, the : It is in this supplementary space of doubling not plurality where the image is presence and proxy, where the sign supplements and empties can be turned into the discourses of emergent cultural identities, within a non pluralistic politics of difference. (305) 1


95 This cultural supplementation of the narrative of national homogeny/indigeny reveals the ar ticulate the sum of knowledge from the perspective of the signifying singularity In light of my previous problematization of the conceptualization of the multitude, I caution that any realization of the nat o mark the slippage of the trace of the subaltern into the figure of the native informant I previously argued that while the subaltern trace defers the totalization of the sign of global (and national) sover hegemonic sign must rely on the diverse and necessarily contextualized movements of resistance across the world. Each reading of the subaltern instance retrieved in the figure of the native info rmant as subject of resistance in the process of subject constitution is put under the threat of sublimation by the narrative of sovereignty. Each critical interruption intercepts that sign from being performed as another repetition of the sovereign sign o f the national/global subject by reading its own constitutive otherness, native informant process, each reading must neither be an accumulative gesture towards a totalizable sovereign not be, mapped out in the teleology of narrative accumulation, but in the eruption of the im possible. Therefore, I see Bhabha as reading the constitutive hybridity of the su bject the always articulate the im possibility of the subaltern without mapping out a positivistic teleology of an Other.


96 Cultural difference, as argued by Bhabha, defers hyb Hybridity as a concept suggests that dialectical sublation in the production of a de finite location of otherness that runs congruent with the narrativ e resolution of the national of the national narrative. Instead, in conjuncti on with the repetitious ritual of the socius is repeated in its same, the minus in origin that results i n political and discursive strategies where adding to does not add up but serves to disturb the calculation of power and knowledge, epistemology of the sovereign is unable to ide ntically repeat itself of course, it repeats itself precisely because it is continually trying to sublate its constitutive always otherness and each repetition critically interrupted displaces the teleology of the sovereign in eruptions of acts of resistan ce strategically defined. In each performance of reinscr ibing its own hegemony, the sovereign is displaced and repeated as other to itself. Its power is thus constituted by the circulation of the sign of its hegemony and not by the institution of a self id entical sign of sovereignty; our critical and political project is therefore to interrupt this circulation and instead of replacing it with a competing narrative of a counter sovereign, to displace the sign of the subject in strategic eruptions of resistan t identities. While these diverse identities in resistance must also be interrogated in the process of their s ubject


97 reading must be articulated in diffrance to the narrative teleology of the sovereign epistemology; that is its critical gesture towards the im possible. Another way of approaching the problem of a teleology of radical alterity is by hence, individual ins tances of resistance (individual and collective, but always in a particular context) cannot be necessarily read in a gesture in common(ality) towards an Other alterity. In fact, as Radhakrishnan argues in Theory in an Uneven World : [t]he ability of each ga ze or perspective to realize the alterity (symbolic authority) of the Object is perennially interrupted by the perspectivism of every other gaze, each engaged in realizing its own symbolic authority. The very alterity of the world as real is pluriform and contested, and the gazes negotiate with each other on the basis of the strength of their symbolic currency. (103) nt on their location in the unequal division of labor, both in the national and global context, and accordingly their ability to negotiate the transnational flows of Empire in traversing the weakened but necessary national boundaries of the First, Second a nd Third worlds. And when hybridity as site of resistance is marked coterminous with the figures of the subaltern, the minority, and the diasporic immigrant in their respective valences of alterity, its possibilities of co optation by the identity politics implicated in producing the national/global, postcolonial subject also inflects the constitution of the marginal as the dialectical Other of the sovereign s elf The subaltern as produced in the dialectical progre ssion of the narrative emerging in the language and/or location of metropolitan hegemony unless deconstructively/self critically aware of its location is the performative sign that circulates the pedagogical master image of the recog nizable Other; its un r ecognizable


98 sovereign Self. This is not to argue that postcolonial hybridity produced as, or producing, texts from migrant or minority perspectives do not, or cannot, resist the hegemonic narratives of national or global dominance. It is important to recognize, however, that such texts are always fraught with the tension of slippage betwee n situational resistance and fetishization into what Graham Huggan identifies as The Post colonial Exotic: Marketing the Margins published in 2001 does not argue against the disruptive po by its contact with the margins, even if it finds ingenious ways of looking, or of f the net that supports these potentially dangerous transactions, as the regulating mechanism that attempts to manoeuvre difference back again t containment through exoticization of alterity by the mainstream that is at the same time (22 national global narrative of sovereign hegemony, which is nonetheless haunted by its Radhakrishnan, in Between Identity and Location also articulates this critical need to interrupt positions of resistant identities (often represented under the sign of


99 subaltern resistance) through an important engagement with the notion of hybridity, taking into account both its ontological and episte mological assumptions. The issue here is between the concept of hybridity as a situational reality even if it is articulated through a locational disruption (the willed or involuntary deferral of spatio temporally finite definitions of identity in communal national or even global terms) and hybridity as a theoretical site of resistance to unipolar identity regimes. Even when hybridity is recognized in its multi differentiate between its metro characterized by an intransitive and immanent sense of jouissance [and] the latter are though there is an attemp t to identify a metropolitan global bourgeoisie whose transnational hybridity runs corollary to the logic of globalization, we cannot completely disregard the specifics of location in the emergence of different sections even within that metropolitan group. The relatively mobile, urban, educated classes from the ame as their counterparts emerging from the First World metropolis. However, although such distinctions between the specific recognitions and reconstitutions of hybridity are important and often crucial to strategic articulations of subaltern resistance, i t is important to keep in mind that such crucial to recognize the narrative imp eratives in the construction of hybrid spaces in

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100 their situational realities in order to remain aware of the possibilities of the dialectical name of strategic exped iency. The issue with the theorization of hybridity, on the other hand, is the risk of : although avant garde theories of hybridity would have us believe that represents the decapitation of the subject and the permanent retirement of identitarian forms of thinking and belonging, in reality, hidden within the figurality of hybridity is the subject of seem that hybridity functions as the ultimate decentering of all identity regimes, in fact 160) Theories of hybridity, then, need to interrogate their own critical assumptions in their dialectical narrative production of the very idea of a hybrid Other; while such theories they also need to be careful of universal generalizations that mask the privileging of Western modes/sites of rationality. There is an obvious coincidence between his As Radhakrishnan aptly attitudes to hybridity uneven development that are necessary to, and subsumed wit hin, the logic of globalization whose networks of power proliferate throughout the globe, but privilege the

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101 marked by the assumption of a paradigmatic hegemony that renders specific erve as proxy. In the context of my argument for strategic interruptions, it is important to note to the A Critique of Postcolonial Reason n of counter paradigms in the guise of an Other worldview, I articulate the str ategy in diffrance to the hegemony of its own paradigmatic constitution. In its deconstructive strategy of interrupting the repetitious performance of the sovereign sign of its own epistemology here repeated in the trope of the in the not proposing a strategic teleology of radical paradigmatic alterity, but in differential readings of diverse constitutions of identities in resistance ea ch interrogated in its dominant, we forget that the difference between varieties of emergent and residual may be the difference between radical and conservative resista (314)

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102 remain un certain and im heterogeneous s gesture towards the im possibility of radical alterity beyond the specific contextualities of each identity in resistance because to reject it in ition of the hegemonic paradigm. Such a rejection is based on the agglomerating logic of the sovereign (national and his book Local Histories/Global Designs modern/colonial world system and the diachronic contradictions of its internal (conflicts between empires within the same world view) and external border s (world views in inceptions of new (global) commercial circuits in the (post )modern imagination. This coloniality of power that produces and maintains the uneven str ucture of the colonial difference as its condition of possibility and as the legitimacy for the subalternization of knowledges and the Therefore, a ccording to Mignolo, modern epistemo logy defined itself as the systematic mode/organization of knowledge based on rationality ; it functioned, however, in line

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103 he production of the modern/colonial world system. So in 2000, when his book was published, Mignolo conceptualized a global framework of power along the same lines as Empire, but with a particular focus on the colonial striations of the world. both necessary for the conception of colonial hegemony and its production as politically and economically viable colonial relations of power. Importantly, Mignolo draws nct becomes the site of a constitutive radical split in the postcolonial subject e modern/colonial world system, and is also the process by which this colonial difference is sublat ed in the constitution of that world system. The problem is the conceptualization modernidad the idea that a knowing subject [i]s possible beyond the subject of

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104 knowledge postulated by the very concept of rationality put in place by modern epistemology In resistance to th e colonial epistemological imperative, he posits the notion of erior borders of the modern/colonial world system (imperial conflicts, hegemonic languages, directionality of translations, etc.) and its exterior borders (imperial conflicts with cultures being colonized, as well as the subsequent stages of independence o nceptions of e exteriority that he identifies as the liminal site of im dominant determinations in such a way that would make it possible to think beyond the ontologization of an area to be studied and move to a reflec tion of the historicity of coloniality of power is able to re pro duce (in repetitious performance of its hegemonic

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105 sign as Bhabha would point out) the modern/colonial world system only through a difference that marks a constitutive hybridity in its self conception and enables the recuperation of th native informant the epistemological imperative of the national and global sovereign. As such, colonial difference as constitutive hybridity, while enabling the re production of the modern/colonial world and the national global subject as its sovereign sign, also repeats that sign in diffrance to its own impl ied hegemony. I also argue that though Mignolo system, in effect its sign is re is why Mignolo argues for appropriatin g it? To produce an other thinking is to recog nize it as such, that is, to re produce it as a discursive subject and thereby susceptible to assimilation by the modern/colonial paradigm. We can imagine different conceptions of history, but recog nizing their difference is to also appropriate them in the language of modern dominant paradigm can be read as an interruptive strategy at the apostrophic sites of the hegemonic narrati ve of the coloniality of power to intercept the constitutive moments when that narrative dialectically constitutes and sublates the other as native

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106 informant and turns away from the irrelevant as subaltern. This process would force the language of coloni ality or postcoloniality, as the evolution of the dominant paradigm of Enlightenment rationality through the colonial development of the modern world system to recalibrate itself necessarily as other than itself while strategically questioning its hegemony Thus through strategic interruptions, border gnoseology would put colonial/modern hegemony under erasure, forcing the coloniality of power to reconstitu Other knowledge as opp other thinking or re thinking, re membering the other (and other ways of thinking) constituted as native informant or ignored as subaltern in the production of the modern/colonial world system then the eruption of the fo rmer is the im possibility of a truly subaltern perspective, the radically Other un recog nizable in its radical difference. Thus Walter networks of Empire particularly ke eping in mind the colonial teleology of the global sovereign the operative contexts of any interruptive reading strategy by focusing on the colonial context of the constitutive hyb ridity of the national global sovereign and the necessarily postcolonial negotiations of the multitude in its im possible gesture towards an Other future. In conclusion, the supplementation of the pedagogical immanence of the national global narrative of s overeign hegemony (Empire as conceived by Hardt and Negri) through a ritualistic, repetitious, performative dissemination of its sign in the subject p eople when interrupted by a

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107 critical awareness of the constitutive hybridity of cultural/colonial difference can enable a multitude of resistance. This constitutive difference is recuperated under the name of the native informant as the foreclosed other/s of the sovereign s elf and realized in the c/siting of identities in resistance. The identities in resistance, however, must be cross breed homogeneity that can be re incorporated into the hegemonic narrative of the so recog nized (and hence contained) ther. Defined in difference, and in spite of their contextual differences, their resistance can be articulated in strategies of commonality as a gesture towards the im po ssible eruption of an Other thinking (or border gnosis as conceived by Mignolo) whose im possibility is textually traced under the sign of the absent presence (and present absence) of the subaltern and in the strategic gesture of the multitude to come. In Chapter 4 I take up critical representations of the subaltern intercepting its sign in slippage into the figure of the native informant while exploring the critical and strategic im possibility of the eruption of subaltern representations in radical diffe rence.

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108 CHAPTER 4 BETWEEN NATIVE INFORMANTS AND SUBALTERNS: SITUATING THE OTHER I locate my argument of subaltern difference in the context of the Indian Subaltern Studies group and critical responses to their work. I do not propose to chronologica retrieval of subaltern identity as difference in opposition to the hegemonic and trace this argument through some major interventions into the Subaltern Studies project. I explore whether subalternity can be located at the site of difference outside the discursive reach of the hegemonic or if difference must always already be difference to and defined in relation to the hegemonic that thereb Coincident with this debate is how to critically re produce subaltern difference without co opt ing its resistance in the process of subaltern subject constitution. By critically engaging with this compl ex argument in the Subaltern Studies project, I argue that the figure of the native informant that I have traced in my previous chapters can be usefully at the same t ime dis marking the irretrievability of the radically heterogeneous. Subaltern as Failure Subaltern Stud Reading Subaltern Studies subject s) as agents of their own historiography. Masselos argues that the former serves both as

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109 dissent and establishes a traditional, legitimated, genealogy of opposition a consciousness of a past as colonial subjects inherent in other readings of the past, and by prioritising the autonomy of resistance es autonomous domain of resistance/opposition to the dominant are depersonalized and original articulation of the project in Subaltern Studies I in a Spivakian intervention] own Subaltern Studies focusing on the development of the project both in terms of subject matter and as both orientation and authorial intent. Masselos clearly points out that the project, under th e able stewardship of Ranajit Guha, brought together scholars with often significant methodological differences, and varying research skills and analytical ability though they generally shared a common interest in recuperating narratives of resistance to t he dominant (elite both colonial and postcolo nial) historiography of the nation state. And as the volumes progressed through the first decade (beginning with volume I in 1982), the various contributors followed individual lines of critical evolution; so if

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110 through the various articles published in the volumes, one has to account for divergent retain[ing] a general convergence an Masselos, therefore, examines the various articles published in the Subaltern Studies volumes for differences in subject matter, methodologies, focus and even technical strategy though that is not his main goal. Having gi ven due consideration to the depth and breadth of the work of the Subaltern Studies group, their influences and their influence on subsequent historiography and postcolo nial critical work both in the Indian sub at is striking is that throughout of the dominant the thread of their convergence that reifies a theoretical figure of the subaltern as resistance and ation of historians India called themselves subaltern, nor do any of the writers quote Indian terms which So essentially, the problem according to Masselos of the disappearance of the ative historiographical project (though divergent in subject matter, methodology, etc.) that recuperates narratives of collective resistance towards the hegemonic. He does address the fact that all the contributors in the group do not share the same unders tanding of hegemony and that most of them do not subscribe to a

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111 group generally held on to colonial and postcolo nial hegemony, but Masselos argues that the subaltern figure as who joined in assorted and diverse acts of geographically widely dispersed violent volumes, calls them subaltern classes 206 [emphasis mine]). He goes on to elaborate : Despite all the narrative of the particularities of change in various variables, what is offered is not processual change but an underlying, consistently similar structure of continued resistanc e. In these narratives the individual has little place and is presented usually only as the exemplar of resistance. Otherwise there is no space available for the individual. (206) duces the subject s of their own history. And Masselos Subaltern Studies I V is concerned not just with the failure of the historiographic project, but also with s (and produces as history) subalternity as an essential contradiction that lies at the heart of the Suba on the condition of subalternity instead of the reasons and effects of subaltern failure. On the one hand, a subaltern revolution would presume a clear understanding of power

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112 and hegemony (as precondition of subaltern autonomy) and necessitate a reconceptualization of hegemonic power structures the production of the radically different as subaltern knowledge that I have dealt with in Chapter 3 thereby producing subject s and not subalterns of an that the subaltern is doomed to repeat his or her resistance to a hegemonic system that giving the lie to any claims of autonomy. While Masselos shows c omprehensive knowledge of the writings of the group and clear understanding of the many aspects of their work, he does not clearly read the the literary agency of the subaltern production of the subject of sub altern historiography Masselos posits a plurality of recog nition or retrieval in discourse. However, in his point representative of collective resistance s other histor ical narrative. And even though he observes that the production of that narrative

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113 subalterns(ubjects), he re produces an that histo ry has no access to actual subalterns. He even notes, drawing upon Spivak, article, of a certain insistence on the part of the Subaltern Studies group of retrieving an subject defined (unless deferred and displaced) through the circulation of its narrative under the sign of sovereign hegemony repetition of the same in the name of difference, an other history where the subaltern is subject through the proverbial back door, he rep eats the conditions of hegemony in the name of the subaltern. Strategically, I argue, following Spivak, that the praxis of the narrative retrieval of the context/condition of subalternity in the failure of retrieving subalterns to be read against the grain of its own historiography is preferable. of subalternity in the trace of failed resistance in the writings of the Subaltern Studies group, but a reading that he does not fo llow through on. This word seems to suggest a contiguity of both disappearance and appearance Masselos, I presume, reads the contiguous appearance of the subaltern as subject of history and disappearance of subalterns as historical subject s. But the word c an also be read to suggest that appearance and disappearance are semiotically contiguous as subalternity is the marker of a presence in absence, an absent presence that the narrative turns away

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114 from and supplements with, in my reading, the figure of the na tive informant The tracing of this difference between and differential relationship of the native informant and the subaltern allows for a more effective reading of the problem Masselos has addressed. subject supplements the historical absences by constructing the figure of the subaltern the metonymic supplement for the collective resistance of those ignored by dominant historiography through meticulous readings against the grain of historical documents narrating failed acts of opposition. The occasional writing of individual act ors as exemplars of resistance (subalternity) can then be read as attempts to repeat the trope of the subaltern as synechdoche when it primarily functions as metonymy i.e., ct, he or And this trope, primarily as metonymic native informant the recog nizab le other of dominant historiography, resistant to the dominant but subsumed within the inevitable circulation of (an already contaminated hybrid Western) historical paradigm. Therefore, subalternity in Subaltern Studies does not fail, but is constructed out of narratives of subaltern historiography must also be read against the grain, by reading critical strategy in this textual supplementation in the project wherein the con text of subaltern absence is painstakingly reconstitu ted without claiming the retrieval of the subaltern. In her words : Reading the work of Subaltern Studies from within but against the grain, I would suggest that elements in their text would warrant a rea ding of the project to retrieve the subaltern consciousness as the attempt to undo a

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115 strategic use of positivist essentialism in a scrupulously visible political in terest. (341 342) in an earlier article, had discussed similar issues with the representation of subalterns by the Subaltern Studies group and had advocated recovering minor forms of resistance in contrast to what she saw as the contribu the Subaltern in Subaltern Studies was the first review of Subaltern Studies published in Modern Asian St udies and helped reconstitu tion of the subaltern subject in the Subaltern Studies project under the sign of W hile she suggests that the Subaltern Studies group should strategically use the elite subaltern dichotomy to make a categorical point about domi nance through power instead of using the terms as essential categories to historiogra phy. She suggests that in the work of the Subaltern Studies group, even with the assertion of significant critical, theoretical and methodological divergence of the various contributions, the idea of the subaltern loses some of its theoretical potency, par ticularly because it is recuperated/refigured in different ways. She argues for the subaltern as a category of difference (marking the site of subordination) while I argue for the subaltern as a category of absence (or a radical difference marking the limi ts of the narrative circulation of the sign of the subject ). I also add the native informant as

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116 another theoretical category that enables a more nuanced reading of the function of the rify that one cannot point to a particular historical figure and call him or her a native informant Here, I deploy the native informant as a trope in the transition of (the understanding of) subaltern absence into the (failed) recuperation of an other sub jectivity that serves to hybridize but circulates within the paradigm of the hegemonic (here identified as the sign of the sovereign Western subject of liberal humanism). The native informant is not the recuperated subject ks the simultaneous co optation of that subjectivity (in the process of narrative constitution) and the resistance through difference (i.e., in difference) to the hegemony of the subject This is the point the ng a term that would allow the subaltern to mark the limit of sublatable difference that the native informant produces. es group end up re that is the origin of its being, i.e., its act(ion) of resistance. Instead, she recommends ons of dominance and not also reductive since relations of domination are never uncomplicated exercises of subaltern subject often be recuperated in complicity with social networks of power, only where the social relations were interpreted in ways other than hegemonic re adings in dominant

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117 subaltern could easily (and did) slip into historiographic essentialisms, reconstitu ted in the inevitable circulation of the invisible sign of the (libe ral humanist) subject also discusses Black Skin, White Masks have elaborated on in Chapter 2 ad ds greater urgency to a clear elucidation of any critical effort to displace this circulation of the hegemonic sign of the subject proposing even a theoretical displacement of the self other dichotomy of the narrative subject be clearly understood. Acknowledging that we read the figure of resistance into being always already foreclosed in the repetitive circulation of the epistemological imperatives of liberal humanism in contamination at the margins, I have re traced the sign of the native informant thereby hybridizing the subject from within. And such a move defers the unfortunate sublation of the radical difference marked at the site of the subaltern in an undefin ed

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118 radical to the sublatable to displace this dichotomy suggests reading the subaltern in the relations of power, hence resorting to a structuralism without acknowledging her theoretical approach as such. So while the structure of power can be read without essential categories of soci al groups elite and subaltern discussed in Chapter 2 ), the structure itself again has to pre figure its legitimacy through the repetition of sovereign logic. The struct ure is then coincident with the structural foundations of Western epistemology that authorizes its readability where the figure of authority is the (here invisible) sovereign subject of liberal humanism. In her critique of the fixed categories of the disc iplinary fields that the Subaltern Studies contributors work with, that many of the contributors have a very definitive idea of resistance as political action vigorous effort at political mobilization, o f a direct blow against the collusion of landlord modest in the extreme: inscribed in small everyday acts, made in fields apparently quite disconnected from the politica here her intervention in the Subaltern Studies project is interruptive since she is careful to acknowledge the very real progress made by the Subaltern Studies critics in challenging the narrative o f dominant historiography. Her intention is to interrupt the reading of subaltern resistance through only overt and definitive acts of rebellion

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119 politically recognized as significant failures in the archives of dominant historiography by reading minor dail y acts of dissension that lack definitive focus and thus cannot be reconstitu ted as a comprehensive consciousness of either a subaltern subject or a subaltern collective. These acts of general resistance can only be read between the lines of even subaltern histories of failed resistance. She thus states that these acts (or even if the se are made within a coercive framework which is not itself directly subject under the sign of the sovereign subject by retrieving instances of resistance as fragme nts of power relationships. But in order to do that she explicitly recommends a conception of power as a meta narrative. This pervasive notion of power is read from within the epistemological discourse of Western philosophy in her explicit reference to Fou (function as sublation) the Western humanist paradigm. And if power is read as domination as she recommends, then the critical displacement invisibly repeats the hegemo nic subject as the dominant dis placed and re veiled under the sign of power as sovereign. The similarity of the functioning of power as self legitimizing and autonomous to the function of the sovereign can be traced by returning to my discussi on of the so vereign in Chapter 2 And I have demonstrated how the subject of liberal humanism circulation of the sovereign (here power). Am I able to work out this inevitable dis

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120 placement in my reading of subaltern as absence? In fact, I read this dis placement of the subject its inevitable return instead of its definitive displacement, and defer its repetition as the same by reading the moments of textual sublation of subaltern silence a s interruptions of the narrative progression of the sovereign sign. So my reading of subaltern absence is not a recourse to anti humanism as a displacement of liberal sing ularity by retrieving that trace as only the multifarious form/s of the general functioning of power the subaltern is retrieved and erased in her theoretical text of the meta narrative of power as sovereign structure. And identifying this erasure is my int Subaltern as Narrative In also considered a seminal intervention in to the project of Subaltern Studies Gayatri C hakravorty Spivak in FD p. FD p. 217). 1 She argues that in their conversation, Foucault and Deleuze do not acknowledge their own locations within the epistemological ideology of Western discourse [m ust] recognize[ ] its own material production in institutionality, as well as in the and this 1 FD Language, Counter Memory Practice: Selected essays and interviews

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121 transparent and reinscr ibes it at the same time at the invisible (because now read as de the heterogeneous oppressed r esistant Therefore, in her article, Spivak critiques the systemic reading of power or economic s as constitutive of the space for heterogeneity as resistance or the subject can speak for itself (69). Such systemic readings recover the othered subject as theory overcoming th e problem of representation (and re presentation) by positing a multiplicity of agencies defined in systemic relationship of opposition in terms of power or class. Here Spivak differentiates between two senses of representation on the one hand, representat ion of the other itself), and on the other, re S he does not suggest subaltern subject s representing themselves from any ontological space in the margins. The issue, according to her, is that ignoring constitution within state formation and systems of politi cal economy

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122 states : ng subjective sovereignty while often providing cover for this subject of knowledge. Although the history of Europe as Subject is narrativized by law, political economy and ideology of the West, this concealed Subject political dete s of power and proximate, if not self identical, subject of the oppressed become transparent in the relay race, for they merely report on the nonre presented subject and analyze (without analyzing) the workings of (the unnamed Subject She thus argues for the critical n the ion of others as resistant to the sovereign subject and representation as theoretical project even when the theorist claims no representative agency except to merely reveal the self representation of the other (74). Spivak elaborates on the need for t his critical project by reading the 19 th Century (93) about the practice of sati ( suttee ) in India the ritual burning of widows on their which ev entually culminated in a British ban on the practice in

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123 of her dead husband and immol ideological production of the sati debate to represent herself even though she (the sati as subject) is firmly s/cited in the debate. Spivak rhetorically reconstitu tes the terms of clear that she does not oppose the abolition of sati (97), but that her critical project here agency was re p romanticization of the purity, strength and love of these self Dharmas and the Rg Veda show which allows the reconstitu exceptional clearly shows that in a relation of power, there is no space for the subaltern, particularly the subjectivity by the dominant (here circulating in the contestation over between the British colonial ruler and the Indian colonial elite). That is why she states that in the case of the woman as subaltern, no ingredients for the constitution of the

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124 itinerary of the trace of the woman as subject can be gat hered to locate the possibility of dissemination (91) So the question becomes for the critically vigilant intellectual: how to trace the where the subaltern can represe nt herself without ideological interpellation or essentializing that absence as theory where in both cases the theory (even in the constitution? Spivak makes it clear that to speak to (rather than listen to or speak for) the historically muted subject of the subaltern woman systematically involves learning to critique post colonial discourse with the best tools it can provide and Spivak's critical project does not recover radical difference, but address es the radically different (the unrecoverable) through th e deconstruction of the text to recover the trace of the T he tropes of the native informant and subaltern in deconstruction are extremely important literary critical tools in articulating an interruptive reading praxis. She elaborates on this deconstructive project through a careful reading of Of Grammatology with the same problems as empirical the project of grammatology the deconstruction of (object and model) writing

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125 is obliged to de velop within the discourse of presence. It is not just a critique of presence but an awareness of the itinerary of the discourse of name of the object and historical closure, that OG P. 93). (89) a European European specific con text (the text of the context of Eurocentrism) he deconstructs. In that Euroce ntric context, as I have noted earlier in C hap ter 3 the postcolonial critic of imperialism (and neo imperial globalization as I argue) must attempt to read difference te xt inscribed reading both the functioning of sovereign logic as subaltern. Thus postcolonial criticism and subaltern studies must always begin at recognition of these two blanknesses, for the theory of difference is the recognition of its sublation, while the theory of the subaltern (radical difference) is its lack of recognition, by the S/subject (even when transparent) of theory. fe (103). As it turned out a decade later, by means of a letter the young woman had left for her elder sister, she was a revolutionary for Indian independence, but unable to carry out the political assassination entrusted to her, had killed herself. In lig ht of this revelation, her wait for menstruation was an attempt to

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126 unemphatic, ad hoc subaltern rewriting of the social text of sati the subaltern woman attempting to em body her voice in the very act of silencing herself. And while (104). So the means that Bhuvaneswari had adopted to subvert the general assumptions version of A Critique of Postcolonial Reason ) as madness, refusing her the voice that she had attempted to code in her (104). Can the Subaltern Speak? Reflections on the History of an Idea Rajeswari Sunder Rajan, by revisiting e makes a very interesting point about the constitution of female subalternity through the A Critique of Postcolonial Reason that the f However, her act in suicide of speaking both through a suicide note and through her

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127 menstruating body is rendered subaltern by the inability even of female members o f her Subaltern Studies V in 1987, caste, from a botched abortion forced upon her by her brother in law, Magaram Chashi, with whom she was having an illicit affair. Guha reads the archives of the legal proceedings in 19 th Century local law firstly, the authority of colonial law as recorded by the secondly, the authority of Panchanan Mandal who collected the legal transcript in his book Chithipatre Samajchitra (34). Right at the beginning of his article, Guha makes it clear that he is reading the archives against the grain piecing together the narrative from the testimonies of various family members of Chandra, particularly her mother,

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128 Bhagaboti Chashin, and sister, Brinda, who had tried to save her from ostracization and their family from dishonor by attempting the abortion. While he does assum e an actual real historical experience was transformed into a matrix of abstract l egality, so that the will of the state could be made to penetrate, reorganize part by part, and eventually a return to the terminal points of the shift, the only visible sites of legal and editorial intentionality, in order to desecrate them by naming the material once and abject pollution converged to ma known context for the historian. The archive that he is working with here co nsists of three depositions with the beginning of the first sentence of the first deposition by Brinda, and the end of the last sentence by the last deposition given by Kalicharan Bagdi, who provided the medicine for the abortion, missing. Rajeswari Sunder project in her above mentioned article, and notes that the actual verdict in the legal case clearly shows that the archive does not provide the

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129 ekrars (a legal term for confessions or acknowledgments person voice of the defendants in the case, as legal statements were mediated by the requirements of the colonial judicial sys tem and served to detach the testimonies from the socio economic contextualization of the subaltern whose history must be recovered against the grain of the archives of do minant historiography, by relocating it from the legal context of its authorial production into the socio (45). contextualized, it has been de t allowed the colonial authorities to bring the complex socio economic negotiations of rural India depositions] e humble

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130 cope collectively, if 40). In the article, Guha makes a clear distinction between Chandra and Magaram Chashi who are both responsible for the crisis that precipitates the turn of events that Magaram Chashi, unlike Brinda, Bhagaboti or Kalicharan, as definitely a participant in the act of their illicit relationship that violated the sexual norms of their society. While he is backed by the authority of patriarchy, that does not legitimize his relationship with Chandra. His role in the incident is the prayaschitta or penitential bur den for the poorest castes. In fact, according to Guha, the option was always open s prayaschitta ... [by] Brahman priests acting individually or collectively, or by the leadership of a caste or and re ady reading samaj (community, a term in which the institutional aspects of society and their mor al

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131 incorporate some of the most vital issues of indigenous conflict within its hegemonic shows a constitutive tension between the col onial hegemonic and the indigenous dominant, and while Magaram participates in the patriarchal authority of his samaj he too would have suffered the rigors of prayaschitta had the affair been exposed. Guha notes that it was this fear of either expensive a tonement or jatmara depositions show that every family member who participated in the attempt to help Chandra abort her baby would have been affected by the social disgrac e of the illicit affair. So we see power relations working at different levels and Guha is careful to note that at the samaj samajic ] sanction for a widow sati since that act (as self sacrifice) in its violation of the rule, would still, by emphasizing her talking to [and can be used to fu sati And just as the latter had argued that the female subaltern cannot speak or be heard, Guha notes is deposition, a statement bhek

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132 llowed to set the scene, define its context, and determine all the : providing a cue for its drama but by elucidating its politics. (50) itics here is the assumption of patriarchal authority in threatening his article does not address whether Chandra's being put into bhek would have saved the caste from dishonor, but instead focuses on the fact that threatened with the exposure of the illicit affair in which he had been a participant, Magaram took resort to patriarchal authority to bully the female members of his caste kinship into removing the traces of his deviance. It is this space in male ar contained within it another solidarity activated by a different, indeed contradictory, principle namely empathy He help Chandra abort her baby rather than let her be put in bhek act of resistance (57). While, according to the depositions, Bhagaboti require father in law to convince Kalicharan to give her the medicine, and three male family monetary transaction for the drug was negotiated by Bhag aboti, and the drug was

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133 self heir independence negatively by excluding men from all those decisions and initiatives that were vital to the termination women is premised on the politics of differenc e and not the agency of empathy as Guha (51) and constitutes the women of his to identifying the female subaltern as difference; only he is proposing that the difference in this particular instance is constituted by the agency of the Bagdi women in response to the difference of male dominance. I propose that once again, the figure of the native informant as both complicit in and resistant to its co opt ation in the constitution of the dominant (male) identity, provides a better reading of the agency of the Bagdi women as read by Guha Such a reading would allow a clear distinction of their (historiographically reconstitu ted) agency from the absence of voice that marks the textual presence (marking her absence in death) of Chandra. Speaking of illicit love in the sexual politics of ni neteenth century rural Bengal, Guha writes : a transgression of that order [an illicit relationship], born in secrecy, survived by stratagems of secrecy. Silence and evasion, fear and shame all conspired to tolerate, or at least look away from whatever exc eeded the prescribed limits of sexual politics within a kinship group, so long as it was not forced out into the light of day by violence or by a rupture in the mute [emphasis mine] ) And even when the incident becomes a judicial matter through the intervention of the colonial state in the patriarchal socio political domain of indigenous society, Chandra is

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134 mitted. crime takes center stage while the actual act of the violation o f the sexual norms of the society, an act participated in by Chandra as an individual, is suppressed by both the document [of the legal proceedings of the case under col (34), the male mobilize themselves in solidarity of empathy Thus Guha writes : This attempt to shirk parenthood by the destruction of an embryo or by consigning its carrier to living death in an akhra earns for Magaram a place in a historical relationship of power, a relationship of male dominance mediated by religion. It is a relationship that is overlaid and obscured, in our calls for a movement in the opposite directi on, so that the pall of abstract patriarchy in its dual role of the cynical lover and the authoritarian samaj. (55) In the process, Guha replaces the dominance of colonial law with that of patriarchal indigenous law. The important thing to note here is that even this recuperation is precisely possible because of the apostrophic turn from the figure of Chandra, the een committed. The existence of the colonial legal archives pertaining to this case is grounded upon the death, an event enabling the intervention of the colonial state into the socio political domain of indigenous patriarchy.

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135 s up centralizing indigenous patriarchy in the form of Magaram Chashi as the original perpetrator of the murder. But even his Guha clearly acknowledges his inability to recuperate the voice/motivations of Chandra subaltern figure, and the incorporation of the various subjects native informant s. In the original legal discourse, these native informant s are the other of the other of the male s ubject literary instances of subalternity who have to be recovered as the voiced subject s the un recupe rable moment of history, the apostrophe that is crucial to the writing of even subaltern historiography. for the subaltern forecloses any possibility of retrieving any recogn ath that they [gendered subalterns] enter a narrative for us to point out that the lack of a verdict for the accused, particularly Brinda and Bhagaboti,

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136 [t]he vanishing of their death is, of cours e, also their death. The subaltern cannot speak (134) the perfect example of subalternity (let alone a subaltern subject ). A perfect example that is coincident with its historical fact is impossible and hence subalternity has to be retrieved through narrativization (critically contextualized) of the subaltern condition. Rajan argues that Spivak in A Critique of Postcolonial Reason deliberately chooses the cannot but, in fact, does Foe but also will not speak (his tongue, after all, has consciousness is impossible to retrieve (such as when the impossible to recognize that voice consciousness. However, in order to make her point Rajan does take recourse to an outside in the figure of the historical subject who will resist recuperation in the exemplary form of the subaltern (127). This resistance is foreclosed in the fact of death though she is sign subject is premised upon the sublation of the native informant as t to recognize (in turning away from) the subaltern as in coding the

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137 subaltern even rhetorically as historical subject will re produce the sovereign subject subalternity, I resist the reading of a historical subaltern subject as outside historiographic recuperation. This historical (subaltern) subject is just as much a narrative trope as its death that has to be literalized (literarily realized) to read subalternity. Here, I find it interesting to note that in defining the empathy that motivated the Bagdi women to help Chandra abort the baby r ather than face bhek Guha identifies an that he onfers on this text the dignity of a tragic ency as empathy. I use this critical strategy to gument that the subaltern can only be figured in reconstitu agency as historical fact, but to critically disrupt the

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138 the subaltern, addresses M recognition (of speech) and not just a class condition. That is why even a middle class woman like Bhubaneswa r Bhaduri can be subalternized. In fact, Rajan argues that such that a (non normative) Rajan also a note explaining the motives of her suicide was an acknowledgment of the power of reproductive heteronormativity in co opt gendered subal a female sub Subaltern Speak ? from (103). While I agree with Rajan about the narrativization of subaltern absence in death, I read suba (narrativization) of subaltern death even though she does suggest all forms of absence I read the subaltern as the absence of retrieval in the narrative schematics of subject constitution. The subaltern figure is a substitute, a supplement to fill that

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139 empathetic/affective) critical strategy. While in discourse we must speak of the subaltern as the subject/ subj ect of her discourse, we need to also critically distance the supplement from the absence of the subaltern A Critique of Postcolonial Reason This methodology helps me address the literary litera l bind of the recuperative project of subaltern subject constitution by displacing the trace of the subaltern figure to the narrative production of produce the effect of subaltern presence in discourse and supplement thi s effect as the cause of their presence. Institutional discourse does determine the conditions of the entry of the formerly subaltern into subject constitution (in resistance as both resistant and resisting subject constitution). I read later in this chapt without acting as gatekeepers, professing control over the subject constitution of the non subject. Subaltern as Difference In the article titled Criticism, and Politics in the Third published in 1992 argue s the known Orientalist Histories of the Third Worl

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140 mately harkens back to liberal humanist principles of self representation in this case, of authoritative marginals who voice their own concerns from the peripheries. While they conscientiously point out that Prakash is critical of the pitfalls of his own m ethodology, they argue that his program shares these sounding assault, issued along sever off spheres of activity for free individuals or cultures are a very old device of liberal ideology a new form of that key and enduring feature of Western capitalist and imperialist culture: the bad conscience of liberalism, still struggling with t he continuing paradox between an ideology of liberty at home and the reality of profoundly exploitative political relations abroad, and now striving to salve and reequip itself in a postcolonial world with new arguments and better camouflaged forms of mora l authority. (164 166) post structuralist and postmodern mode. Prakash thus focuse s on fragmented narratives, they argue, in an attempt to break away from reconstitu ting foundational hegemonic explanatory structures like capitalism, but ends up ineffectively repeating the same opposition to the dominant ad nauseam without actually produ cing a space for that in that earlier article those minor narratives were read onl y as parts of a comprehensive structure of power read as relationships of dominance (thereby legitimizing my earlier critique of her position). Only, in this article, along with

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141 Washbrook, she sublates her Foucauldian notion of power into a Marxist meta na rrative of global capital ist relations. This critique of the Subaltern Studies project, therefore, marks an interesting contrast to the argument that Masseslos makes. Masselos argues that the reification of the subaltern as subject of resistance in crit ical historiography is precisely a result of reading resistance only as opposition to the dominance of the hegemonic. While his and Washbrook read the attempt to break away from the foundational by positing a space of radical difference as ineffective repetition of de contextualized resistance. Prakash in his response in the Comparative Studies in History and Society makes it clear that suggesting the hegemony of a certain system (here capitalism) does not mean that that paradigm exercises complete dominance over argues in his response that his was a awing on Bhabha, is arguing for

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142 grappling with how to resist sublation of these histories of resistance in the repetitious self re constitution of the dominant. How do you retrieve resistance from the rns of inequalities and exploitation the history that institutionalized capitalist dominance approaches which argue that although Marxism can rightfully claim that it historicizes the emergence of capitalism as a world force, it cannot disavow its history as a nineteenth century European discourse that universalized the mode of de more than reveal, over and over again, the subjective and arbitrary nature of our Hanlon and Washbrook 144 work and instead base their condemnation on a review essay by John Searle published ys of reading and reinscribing the structure of ambivalence closed by foundations in serving certain consists in revealing that the politics displacing other claims to the margin s can be undone by rearticulating the structure of differences that existing foundations seek to suppress and that strategies for challenging the authority and power derived from various foundational myths (History as the March of Man, Reason, Civilization Progress, Modes of Production) lie inside, not outside, the ambivalence that these myths seek to suppress. (172 173)

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143 the limits of the liberative potential of the historiographi c politics of identifying the dominant they also bring up the problem of historiography and the ethnographic cultural relativism of postmodernist strategies) sources, to represent adequately the authority of informants, and to open real textual spaces for a multitude of indigenous voices whose perspectives and agendas are not imposed on them from margins and bears a striking resemblance to the colonial strategies by which an authoritative Hinduism was previously been a much more heterogeneous collection of local social and religious 162). Once again, I frame this problem as the ever present threat of narrative co optation of subaltern difference in the figure of the native informant reco ded as the subaltern subject difference in the resistance of the native informant that defers its complete complicity. And he reads that resistance as the (im?)possibility of agency, an within a paradigm infected and hegemonized by the exploitative practices of global

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144 capital ism, cannot be read as merely a repetition (a mirror) of the dominant. In his words : all totalizations reveal their impossibility in their use of supplements. This means that history becomes possible in the structure of marginali zed others; Western discourses may have constituted and transformed colonial and postcolonial subjects, but they cannot determine the agency that these subjects find in the contradictions and equivocality set in motion in discursive fields. (184) While his theories of resistance can propose agendas of resistance and reconceptualizations of academic politics in engagement with the dominant paradigm to create spaces within the institut ional discourse of identity contestation for marginal subjects to define W e have to emancipate (not minorities) but our critical politics of in difference but as a politics of creating space for resistance repeated strategical ly without creating boundaries for the form of that resistance. This also does not mean that we stop critiquing the limits of resistance articulated in spaces of resistance (whether enabled in discourse or produced in resistance) because there needs to be a clear gesture towards the im refusal (to engage) of the dominant that it is resistant to. And as I argued i n Chapter 3 this im possible resistance cannot be supplemented by an expedient resort to a romanticized alterity uncontaminated by the colonialism of contact with the dominant. domi nant paradigm by positing a recoverable radically different subaltern subject to be recuperated from the margins. This is why the historiographic move of the Subaltern strategic

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145 probl and th reconstitu ted by the historian. Therefore subaltern subject speak to on the trace by first recognizing the trace as such. Prakash, however, in his response, must be critically read in terms of its own historical production) betwee n the source and the author (who must be traced within their relationship of difference). He points out that t be deconstructed by positing a subaltern subject the latter cannot be dismissed by reifying the hegemony of tory that] is blind to the history of contaminated only beca

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146 recoverable outside the hegemony of the dominant what they identify as outside history as a pre foundational space. The deconstructive position would, however, point out that in the act of reconstitu ting history from the fragments of the coming into being as trace, sublating (subsuming and repressing) the traces of difference that enable its reconstitu tion as history. And at apostrophic moments, when faced with the residue of alterity as the trace(s) of what it cannot subsume and here residue does not mean the remainder as finite, but remainder as what remains outside the tracing of history or the text and cannot be measured in terms of finite and infinite the historical subject (even t he marginal recovered in the name of the subaltern) must turn away from that alterity. I recognize the trace of this lack as the subaltern while the Subaltern Studies group read the trace of the marginal, the subsumed and repressed, recovering it as the st rategically reconstitu ted sign of the subaltern subject bring up a legitimate conceptual bind the need to posit a hegemonic dominant at one end of the spectrum to define radical difference at the other. D rawing on Frederic Jameson, they conception of a dominant cultural logic or hegemonic system that resistance, Now if we posit a pattern of infinite differ ences, and recognize the inherent hybridity of the hegemonic, then the hegemonic is itself rife with a multiplicity of differences and there is no fixed boundary to separate it from the resistant margins. And if one does not textually posit the hegemonic, then what is the resistant resistant to? After breaking

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147 down the center margin dichotomy, one merely reads infinite relationships of difference marked by divergent relationships of power where resistance is merely the difference of complicity. The problem here is how to work out this bind to articulate a comprehensible theory of resistance constrained by the limitations of the academic discourse that such theory sees itself as a part of. In fact, one of the points that Masselos raises in his article is the circularity of establishing that there is no original act of contamination, that all texts, i.e., systems of knowledge, are already always infected/hybrid. He argues that once this point has been 200). He points out that the effects of the power, or in my reading the repetition of the sign, of the of power and knowledge [repeated as the sign of the sovereign subject reveal a repetition/circulation of the sovereign sign. In my work, i f the point of ern absence, then the repetition of such reading would only function as the other of reading (and repeating) the hegemonic sign of the subject precisely the displacement of this repetitious mode, whereby the reading (and in consequence, the narrative) is re turned towards absence) that marks the liminality of the text. Such a reading does not merely establish the method of the functioning of the sovereign sign or even the fact that resistant subjectivities repeat the constitution of that sign. The reading attempts to defer the singular instance of the present reading as repetition by reading subaltern absence in

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148 place of the subject The reading reconstitu tes the narrative against the grain not by supplementing a different resistant subje ct but by identifying the contextual constitution of resistance as subject. I am proposing a particular reading of a particular context bound (gendered, classed, racialized) subject to unmake its constitution in the process of repeating its sign. If the s overeign sign repeats itself as the same in difference repeating difference in indifference to its own hybridity then the unmaking (here strategically) must also be vigilantly repeated in difference repeating the unmaking of its constitutive difference. And the impetus must always be towards the im possibility of the Derridean event in the trace of subaltern absence marking the liminal points of the subject narrative constitution the eventuality of a radical difference outs ide the binary subject object, subject other, subject subaltern, other subaltern opposition. And this im possibility has to be critically deferred and not declared in realization. The im possible radical functions precisely to unmake the constitutive compl icity of the possible radical so that we do not read into existence easy and unexamined subject s Subaltern as Double Bind Sumit Sarkar, a significant member of the Indian Subaltern Studies group, i n his Subaltern Studies points out that the generalization of the Enlightenment (particularly Enligh tenment Witness Against the Beast ). Sarkar thus E

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149 Studies scholars end up generally condemning the modern nation state and secularis m (318) of the same fundamentalist forces that they are trying to oppose. For example, for (313), if we oppose secularism itself, as Partha Chatterjee does in a 1994 article titled Economic and Political Weekly giving precedence to the right of distinct religious communities to have legislative autonomy, senter like hegemonic (as g lobal capital ism in historical materialist readings of the archives) to caution against what they saw as repetitive reconstitu tion s of de contextualized resistance, Sarkar argues against the positing of Enlightenment rationalism as the absolute hegemonic to caution against what he sees as the threat of re contextualizing oth the former and the dominant as subaltern resistances are constituted in opposition to, and being rife with contradictions, allow for differences and thereby resist ances within. However, while opposition to the hegemonic to contextualize those differences in terms of class

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150 exploitation, Sarkar argues against unproblematic (unproblem atized) readings of the hegemonic precisely because of those internal differences that mark teleologies of other spaces (defined in terms of secularism, human rights) that are the foundations of institutional resistances against various registers of exploi tation. He is therefore hegemonic by fragmenting the hegemonic and retrieving the resistance of differences (contradictions) within. g of textuality in the name of the sovereign rational subject forecloses the possibility of the radically different subject only outside the paradigm brings up the important issue of the sovereignty that presumes te xtuality as read from within the postcolonial paradigm defined in contamination of but circulating the hegemonic sign of Western rationalism M strategic shorthand in Chapter 2 pedient category to address a central concern that continues to haunt diverse critical resistances located across the globe that constitute the for the limits of radical difference as defined from within the hybrid (colonial post) con stitution of the discursive space I belong to, and not the refusal of a radical alterity. My point is that I cannot recognize (in reading) resistance as radically different without textually sublating that radical difference, thereby normalizing it other difference always already defined in relation to the subject of its resistance. The resistance that I read in the text is not beyond the limit of subaltern absence, but located in the transition from t his absence of recog nition to the resistance of the native informant (always already under the threat

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151 reconstitu ted as repetition of the sign of the (hybrid) subject This transitio nal resistance is particularly significant because it can only be read in the trace of its loss, just as I read the im possibility of radical resistance in the trace of its lack. One can attempt to defer the sublation of this resistance by reading the tens the subject as hybrid and the repeated sameness of the hybrid as subject However, economic conce pts like class and civil/human rights (or the domains of power and autonomy culminates here in an oscillation between the 308). to contextualize the subaltern in resistance and through that contextualization enable it to form socio economic (and not reconstitu ted subject of resistance reappro priated as the other of the citizen subject while enabling him or her (now no longer subaltern having transitioned to an engagement with the tools of civil subject formation) to form the strategic alliances necessary for a recognizable socio political existence. published in 2005, social lines of mobility, being elsewhere, do not permit the formation of a recognisable

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152 Keynote ad dress at UCSB a year earlier, she had made it clear that this position had evolved from her T his re conception of subalternity strategy of enabling the self intuitive metonymization of the subaltern as citizen. The intuition has to be through the synecdochic gesture of claiming agency as part of the democratic state. Spi vak proposes a difference (or more properly a name distinguished from the formation of the subje ct, which exceeds the outlines of individual subject that does not necessarily incorporate that agency into the sanctioned (in differ ence from validated or recognized) agency of the : If the repetition of singularity that gives multiplicity is the repetition of difference, agency calls for the putting aside of difference. Agency presumes collectivity, which is where a group acts by synecdoche: the part that seems to agree is taken to stand for the whole. (480) Here there is a clear need for critical vigilance since as soon as agency is repeated as the synecdochic gesture of claiming the rights of citizenry, the subalte rn subject is consigned (or consigns itself) to the biopolitical reach of the state. I read this tension between reading the subaltern (as subject) in theoretical praxis in the interstices

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153 of historical archives and recognizing the subaltern as subject in its agency not only in addresses this tension in the distinction between the constative and the performative. In Eighteenth Brumaire s he suggests that the withholding of self representation is constative and that attempts by the Subaltern Studies tails of the there is no effort here to touch the subaltern or, with the energy with which historiographic practice is questioned, to question the political strategy that appropriates t the grain, to for another performativity, a contamination of the outlines of historiography by its own place in history, so that the subaltern is not merely protected by read the archives against the grain. Such reading of the archives is, of course, useful, but only, at best, for correcting the constative. (478) work has tried to performatively supplement, in a move beyond just reading the argues : To historicise the subaltern, then, is not to write the history of the singular. It is the active, scrupulous, and vigilant contamination of historiography from the constative through the disciplinary performative into the field of the historical possibility of what we can only call the present. (484)

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154 What Spivak is trying to address is that the definition of the subaltern as the indefinite, the move towards a refusal/rejection of defining the subaltern, also limits the intellectual gesture to the constative. But any performative gesture on the part of the possible to address the problematic of the subaltern in a simultaneous gesture of the constative and the performative and would that necessitate a distincti on between the constative deferment and the performative definition? If such a distinction is to be made, then should we still use the same term subaltern, or does this distinction call for another metonymy? This is why I propose the trace of the native in formant for exploring this tension between the articulation of the un recoverable alterity of radical difference and the tracing of difference as resistance to (and from within) the hegemonic. The native informant is always already implicated in the sign o f the sovereign and the co optation of the sign of its otherness is constitutive of the sovereign subject in whose name is guaranteed the civil institutions that Sarkar identifies as central to the resistance of difference. I read the trace of the native i nformant in Spivak as the genealogy of the new book, An Aesthetic Education in the Era of Globalization published in 2012. According to Spivak, this aesthetic educat universalizability of the singular, the double bind at the heart of democracy, for which an aesthetic education can be an epistemologica l preparation, as we, the teachers of the aesthetic, use material that is historically marked by the region, cohabiting with, 4). Here Spivak

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155 is drawing attention to the same discursive heg emony that I have placed my work in, here is that while we should not romanticize the radical difference of the un recognizable, we should always be aware that the subaltern subject the subaltern who has entered into discourse with the institutional and is no longer a subaltern is also citizen subject as constituted by the hegemony of the sovereign. She clearly states in training for the subaltern is because they also are citizens, the name for he is for subaltern] can, when necessary, when the pu blic sphere calls for it, synecdochise themselves without identitarian exploitation (sometimes well meaning but equally An Aesthetic Education from the subaltern, rather o devise a philosophy of education that will develop, for want of a better expression

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156 advocation of le arning from below to make available the tools of citizenship to the subaltern implies a performative act of translation. In An Aesthetic Education she states : In our dwindling isolation cells, we must plumb the forgotten and mandatorily ignored bi polarit y of the social productivity and the social in places where s/he speaks, unheard, by way of deep language learning, qualitative social sciences, philosophizing into unconditiona l ethics. (27) I have already argued for the usefulness of the trace of the native informant in distinguishing between the speaking subaltern and the subaltern absence that always therwise, the act of translation here that is pre figured as a necessity can be co opted by the liberative gesture of translating subaltern performativity into agential performance. is the ever present and very real danger of the sublation of the subaltern into the performative of the organic intellectual. This moment of translation needs to be iteratively re visited at every moment of training/learning. I find it very interesting th en that Spivak clearly interruption (30 [ emphasis mine] not a recourse to an essentialized identity of radical difference but a carefully : I have fallen into a reading task: to learn from these collectivities enough to suture rights thinking into the torn cultural fabric of responsibility; or, to vary the concept metaphor, activate a dormant ethical imperative. The text is text ile. To suture here is to weave, a s in invisible mending. (483)

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157 This ethical imperative cannot be misread in liberal humanist terms, but must be read as an interruption of liberal humanist ethics in order using the enabling violation of our colonial past to converse with but also to supplement the necessary uniformization of globalization with linguistic An Aesthetic Education 28). I cannot undertake the project of this work a reading of the subaltern (figure and absen ce) in literary texts without the acknowledgment of such an ethical imperative. An interruptive critical approach has to make its argument at every specific point, at every specific turn of the narrative reconstitu tion of the hegemonic whether read as West ern rationalism or indigenous fundamentalism. Sumit Sarkar makes the point that critical work cannot limit itself to the fragment in my reading the differential and endless identification of radical alterity but must at the same time make strategic allianc es with rational institutions guaranteeing civil rights like secularism reading them towards a more equitable politics. Spivak clarifies this argument in an interruptive and enable the institutionally un recognized to constitute themselves though within but with a clear understanding of the discourse of the hegemonic, thereby enabling the im possibility of unmaking the self consolidating logic of global sovereignty. In Chapter 5 informed by the constitutive tension between the subaltern and the native informant I hybridity as resistance in postcolonial criticism

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158 CHAPTER 5 NAMING THE MARRANO: TRACING THE DIASPORA IN POSTCOLONIAL THEORY I have clarified the notion of subaltern difference following the major arguments of the Indian Subaltern Studies group, and established that hybridity as the site of resistance mus t critically engage with its re figuration of the resistant subject through the dialectical process of assimilating the recognizable difference of the native informant and putting the irreducible difference of the subaltern under erasure. In this chapter, I interrupt that dialectical process of sublation to trace subaltern difference at the site of the hybrid to explore the im possibility of imagining a space for the irreducible without assimilating its difference in rationalizing it. Postcolonial criticis m, especially in the South Asian context, has placed the )colonial modernity, particularly the nation The diaspora as hybrid serves to both decenter the consolidated sign of the citizen subject and cut across the rigid cultural, political, and linguistic boundaries of nation states. The diasporic subject allowing for both distance from and familiarity with the postcolonial nation. Diaspora in Postcolonial Theory Franoise Krl, in her book Critical Identities in Contemporary Anglophone Diasporic Literature published in 2009, makes a forceful case for dia spora theory as presented as emblematic of the postmodern, post industrial condition, a sort of epiphenomenon and heightened version of the consequences of postmoder

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159 s that diasporic literature in its which loom large at the turn of the twenty indeed an intrinsic value to literary representations of these changing and hybrid identities, which lies in the emphasis they put not so much on analysis and critical appraisal as on self grammar of identity to express itself in all its complexities, in the jarring polarities of its fragmented nature, and for the divide between objective markers of integration and Krl goes on to argue that the diasporic condition privileges the diasporic subject a curse in the sense that the diasporic writer is doomed to a life of in betweenness, but a blessing in the sense that s/he enj oys a diasporic subject the in identity constitution in rigid national terms, we need to be careful of reconstituting a as an existential epistemological aporia. This epistemological aporia I discuss this aporia later in this chapter pre figuring the subject figures the subject consciousness of the diasporic subject Krl does go on to caution against an apolitical liminality referring to the work of R. Radhakrishnan in Diasporic Mediations as

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160 ace and its depoliticised projection of Krl also questions the rejection of the center periphery polarity by some postcolonial theorists for a series of international exchanges because the latter often ignore the politics o f global inequalities. In arguing for reintroducing a confrontational aspect into diasporic relations, she essentially calls for the recovery of agency of the diasporic subject She argues that the reason why diasporas are unable to realize their of diasporic exchanges, which has not only become more elaborate but is plagued by constant shifts and redefinitions which undoubtedly make it more difficult to read the whole p directionality of migratory fluxes and the criss questioning of situating (or re territorializing) diasporic identity, many critics refuse agency to the diasporic subject must articulate its resistance to realize its radical hybridity/liminality. diaspora in a st the bipolar model featuring home country and host country] and those who use the term a tripolar model, which no longer foregrounds the point of origin or retur

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161 (12). Most diaspora theorists refer to the inauguration of the journal Diaspora in 1991 conceptualization from its specific Jewish context into a central concept in postcolonial articulations of scholarl minority communities that shared the following characteristics : 1) they, or their ancestors, have been dispersed from a specific original regions; 2) they retain a collective memory, vision, or myth about their original homeland its physical location, history, and achievements; 3) they believe that they are not and perhaps cannot be fully accepted by their host society and therefore feel par tly alienated and insulated from it; 4) they regard their ancestral homeland as their true, ideal home and as the place to which they or their descendants would (or should) eventually return when conditions are appropriate; 5) they believe that they should collectively, be committed to the maintenance or restoration of their original homeland and to its safety and prosperity; and 6) they continue to relate, personally or vicariously, to that homeland in one way or another, and their ethnocommunal conscious ness and solidarity are importantly defined by the existence of such a relationship. (83 84) Various critics have since tried to build on this definition either broadening it to include specific migrant communities or narrowing it down to avoid dilution of theoretical efficacy through over generalization. There is also a significant amount of discussion about the appropriate focus of diaspora studies for example, Gabriel examination of Isra eli Jewish

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162 nalysts of nationalism have called primordial, ethno integration, rather Tracing an Indian Diaspora: Contexts, Memories, Representations published in 2008 Parvati Raghuram and Ajaya Kumar Sahoo look at t he focus of different diaspora theorists. While critics like Safran and Sheffer mentioned above attempt categorical definitions of diaspora, others like Paul Gilroy define diasporic communities based on their difference from the dominant ethnic group/s in identification with and against territorial social and cultural formation, especially as they (2). Again while some theorists country and with other diasporic offshoots of the same group transnationally. Steven proposes exploring diasporic communities as social form, type of consciousness, and cultural production. At the same time, critics like Floya Anthias problematize diaspora

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163 theory questioning its lack of specificity, especially with regard to issues of gender and race. 1998, points out that diaspora as theoretical concept gained currency, particularly that avoids the essentialism of much of the transnational processes and commonalities, does so by deploying a notion of ethnicity to examine trans ethnic commonalities and relations and does not adequately pay process of defining diasporic groups with a shared identity and interests, particularly in the categorical terms of Safran and others, diaspora theory often posits both the dominant and diasporic communities as homogeneous in themselves ignoring the diversities and differences within the grou ps. Here, Raghuram and Sahoo point out that Martin Skefeld, in response to is indeed of ten defined in primordialist terms, the diaspora theorist must interrogate the mobilized for ar identity [that] derives almost naturally from experiences of belonging in primordial

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164 re representation and its othering by the nation state. I quote him directly to clarify his elaboration of diaspora as The assumption of a shared id entity that unites people living dispersed in transnational space thereby becomes the central defining feature of places of origin, I argue[] that diaspora identity and the imagina tion of a diaspora community is also an outcome of mobilization processes. The development of diaspora identity is not simply a natural and inevitable result of migration but a historical contingency that frequently develops out of mobilization in response to specific critical events. Diaspora is thus firmly historicized. It is not an issue of naturally felt roots but of specific political circumstances that suggest the mobilization of a transnational imagined community. The focus on mobilization in the for mation of diasporas effectively counters essentializing concepts of diaspora. (280) the homeland defines the concept exclusively in terms of its relationship to its host nation. Such a determined exclusively in reaction to its adopted nation. While such an argument may have been partly true for diasporic groups formed prior to the technological advanceme nts from the mid twentieth century who had limited access to the homeland post over the In : [b]y recognizing the significance of departure in the itinerary of migration, we acknowledge that negotiation skills do not necessarily evolve only upon

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165 arrival. This is [ sic ] turn compels the theorist to re conceptualise the psycho social dynamics of the moment of arrival, normally associated with increasing nu mber of young women from urban middle 276). Therefore, while her work obviously does not address the transnational movements of the many by capitalism, such as the demand for labour, the rise of poverty or famine and the basic de does add to our understanding of the diversity of diasporic experiences. In the process, Pandurang makes a very important point about the gender roles of Indian women in the ne defence mechani sm already inculcated a gendred acceptance on the part of the emigrant woman that the way, exploring the diasporic consciousness of a specific class and gender, Pandurang argue nations shaping diasporic identity.

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166 In an excellent book titled Diaspora and Hybridity published in 2005, Virinder S. Kalra, Raminder Kaur and John Hutnyk bring up ano ther interesting criticism of diaspora theory. They compare the usefulness of the concept of diaspora not only to ethnicity, allows us to move beyond the static, fixed off, one community to both the host nation and the homeland. At the same time, referring to ethnic differentiation, they point out laws, regulations and recipro city between nation its constitutive ethnic groups while the term diaspora, in the work of some critics, displaces political, class an d gender concerns to a more general cultural register. They So i n a sense, the main argument here is for the grounding of diaspora theory in theory on the one hand, and reiterations of essentialist identities on the other. While differi ng in methodology, all the above theorists argue for a nuanced understanding of diaspora that pays attention to the complexity of its differences within and to other marginal and dominant groups in the adopted nation as well as the homeland. And

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167 there is g eneral agreement that while the emphasis on the importance of the homeland, actual or mythical, may differ, the notion of the homeland in diasporic consciousness needs to be adequately problematized to avoid essentialist reconstructions of primordial ethni c identities. And while all postcolonial theorists recognize the significance of the Jewish context to the concept of diaspora, the call to expand the definition of the term ociated with a millenarian (hence primordialist) ethos. While I find critical elaborations of diaspora theory to encompass diverse transnational migrants other than just the exilic useful, I argue for a better understanding of the Jewish context of this cr itical term. Agreeing with the rejection of essentialist identities, I argue that the concept of diaspora is precisely a theoretical mobilization to examine, critique and resist the circulation of state. In fact Kalra, Kaur and Hutnyk propose that diaspora as a theoretical concept is a useful tool for deconstructing the national narrative because the historical longevity of the diasporic construct is one that predates the modern formation of the nation. In this sense, diaspora could be utilized to indicate transnational forms, formations and processes that take into account larger geo political shifts and historical patterns of struggle (civilizational clashes, changes of mode of production, etc.). (12 13) And p recisely recognizing diaspora as a significant postcolonial critical concept, I posit that we need to clearly understand the critical genealogy of the term in the process of mobilizing it to articulate sites of resistance. The Diasporic Imaginary in Postc olonial Criticism Before the term gained currency in postcolonial criticism, it was used in Anglo American (and European) theory to generally refer to the Jewish, Armenian and Greek diasporas (i.e., the classical diasporas) as well as Africans displaced by slavery. In this

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168 chapter, I explore the genealogy of the concept in its original Jewish context, not to argue for some essential meaning, but to historically situate the critical mobilization of the word diaspora and to explore whether the specificity (in political, historical, and interesting ways. Vijay Mishra, one of the major South Asian diaspora theorists, in his book Literature of the Indian Diaspora: Theorizing the Diasporic Imagination published in of the hybrid, that is, in the domain of cross state and the reconstitu even the more accessible homelands of a globalized inter net connected world state that defines itself, consciously, unconsciously or through self evident or implied political coercion, as a group that live Lacanian sense (linked to the mirror stage of the ego, and therefore characterized by a current usa

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169 is hat its However, Mishra at this point slips into an unintended affirmation of certain anti d attuned to spatio ende th melancholic attachment to a mythical homeland. In fact, Mishra posits that the dominant commu

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170 that the dominant is unable to share the same attachment to its homeland, which it fee ls is impeded by the presence of the diasporic others lost/contamina play in the construction of the fantasies of the nation con whether the schizophrenic performative diasporic formations or the other way around sets up an aporia that is, in fact, often the justificat ion for ethnic cleansing directed at the very diasporic groups to which bears further analysis. aul De Man ment to the subject suffers from a

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171 precisely because the past cannot be constructively interpreted, the primal loss (of the homeland, a priori we need to carefully look at Mishra What is an impossible mourning? What does it tell us, this impossible mourning, about an essence of memory [of anamnesia, of remembrance]? the most distressing, or even the most deadly infidelity that of a possible mourning which would interiorize within us the image, the idol, or ideal of the other who is dead and lives on in us? Or is it that of the impossible mourning which, leaving the other his alterity, respecting thus his infinite remove, either refuses to take or is incapable of taking the other within oneself, as in the to mb or the vault of some narcissism? (7) figurative language, effectively implies that true mourning can never be defined, except the form of an aporia: the apori o also simultaneously engage with the state. If the diaspora idealizes state repetitively idealizes the able heterogeneity. While I understand the

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172 trauma here does not take into account the racial and ethnic pressures of the nation state that he brings up earlier in the immediately internalizing its difference through its assimilation as native informant in its reconstitution under the hegemonic sign of the citizen subject even in acknowledging the non native, immigrant, alien, as other than itsel does not s eek to internalize the object of its loss along with the exploration of the schizophrenic psychological formations of the dias pora can result in an other infidelity, another betrayal. I am wary that the above elision when as how to address diasporic othering as constitutive of national identity without reconstitu of the nation state. Mishra does usefully point out the complexity of the diasporic imaginary that he (17). Importantly, he points out that while the diaspora as Oth er serves to fuel the racist phobias of the nation

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173 which anti miscegenation narratives of homelands are constructed against the multi cultural, miscegenation prone reality of the nation part of our ethical relationship to th diasporic narratives. I would only add that along with the psychoanalytic exploration of constitution of the diasporic as Other and t well as those im possible differences i.e., subaltern differences put under erasure precisely to define the resistant postcolonial hybrid subject Of course, once again, we have to pay heed to R difference as an this subjectless theory functions in the name of th e in his book Between Identity and Location and multi finally, the realization of politics as a kind transcendence through exile and an epiphanic escape from

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174 territorializing itself and thereby acquir[ing] a : Whereas and yet be able to speak. Whereas the pur historical witness to the agonizing tension between two histories (Benjamin). (175 176) I show, however, that the deployment of diaspora as a conce pt of un historicized hybridity can be problematized by tracing the genealogy of the term. A careful Tracing the Diaspora The word diaspora comes from Deuteronomy 28:25 of the Septuagint, the Greek translation of the Hebrew Bible produced in Alexandria around 3 rd Century BCE. As with most historical Biblical research, there is a fair amount of speculation about the actual reasons behind the translation and the nature of the translation itself. According to the nd Century BCE, the Septuagint was produced in Alexandria at the behest of Ptolemy II who invited six members from each of the 12 Jewish tribes to comprehensively translate the Heb rew Bible into the language of his empire. The Encyclopedia Judaica about the production of the Septuagint that was already established by the 3 rd Century BCE. The encyclopedia also notes that the Greek tra historical inaccuracies and inconsistencies to render it impossible to consider the work a

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175 The Letter of Aristeas makes a plea for better relations between Jews and l etter and on the other, the diaspora was finding common cultural and even religious ground in its new land. Based on these observations, the Encyclopedia Judaica asks : Does it not, it might be asked, make more sense to seek LXX origins within the Alexandrian Je wish community itself, which saw the need for an authoritative Greek version of Sacred Writ, as fluency in, or even familiarity with, Hebrew became rarer and rarer? (595) Instead of a clear either or distinction between the precise reasons for the Greek tr Torah was translated both to preserve the religious identity of a community in danger of los available to the dominant Greek community in Alexandria. Such a historical understanding also then sheds light on the nature of the translation as sometimes the translator or occasion bending the Greek rather far in the direction of the Hebrew original, [and] at other times show[ing] a deep concern for a Greek importance of this understanding brings us to the specific context of the diaspora, the original Hebrew verse with its English translation : Yitenkha YHWH niggaf lifnei 'oyeveikha YAHW EH will cause you to be defeated before your enemies be derekh 'ekhad tetze' 'elav

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176 you will go out one way against them u veshiva'ah derakhim tanus lefanav and in seven ways you will flee before them ve hayyata le za'avah le khol mamlekhot ha 'aretz and you will become a terror to all the kingdoms of the earth Interestingly, this verse was heavily modified in the Septuagint. I now provide below the Greek translation of the original in the Septuagint and its translation into English : The Lord give thee up for slaughter before thine enemies: thou shalt go out against them one way, and flee from their face seven ways; and thou shalt be a dispersion in all the kingdoms of the earth ("The Greek Old The translators of the Torah therefore made a very interesting change to the original research on the use of diaspora in its modern critical deployment as a condition of hybridity, I came across only one source that refers to this modification Caryn Aviv and David Shneer in New Jews states : the word in question, means anything from atrocity and outrage to horror and terror, but it does not mean dispersion. That which came to and threatening tone in the original. (3) be h has been read as an attempt to neutralize the negative connotations of the original verse as the Old Testament was being opened up to a larger audience. The word

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177 diasp ora then marks a moment of anxiety at the historic moment when the Jewish community in diaspora proceeded to translate the Torah so that the community adapting co ncept in postcolonial criticism does not have to be limited by its Jewish context, critics need to be aware of their differential deployment of the concept through a meticulous engagement with this genealogy by properly historicizing the term. I provide be low a better understanding of this change and its historic context to explore the specific postcolonial association with the condition as well as the critique of globalization. According to the Encyclopaedia Judaica Pentateu Sefer ha Torah misneh ha Torah with the tex textual changes wrought by the translators, and particularly regarding the introduction of the word diaspora. Keeping in mind that such pronouncements in the Biblical context are different from the actual conditions of the production of the Bible, I address this point

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178 to argue that the translators of the Septuagint made their decisions fully aware of th e authority of a religious legal text, and particularly the authority of the Deuteronomy, the only text clearly ascribed to Moses within the Bible. The change wrought in meaning cance came into being in a deliberate act of mis translation when a period of significant anxiety hip clearly the act of dispersion of the community. Aviv and Shneer note : [t]he first theoretician of diaspora, the prophet Jeremiah, who witnessed the destruction of the First Temple in 586 B.C.E. and the subsequent Babylonian Exile, suggested one particular survival strategy. Jews needed to craft a concept of diaspora that would allow them to be at home wherever they were, while still maintaining a memory of place that connected them to Zion. (4) The act of dispersion was then read as a state of dispersion that came to define Jewish existence specifically after the destruction of the First Temple up to the end of the Second World War and the creation of Israel and for some Jewish people even beyond the creation of the Jewish nation state. Aviv and Shneer also note that following the destruction of the First the land we now know as Israel during the two thousand This reading of the meaning of diaspora problematizes the inclination of some scholars (both Jewish and non Jew ish) to distinguish between the term and exile. The

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179 entire community, including even those who remained in Erez Israel because the mass exile of important members of t he community led to a period of great devastation. And the fact that the Septuagint was produced in the 3 rd Century BCE, at the very least a couple of centuries after the beginning of Jewish exile, clarifies that the translators used the term diaspora in f the negative connotations of the diasporic condition. The term thus always already marks the trace of that erasure in an attempt, on the one hand, to survive a crisis both of faith and identity by re naming a sense of exile or expulsion (for not having kept the the diasporic condition led to (at least, a perceived) dilution of that faith and identity. The as marking the trace of difference o marked, as this chapter, this trace of difference marking the otherness of the c a specific historical context shifted from a religious to a racial politics always threatening and enabling the survival of the Jewish diaspora as the socio cultural and political other. T he Encyclopaedia Judaica makes an interesti galut galut g galah

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180 golah galah exile is found mostly in the later books of the Hebrew Bible the Prophets, Chronicles and II Kings. Aviv and Shneer argue : galut is an inherently negative term, suggesting spiritual diminishment and exile, rather than just dispersion from a homeland. In Modern Hebrew, the adjective galuti generally translated pejoratively as like, of ghetto nature, exilic, The Encyclopaedia Judaica argues that diasporic communities do not constitute galut also note that the historian Howard Wettstein makes a similar distinction between the consciousness of galut ethnic center and the feeling of uproo there seems to be some confusion between the historicity and the historical consciousness of exile since the distinction between forced and voluntary dispersion is being premised on both an actual and pe Jewish history suggests that such a clear distinction is unhelpful whereas the complexity translation of diaspora in the Septuagint. The condition of galut translation that seemingly attempts to re situating However, Jewish history shows that even during the peri od of Babylonian exile, the sense of galut was not limited to the Jews re located to other parts of the Babylonian kingdom. Many Jews living in both the Northern kingdom of Israel and the Southern kingdom of Judah considered themselves in exile and the los s of their

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181 political ethnic center was linked more to the destruction of the Temple and the methodical destruction of the community than to the collapse of a larger concept of a nation state that is in its present form a product of Zionist nationalism part icularly reinforced after the establishment of Israel. What such a definition of exile also fails to take into account is that progressively many of the communities of the Jewish diaspora came to see themselves as parts of other nations though retaining an ethnic identity. Even after the establishment of Israel, this issue has become a matter of contention between the Zionist movement and the various diasporic communities, particularly the American Jewish diaspora that initially sustained Israel with their financial contributions. Daniel Smith Christopher, in A Biblical Theology of Exile published in 2002 obsolete, and renewed national life in the homeland, is represented as authentic, modern, and 10). At the same time, Aviv and Shneer address the work of D aniel and Zionist politics without negating the theoretical and historical model to replace national self of 18). Aviv all phrase to describe complex spatial and iden tity

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182 generalization of all Jewish communities spread across different nations outsi de Israel under the rubric diaspora, preferring instead to engage with how these communities In terestingly, Aviv and Shneer refer to Barbara Kirschenblatt ly interested in Kirschenblatt traversed and that 21). on re inherent dichotomy concern about the tendency to universalize diasporic identity, I argue that Aviv and Shneer end belonging. In their words : we explore ways Jews are making home in a global, not diasporic, w orld. We examine how Jews use travel, money, memory, organizations, and power to constitute new identities and to create new relationships to real and mythic homelands, and we show that often the real and the mythic are the same place. We also show how the ability to be rooted, to live in a postdiasporic moment, is a sign of affluence, power, and privilege as Jews the national, symbolic, and intimate processes of homemaking by showing

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183 Jews exerting power over space and place, and over one another, across different geopolitical boundaries, and through various media and cultural practices. To call a place home is a statement of power (Zionists know this best). By arguing that a place is h ome, Jews express a sense of entitlement, control, and familiarity. Home is a place where people practice identity and intimacy. We examine both the ways that Jewish discourses reinscribe diaspora into the language of global Jews and at the same time how g lobal Jews encounter these discourses, sometimes actively resisting, others [sic] times passively ignoring the idea of diaspora. (22 23) So this conception of the global new Jews is premised on the power of home making whose mobility is circumscribed im mobilized, i.e., as mobility that is both suspended and controlled by boundaries ou tside his or her control, or who is rendered invisible/absent by the identity politics of a globalized world. In contrast, I argue for a problematization of the concept of diaspora by interrupting its deployment in uncritical celebration of global hybridit y through not only an exploration of the specific (national) there seems to be a trace of the d etymology of the term, I have already established that diaspora always already marks the trace of this difference, the anxiety of an erasure under the pressures of identity constit ution. Daniel Smith Christopher also points out an interesting example of subaltern absence that coincides with the work of the Subaltern Studies group in India that I looked at in Chapter 4 Smith Christopher argues that while the state of exile was not

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184 Hebrews struggled to restore their own (22). Smith Christopher Domination and the Arts of Resistance: Hidden Transcripts to argue for forms of resistance other than armed conflict Christopher between the outward declarations and language of subordinate peoples and the private 23). I now follow, in the next section of this chapter, this constitutive trace of diasporic difference in its original Jewish context in the historic production of otherness in the figure of the Marrano. Naming the Marrano as Diasporic Difference In Aporias D asein Dasein Dasein is the very transgression of this borderline the limits that define Dasein of death before before distinction, according to presupposition other a priori

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185 that then is the basis for the analysis of all other borders (forms of kno Dasein Derrida clarifies : If one wants to translate this situation in terms of disciplinary or regional borders, of domains of knowledge, then one will say that the delimitation of the fields of anthropological, historical, biological, demographic, and even theological knowledge, presupposes a nonregional ontophenomenology that not only does not let itself be enclosed within the borders of these domains, but furthermore does not let itself be enclosed within cultural, linguistic, national, or religious borders either, and not even within sexual borders, which crisscrosses all the others. (27) Dasein animal rationale Dasein abilit as such as the only example of Dasein passage pas of a border, Th living. This presupposition presupposition determines both sides of the border. However, this border (this limit) that is essentia l to

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186 pas be resolved or posited by dialectically op positing (i.e., opposing to predetermined positions) and resolving the two sides of its non existent limit. In Derrid : the aporia is said to be impossibility, impracticability, or nonpassage: here dying would be the aporia, the impossibility of being dead, the impossibility existing once Dasein mortal) by presupposing the terms of an existential analysis (of knowledge concerning what man is as animal rationale derives from the pre posited existence of Dasein testify [to] by attesting as such proposes or pro positions (i.e., puts us on the path [ pas ] to) presupposed to exist to determine knowledge. pursued in this work are marked at every res olution, every positing of a border to presupposed only on the a priori knowledge of the border. T he consequence of this aporia in the postcolonial context i s the naming (10) where difference is presumed beforehand ( a priori ). And in my work I have

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187 e: the difference not only between what is named, but also between what s the named) the clause of belonging without belonging that is the condition of any testimony, and of So according to Derrida, ssibility of the impossible as such is and this is a metonymy that carries the name beyond the name and beyond the name of name all that is only possible as impossible, if there is such a thing 79) Dasein that is the aporia of knowledge (of difference) (or steps, passes beyond to) the nam e of nonbelonging, i.e., the Marrano. What needs that interruption is not a step towards naming duality, i.e., the positing of an other difference that can then be dialectically sublated to prod subject possible, and this naming and not the future im possible is named precisely to bear thi subject of knowledge, it is the name of the aporia of knowledge which is the very condition of knowing (of

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188 from and with itself pragma of its pragmatic Aporias and the irony of locating the limit of his book does not escape me Derrida states : Let us figuratively call Marrano anyone who remains faithful to a secret that he has not chosen, in the very place where he lives, in t he home of the inhabitant or of the occupant, in the home of the first or of the second arrivant in the very place where he stays without saying no but without identifying himself as belonging to. In the unchallenged night where the radical absence of any historical witness keeps him or her, in the dominant culture that by definition has calendars, this secret keeps the Marrano even before the Marrano keeps it. Is it not possible to think that such a secret eludes history, age, and aging? (81) Derrida does not propose an ahistorical understanding of belonging as the deconstructive project. In Aporias he shows how the limits of knowledge production are historically presupposed by Heidegger and how this aporia is present in the production rn epistemology. The naming of this aporia is not a rejection of the history of knowledge because Derrida names this aporia from within this history. The project of interruption also acknowledges the a priori conditions of knowledge production and steps to wards (in a gesture of stepping beyond by passing through these limits) the im possibility of a nonbelonging that is not defined either by a simple from the absenc e of the subaltern. I now look at the historical context of the Marrano, not to replace this historical figure by appropriating its name but to show that its history bears testimony to the failure of the dialectical resolution of difference as it is always already marked by an un sublatable nonbelonging. Tracing the Marrano in Jewish History The Oxford English Dictionary early modern Spain: a Christianized Jew or Moor, esp. one who professed conversion in

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189 The Other Within: The Marranos: Split Identity and Emerging Modernity burst into existence in two waves of mass conversions (1391 S 1991, notes how the forced conversion of Jews in Spain starting from the end of the 14 th Century, with the final edict of expulsion of all Jews in 1492, marked the culmi nation of a convivencia convivencia ance towards religious in Islamic doctrine between Muslims and non Muslims and then between non Muslim 307). He also clarifies t hat there is some confusion in Islamic doctrine about who can be considered pagan and can thereby be other was not directed merely at Jews all Muslims were sim ilarly expelled in 1502 but also manifested in the wholesale persecution of Marranos by the Spanish Inquisition for being unfaithful to of the exclusivist definitio his book. Yovel shows that while the religious (and racial) intolerance of Spain

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190 culminated in the expulsion of Jews and Muslims and the constitution of the Inquisition under Ferdinand and Isabe through Spanish history to even before Muslim Spain. In fact, the first paper document mentioning Jews in Spain was an anti Jewish decree passed by a council of bishops in AD 308. And though Je ws enjoyed a period of stability in the 5 th Century AD after Spain fell to Visigoths who were Arian Christians, their persecution resumed towards the end of the 6 th Century with King Reccared, and official royal documents referred to them as a stunning accusation to be echoed in the 14 th Century as Conversos (forced converts) made their first collective entry onto the Spanish centralized government, as did Ferdinand and Isabella in the 15 th Century, to enforce his order for all Jews to convert or leave his kingdom. And while Shell points to the convivencia that benefitted Jews as well as Christians in Muslim Spain, because the former had embraced Muslim conquest in the 8 th Century which brought relief from persecution, they were always regarded as having sided with the enemy of Spanish Christendom. In fact as Yovel shows, the success that Jews did enjoy in Spain during periods whom Spanish monarchs could rely for administrative and other official duties without fear of a us urpation of power. In his words : as the native Other that helped them attain such high rank in Christian Spain. Their position was due to their stigmatized image no less than to material considerations. The Jews were more dependable than Spanish peers in

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191 group, they did not have sufficient political legitimacy to contend for real power. Paradoxically, therefore, it was their basic illeg itimacy that allowed Spain. They we re tolerated and resented, granted opportunities and envied for using them, and always seen as utter strangers. Their support came mainly from the crown and from a thin Christian elite, yet even their patrons felt the Jews to be disquieting aliens and Chri irreconcilable Other (33 [emphasis mine]) towards the end of the 7 th Century by King Egica, which gave them a special status (and protection) in Spain reser ving their loyalty for (and putting their fate solely in the hands servitus iudaeorum as an urban corporation vis vis the nobility, and as a semi independent community within introduction of Marr anos as a significant component of Spanish society through forced conversions in the 15 th Century that finally provided the Spanish monarchs with an prerogative so far, thereby Christian society from without, had now become an inner component of that society without losing his otherness either in the eyes of the h ost society or, often, in his own self

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192 derogatorily Marranos called them anusim or the conversos in 15 th C entury Spain, but to the difference that passed beyond their conversion. Yovel clarifies in his book that the expulsion of all Jews from Spain did not end the persecution of the Marranos even though the former were exiled specifically as the source of temptation knowledge of Spanish identity and of Spanish nationalism could only be premised on other, i.e. t and I choose the term exile fully acknowledging a recognition of belonging that was denied did not Thus the excesses of the Spanish Inquisition stemmed from an anxiety of a difference within Christianity that could not be recognized in spite of the repeated attempts to name it through torture. In fact, though they were eventual ly exiled, surprisingly few Spanish Jews were persecuted by the Inquisition because they could not be accused of unfaithfulness to a faith that they were not a part of. The continuing persecution of Marranos in Spain by the Inquisition even after the expul sion of the Jews led to their exodus to other parts of Europe such as Portugal, France and Amsterdam. two nationalities but also between belonging and non belonging, pr philosophical stance

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193 sixteenth and seventeenth centuries through the work of influential Marrano ularism of anti the doctrinal absence, essential to the universalist dogma of Christianity, of Christianity, indeed, gains its fundamental New Testament intermediation between humankind and God (in the person of the man God Jesus) only as a trade off for the Old Testament intermediation between sibling human being and no nhuman others. (329) new way of being other as dissent from Christianity or as dissent within 9). Earlier, Shell had new way of being other and seventeenth century d iscourse on toleration did guide the separation of church and state that nowadays we suppose to inform modern hunts and to respect While Shell mak encouraging coexistence like the convivencia of Islamic Spain, I point out that the Old

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194 Jewish people carved out Israel for themselves. So the particularism of the Old Testament does not automatically result in coexistence, but convivencia as shown by the history of Jews in Spain, is often born of strategic necessity. The other important point that Shell addresses, but is dealt with in greater detail by Yovel, is that the shift in (Yovel 74). This s internalization of religious otherness through conversion when the Jew as recognizable other shares a history wi in powe r, as the Spanish monarchs Ferdinand and Isabella consolidated their authority in Christian Spain by using the Inquisition to exert their control over both the semi autonomous city councils and the Marranos who had taken over the traditional administrative roles of the Jews. The Inquisition, headed by Toms de Torquemada, who was the confessor of Isabella, was in effect a very tangible representation of the centralization of Spanish authority in the monarchy marking the completion of the Spanish Reconquest. Interestingly then, the Inquisition also represented the shift of Spanish identity from a religious to a national (racial) one hence the need to re define otherness

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195 o f the Marrano that was therefore both religious and racial. Thus the Sentencia Estatuto Sa conversos I reproduce : Toledo, declare that since the C onversos of Jewish origin are suspect of will not be permitted to hold any posts of benefices, public and private, from [And this is done in accordance with] a privilege that this city had been granted by King Don Alfonso of glorious memory. (75) states is traced to the d seventeenth centuries, particularly influenced by the ambivalence of Marrano identity and the persecution of religious and then it is worth noting as well that the sec ularization of the modern nation is also premised on the religious and racial difference of the Marrano that enabled the shift (and not separation) of the definition of national identity from the church (i.e. through religion) to the state (i.e., through b lood or race). In fact, Elaine Marks uses the constitutive paradox in the secular identity of the modern European nation. Marrano as Metaphor of Irreducible Otherness In her boo k Marrano as Metaphor: The Jewish Presence in French Writing literature. Through insightful readings of various French texts, primarily focusing on twentieth century Fren ch writing (and critical responses to those texts) before and after

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196 the Second World War, Marks argues that a French literary identity is marked by the deploys the name Mar development of a European identity through national literatures. More specifically, Marks writes : My metaphorical Marranos specific terms metapho rically and outside their historical context are Jews who have to some degree been taken in by or assimilated to the other religious cultures in which they live (these may be Christian or Muslim) and who continue in spite of this inevitable acculturation t o profess a belonging to Jewishness. (xvii xviii) Therefore, she points out that even though France professes a secular nationalism, its including the education of its citizens is heavily influenced by the dominant Christian cultur themselves as French citizens actually means a gradual acculturation into this dominant culture d oes not mean an erasure of Jewish (other) identity, but the reproduct ion of the positive, by Jews and non Jews, including those that construct Jews as Christ killers, restless wanderers, dangerous revolutionaries, materialistic, lascivious, superior during World War II when Jews were deported under the Vichy government and identifie members of the French Resistance who were also deported (6), therefore required a negotiation of a dual identity of belonging and non belonging French Jews defined a secular identit y as French born citizens that was at the same time premised on the

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197 national secul ar identity where toleration (of religious and racial otherness) is simultaneously premised on intolerance (through the demarcation of the religious difference and racial otherness of the Jew). So, in 15 th Century Spain, when the question of belonging pa ssed from the question of faith to the question of blood, the Jewish question had to be resolved by subalternizing Jews through an act of state sponsored expulsion. However, this act of simultaneously acknowledged their belonging to the question of Spanish identity that needed this recognizable difference to name itself. The subalternization of Spanish Jews still left the converso who had a ssimilated to the Christian faith but could not assimilate into Spanish blood (i.e., race). I therefore distinguish between the names converso and Marrano, suggesting that the persecution of the conversos reveal the trace of the subaltern difference of the Marrano that Derrida subject can be produced but only by re producing difference within the dialectical terms of subject constitution and by reinscribing subaltern difference in an other absence of conver sos could not forsake because their very identity as borne by their naming as Marrano was the premise for the difference that determined Spanishness. Thus Derrida in Aporias argues that this

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198 s ] from the opaque existence of an uncrossable b order: a door that does not open or that only opens according to an unlocatable condition, according to the Marrano is the shibboleth t cannot be revealed but must always already be borne. The identifiable difference of the Marrano and of the secret of its production the unidentifiable and ineradicable difference that must always already mark the Marrano who cannot convert to sameness. Following Bhabha, I argue that the recognition of hybridity the hybridity of the Marrano and the hybridity of Spanish national identity cannot be celebrated as attempted recognition and reconstitution of that hybridity as bearing the secret of an irreducible difference that is the premise of the history of borders whose testimony is a history of persecution. The difference of the Marrano as converso (and not Marrano difference) is the externalization of the difference within (Marrano difference) by Spain, and so the name does not just simply bear another difference but an difference it is a marker of the anxiety of the becomes the site of writing the nation Chapter 2

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199 T he Marrano is the re naming of diaspora as an attempted erasure of difference through translation that always already bears the irreducible mark of that difference that is the residue of any act of translation, which is, returning to Derrida, any act of sp had to conform to. Derrida clarifies in Aporias : Babelization does not therefore wait fo r the multiplicity of languages [or identities?]. The identity of a language can only affirm itself as identity to itself by opening itself to the hospitality of a difference from itself or of a difference with itself. (10) and receives truly begins by receiving hospitality from the guest to whom he thinks he is giving hospitality arrivant acknowledgment of the prior posit ing (arrival, belonging) of the arrivant even before the arrivant : He surprises the host who is not yet a host or an inviting power enough to call into question, to the point of annihilat ing or rendering indeterminate, all the distinctive signs of a prior identity, beginning with the very border that delineated a legitimate home and assured lineage, names and language, nations, families and genealogies. (34) No wonder such a naming of difference as an act of hospitality elicits such anxiety that manifested in the horrors of the Spanish Inquisition. As Derrida clarifies : where the figure of the step is refused to intuition, where the identity or indivisibility of a line ( finis or peras ) is compromised, the identity to oneself and therefore the possible identification of an intangible edge the crossing of the line becomes a problem There is a problem as soon as the edge line is threatened. And it is threatened from its first tracing. (11)

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200 The Impossible Haunting of the Marrano Antonio Empire with Michael Hardt, to the bounds of ontology an notes that Derrida wonders why the functioning of deconstr uction from within Western linguistic compromise. Derrida makes clear in Ghostly Demarcations prepared to question, in all its forms, this reference, in the wor present being properly present and as such (real, concrete, actual, etc.), while arbitrarily, or for strategic reasons, deciding to make the word express something entirely different in the hope that this terminological decision will produce some sort of password, a word arbitrarily established by convention, a shibboleth, which only 17). Thereby Derrida pre position as a name for the im ) to enable my reading of Aporias in this chapter.

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201 reading of that lineage of the Marra no in Aporias regional borders ter following himself in The Other Heading clarifies in Aporias negative form (aporia) of experience itself, the experience of the aporia (and these two words that tell of the passage and nonpa ssage are thereby coupled in an aporetic fashion) as endurance or ve to global ization in Chapter 3 ontological prison, his mourning for the old terms of ontology in order to work with Aporias citing himself from The Other Heading on,

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202 question I quote D errida from Aporias : A plural logic of the aporia thus takes shape. It appears to be paradoxical enough so that the partitioning [ partage ] among multiple figures of aporia does not oppose figures to each other, but instead installs the haunting of the one in the other. (20) In Chapter 6 to the Indian plantation worker in Malaysia. basanos The Test Drive Basanos is the touchstone to test the truth of gold, but also the test or torture for the truth revolving around servility 5). I purify Spain of racial impurity, it brought about the opposite effect. As Yovel explains : By burning thousands of New Christians on the stake or ruining their succeeded in shrinking the size of the problem in one hand and intensifying it in the other. The climate of fear and persecution in which the Conversos lived, their being always held in suspicion and liable to sudden arrest, and And since quite often they were victims of false accusations, even assimilated Conversos were driven against their will back into the group from which they had sought to escape. (59) another sens e but distinctly Marrano: that is, dualist), and providing the converts a sort of catechism

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203 Jews by the people to whom they c shibboleth (of the Marrano as metaphor, and also of the diaspora) becoming another basanos post Empire T the name of an other (in Hardt and Negri, a radical) difference. The shibboleth always al basanos this persistent word used by Jephthah as a test word by which to distinguish the fleeing Ephraimites 6). I provide the exact use of the word in Judges 12:6 below : then said they unto him: 'Say now Shibboleth'; and he said 'Sibboleth'; for he could not frame to pronounce it right; then they laid hold on him, and slew him at the fords of t he Jordan; and there fell at that time of Ephraim forty and two thousand. to pronounce correctly; a word used as a test for detecting foreigners or persons from another d istrict, by their pronunciation (emphasis mine). Leavey recommends the

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204 : The shibboleth divides and cuts in the word that can and cannot be said. Sometimes the dividing line seems to be no greater than the comma of a speculative remark, that break within speech that substitutes the pause for 18) the word or the name t : It is always the other who makes the decision, who cuts a decision means cutting. That is the etymology; to decide means to cut. It is to interrupt the continuity of time and the course of history, to cut. For such a cut to occur, someone must interrupt in me my decide, I must have in myself someone else who cuts, who interrupts the possibility. If I do only what I can do, what is possible for me, I do nothing. The decision is the ot not to be at home, not to be able to remain at home even at home. And so the ghosts multiply, perhaps in secret. There is no statement that is not also a ventriloquism of the other. And no new practice that does not result from this shibboleth effect, even if it makes possible a new language and a new practice. (31) The diasp ora too cannot be a shibboleth for identifying the voluntary immigrant from the forced exile and the globally dispersed from the exiled rootless as the

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205 touchstone for progressive hybridity. It must always be a mis translation marking the trace of a histori cal difference of a re precipitate such a linguistic shift. Following Derrida, I argue that this compromise of a mis translation would only be in name, a name a re naming. I do not argue against the re naming i tself, but point out that the name must bear the trace of the compromise, a trace the difference of the subaltern. The failed t states, but also those whose identities cannot be empowered through hybridity because even hybrid subjectivities are constituted in their absent presence. And this subaltern ab subject constitution turns away from its absent presence to re produce the recognizable other as native informant to be dialectically sublated in the repetition of the sign of the subject name an other difference, a native informant in the anxious circulation of subject tivity (of citizenship as recog nition not of a retrievable subject figure but a re Does interruption then propose an indifference to actual identities of oppression, focusing on the Marran o difference instead of the diasporic subject ? How do I reconcile possibility with the ethical s peculations on the subaltern and

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206 as gatekeepers subaltern subject can, when necessary, when the public sphere calls for it, synecdochise themselves with only by re hegemony. And in the process, I recognize the subject ce ntering the hegemony of the dominant, but I also strategically trace the dis placement of subaltern absence to an and non indifference to stay vigilant, as Spivak has cautioned, against both speaking in the name of the other An Aest hetic Education Confessions : Indifference and non indifference I have no measure, no rule, no general criteria, to define this relationship. The only thing I know is that I could not survive, no one could survive, either a total indifference or a total non indifference. As soon as I speak, for instance, even before I speak, I have to be indifferent, that is, to use general words for concepts in which some indifference is implied. I cannot speak to you, address you, without some indifference, some generality, some distance, some trace, which is a way of erasing the presence, the proximity, and the continuity. Some indifference is necessary even for the most authentic relationship to the other I wou ld prefer, in that case, to speak of interruption. The interruption is needed for any relationship with the other, as such. That is, my relation to the other, my rapport with the other, implies a break. Without a break, there would be no respect for the ot her, no relation to the other as such. This interruption is at the same time an interest in the other and a space, a distance, an

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207 indifference. This mixture of indifference and non indifference is the structure of our experience. (45) 1 In Chapter 6 The Glass Palace and The Return re Marran 1 Confessions moderated by Richard Kearney, published in Augustine and Postmodernism edited by John Caputo and Michael Scanlo n.

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208 CHAPTER 6 AN IMPOSSIBLE FACE TO FACE: READING THE MARRANO IN THE FICTION OF AMITAV GHOSH AND K. S. MANIAM Can we read the narrative constitution of the postcolonial subject in Amitav The Glass Palace The Return to interrupt the ? Is it possible subject s and the subaltern absence that enab les the textual re production of these diasporic subject s at the postcolonial center of their narratives ? In Chapter 5 rigid boundaries of the colonial modern inter national cartography. However, the unconditional celebration of the diasporic condition can slip into a valorization of global identity politic s that also re produce the dialectical movement of narrative subject constitution. Such a globally mobile hybrid subject can be co opted as the individual realization of the global sovereign. To defer th e dialectical sublation of global citizen subject subject can never subsume and mu st always attempt to ancy and hybridity into the basanos subject Ghosh and Maniam represent the two points of the spectrum of diasporic theory that I identified in Chapter 5

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209 Malaysia, and brought up in a hospital compound where his father worked as the 74), Maniam focuses primarily on the diasporic experience of his community in Malaysia in his fiction. He explores the hyphenated lives of his Malaysian Indian protagonists as they struggle to come to terms with a migrant Amitav Ghosh: Critical Perspectives am, Ghosh has covered a range of subjects and experimented with different genres in his novels. However, it is possible to identify some common themes in his fiction: his main protagonists are usually of Indian origins; the protagonists are mapped on to a global narrative as they get caught up in transnational currents; these transnationally mobile protagonists problematize the limitations of colonial national subject constitution and the rigid boundaries of modern nation states; finally, multiple narrative s are woven together in the novels, and many of the protagonists are fictional recuperations of subaltern subject s in colonial texts. So Ghosh also works with diasporic subjects, but instead of focusing on the hyphenated ethnicity of a specific location, h is novels deconstruct the performative circulation of the national hegemonic at the conjuncture of history and fiction. Therefore, Ghosh tries to fictionally realize historical subject s as part of an participating in the heg

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210 The Glass Palace Instead, I disrupt turning to the subaltern absences at the margins of his postcolonia l narrative. And in the process I as opposed to the subaltern subject recovered and re configured as the globally migrant hybrid postcolonial subject in the novel and dis empt to dis suggested, but to reveal the the tracing of the genealogy of the roduction of even a postcolonially resistant subject The Postcolonial Subject in The Glass Palace The Glass Palace written in 2001, has a young Indian boy named Rajkumar as arguably the central protagonist though the narrative follows di fferent coincident and divergent storylines in the footsteps of various characters Burma, India, Malaysia and America. The various histories of all the different ch aracters can be said to intertwine through the historical narrative of British imperialism even as many of the individual narratives develop without obvious bearings on the central ntering as various characters and their stories jostle for narrative space on a global stage and identities become fluid/hybrid through travel, exile, immigration, marriages, etc. Rajkumar himself is a stateless person though born of Indian parents, his ho me accommodation and work with Ma Cho, a half Indian, half

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211 food colon ization of Burma and the subsequent exile of the royal family. In fact, he falls in love at first sight with one of the royal maids and sets out to make his fortune in order to follow her to India where the Burmese royals and their coterie have been exiled In his efforts to enter into the Burmese teak business, Rajkumar returns to India and for a while trades in people he recruits Indian villagers as indentured laborers for plantation contractors from Burma and Malaysia. He eventually returns to Burma, set s up a flourishing timber business, goes to a remote Indian town to locate the Burmese royal family and his love, Dolly, and finally brings her back to Burma as his wife. He also sets up a rubber plantation in Malaysia with an old Malaysian friend named Sa ya John and is also the story of Dolly, the Burmese royal handmaid Rajkumar falls in love with; Uma, the wife of the district collector posted in the town of Ratnagir i where the Burmese royal The very difficulty of summarizing the complicated narrative of The Glass Place of being able to clearly identify the main protagonist and the central narrative speaks for narrators, the interactions between national and global identities as they impinge on each othe points of view, the realization of hybrid/migrant as opposed to reductive/essentialist national identities, articulations of feminist historiography all serve to promote a postcolo nial reading of the text in resistance to colonial historiography with its simplified

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212 stratification of the world into empires and colonies articulating colonial difference and in which the narrative imperative belongs to the colonial dominant (usually mal e) at the center / s of imperial power. My point, however, is that in spite of Rajkumar, Dolly, Uma, migrant figures, circumscribing their postcolonial resistance with the discourse of rationality, the very rhetoric that was complicit in and developed through Western imperialism. The actions of the various characters are to be understood in concatena tion with the historical events that provide the backdrop of the novel, and Ghosh repeatedly draws attention to T his does not draws attention to the dialectical bind of the hyphen tethering the post to its colonial past. The Glass Palace Kaur h global accounts of Indians in Burma nation ry defined others construct in response t o

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213 both during the British colonial era and afterwards under the brutal U Nu regime of Gen eral Ne Win to essentially posit a middle class contrast to the fictional Singh raises a very interesting point about the inadvertent repetition of colonial stereotypes even in the multi vocal n The Glass Palace farmlands; Indians run most of the shops; pe ople say that the rich Indians live like traders, the mechanics, the farm colonial stereotype that later becam wunthanu 53). Singh notes: in the form (143). However, it was [not] towards the colonizers, but towards the Indians that the Burmese took out their frustrations as can be seen by the 1930s riots and massacre o f innocent Indians. (52 53) Interestingly, in the novel, Dolly actually makes the above observation as fact and not as a re own people and her children are

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214 Zerbadi Indian, half istic expressions, through the merging end of The Glass Palace As Singh notes from the novel : Her work was innovative and experimental; she was using the Burmese of her focus on her characters. (532) work. When Dinu points out that in spite of her depictions of diversity in her stories, all the characters speak in Burmese, the lat ter responds : have no choice but to trust my reader to imagine the sound of each house. Or else I would not be able to write at all about my street and to trust your reader is not a b progressive hybridity, and Singh proposes to actualize this diversity by interpolating to broaden the rigidity of Burmese nationalism by incorporating a very cosmopolitan

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215 idea of inclusivity. After all, Dinu repre identity in the conversation, and Ghosh, in an interesting statement by Ma Thin Thin diasporic minorities in the modern nation. Ma Thin Thin Aye explains to Dinu that while outside on streets, in public squares and battlefields, in palaces and gardens in going into a house, intruding, I feel a kind of terror threshold, into the house e a Burmese Indian identity While I find this creative interpolation of Burmese Indian identity in its struggle to iasporic problematize the subject ally

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216 I figures of the Indian rubber planters the indentured laborers in the Malaysian plantatio talk and always occupy the fringes of the narrative mise en scne. When Elsa visits her 200). While the narrativ walled hut where they went to be treated when they fell ill floors er plantation : Suddenly the trees ended and a small shantytown appeared, with rows of shacks lining the road hutches of brick and mortar, sheltered under steepled sheets of tin The shacks were exactly similar in design and yet each was defiantly distinctive in appearance: some were neat, with little curtains fluttering at their front windows, while other [ sic ] were hovels, with pyramids of filth piled at their doors. The cooli e lines, said Alison, slowing briefly. In a moment they were past and then the car picked up speed again. (228) argument between Uma and Matthew about the ethics of using India n laborers in the

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217 (230 231). By ha s traveled to Europe and ha s become a public advocate for national independence for India. Uma with her modern thinking develope d through the feeling of watching something archaic, a manner of life that she had believed to be sion in the realities of certain segments of the colonially oppressed. And what is even more significant is that their argument does not break the narrative flow of the ce ntral lives to make a stand for the plantation workers. plantation in which he dis ation. And he achieves this de humanization through a very interesting use of metaphor. Matthew shows Uma the rubber trees and explains ttention to a tree that does not bear sap. He tells

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218 (232 233). Matthew cl arifies : tappers know better. They have a saying, you know this one is fighting But at the very moment that Matthew recognizes the cost of human life in the production and maintenance of the plantation, and individualizes the plantation worker through the individual instan humanizes and (23 3). The subsumption of the workers into both natural law and the domesticated landscape of the plantation is achieved as he declares : wood and flesh And at every turn, every little piece of this machine is resisting you, f ighting you, waiting for you to However, this erasure of human agency in the clever ruse of acknowledging its the acknowledgment that there is no plantation before the work ers an anxiety of an other legacy that produces an anxious smile (233 234) issue of plantation workers on the central narratives of the novel. I make this laughter

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219 the moment of a strategic interruption for tracing this "legacy" of the plantation economy at the center of The Glass Palace This silent body of plantation workers reveals the fact that the subject constitution of the primary characters of the novel had to be premised on the erasure of this subalternized margin whose identit y could not be given a proper voice, had to repressed for the sake of narrative cohesion. This interruption can then be strategically deployed aware that beyond thos e limits there are events concerning those faceless subaltern figures whose revolutionary possibilities are not circumscribed by the recognizable The Glass Palace Rajkumar born of his affair with one of the plantation workers. This illegitimate son, (234) is found by Uma as he follows her around the Morningside plantation. When Uma lieve that narrative makes a specific note of his intelligence, but at the same time we also note the fact that the rest of the central figures in Morningside dismiss hi interesting example of the function of the native informant in the na rrative progress of

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220 relationship with Rajkumar, she makes Uma promise not to reveal her secret. And this nt me to him. On the ship, when I was coming over. They called me out of the hold and took me up to his cabin. There was nothing I could her victimization sayin rationalizes her silencing of Uma, which is in fact her self silencing, as necessitated by her circumstances, explaining to Uma that even though the latter means to help she is inequality of this educated notions of gender equality are rendered ineffectual in the colonial framework of plantation sexual politics. this unnamed woman states her secret and then asks that it not be revealed and the he narrative in enacting the self silencing of the native informant reconstitu t es globalization global postcoloniality, he makes a narrative choice not to recuperate the identities of the

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221 plantation workers in similar detail, except as native informant s instrumental to the full haired youth, slow movi ng and soft spoken, but of imposing height interesting that the narrative emphasi transparently (359 [emphasis mine] ). Once again, in the process of individualizing one of the plantation workers, someone who shares visible. His as he later visits Morningside, realize s that Ilongo is his half brother, he does not actually change the essential nature of their relationship even though the narrative changed, in tone and texture, to a family reu parentage, but in spite of their kindness, by in Rangoon, by his interest in family

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222 referring to occupy the In The Glass Palace I therefore read Ilongo through the metaphor of the Marrano whose Marrano difference revealed in h cannot be effaced even in the anxious reconstitu narrative, and yet cannot be embraced because it is instrumental to the character development of m reveal s the plantation life in Malaysia and problematize s to Malaysia on which the latter relationship with his father and helps him decide to settle down in Sungei Pattani, a : Dinu found it hard to give shape to the thought that Ilongo might be his half brother. A brother was what Neel was a boundary to mark your self off against. This was not what Ilongo was. If anything, Ilongo was an incarnation of his father the one whom he, Dinu, had known. (360) family, but also

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223 fact, while Rajkumar and Dolly and later Dinu never overtly accept him as kin, they help to accentuate his inherited difference, setting him apart fr om the other plantation workers through his schooling. Once again, the narrative notes that while Ilongo knew every estate worker [t]hey in turn accorded him an authority unlike that of anyone else on the plantation. He had come of age on the estate, but h its boundaries, learnt to speak Malay and English, acquired an education. He had no need to raise his voice or utter threats in order to gain respect: they trusted him as one of their own. (323) This constitution of Ilongo as the native informant in charge of the administrative functions of the plantation, sharing kinship with both the owners and the workers has striking resemblance to the Marrano experience in Spain that I addressed in Chapter 5 iction in The Glass Palace is to be read in terms of the its global characters is to be read as a postcolonial articulation of cosmopolitan native informant s and the subaltern absences at the margins of the narrative essential to the constitution of its postcolonial cosmopolitanism. And this reconstitu tion of the postcolonial center of the novel, i.e., the central characters of the multiple narratives who would otherwise hav e occupied the margins of a colonial framework, involves the expedient choices of reconstitu ting other resistance t o Euroce ntric and colonial subject constitution.

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224 the earliest Indian recruits of officer ran k in the British army, ha s defected to the nascent Indian National Army after the fall of Singapore and the Malay States to Japanese volunteers were mostly Indian plantation workers and though at first the officers had been skeptical of their loyalty, they were the ones who stayed with the independence army while the professional soldiers officers trained other side; the men they were fighting against were their relatives and neighbours; they difference of the indentured laborers, the gradual erosion of their links to their home country, that keep fighting t named Rajan. The narrative recognizes Rajan because he is one of the few volunteers that Ar

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225 ab di h and caste that had forced his ancestors into indentured labor by those Indians who could claim the postcolonial privilege of an independent Indian identity. However, unfortunately, Ghosh at this important moment in the novel does not recuperate the comple x conditions of Malaysian Indian life in the rubber plantations or the complexities of diasporic Indian identity, but instead resorts to a very generalized depiction of diasporic celebration of the mythical homeland. So while Arjun wonders if Rajan and the where they would still be victims of poverty and caste discrimination, the narrative notes : [n]one of that was real to them; they had never experienced it and could not imagine it. I ndia was the shining mountain beyond the horizon, a sacrament of redemption a metaphor for freedom in the same way that slavery was a metaphor for the plantation. (522) in postcolonial criticism and in the fiction of diasporic writers like V. S. Naipaul, I find it

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226 interesting that Ghosh uses this general observation to stand in for the subject ative is made on their behalf and not expressed by Rajan. What is even more interesting is that wishes to court martial and execute Kishan Singh for trying to desert the army. Rajan Singh themselves. When Arjun tells Rajan to ask for volunteers to carry ou t his sentencing, the latter states : one of your men. But even here, this act of self realization of the plantation workers is merely instrumental in co merely tried to desert the army out of exhaustion and desperation, he remembers the alities that he himself had lost and betrayed qualities that had never been his to becom[ing] eventual awareness, and they literally frame the execution, the narrative does not show any interest in their self realization and they slip o ff the narrative frame immediately afterwards. When Dinu finally receives word of Arjun, he is told that the latter died

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227 continuing struggle of the Indian National Army is that they were all gone the jungle, those men vanished (527 [emphasis mine]) Once again, in the narrative progress of The Glass Palace the Malaysian Indian plantation laborers are subsumed into the background, erased from individuals whose legacy is central to the unfolding of the global narratives that Ghosh threads. Tracing the Subaltern th and early 20 th Century colonial plantations in pre ind ependence Malaysia. K. S. Sandhu comprehensively covers this plantation economy in his seminal work Indians in Malaya: Some Aspects of their Immigration and Settlement (1786 1957) (henceforth IM ) published in 1969. Since then quite a few scholars have expl ored the colonial indentured system in Malaysia comparing it to similar systems of Indian immigration to Burma, Fiji, Mauritius, Ceylon notes in his book Diaspora Indians: Chur ch Growth among Indians in West Malaysia that British colonialists brought Indians to the Malay States from as early as 1786 when Britain acquired Penang Island

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228 region, and because of the Industrial Revolution European, into Malayan development projects, particularly large scale commercial This boom i labor, and given the small population of ethnic Malays, the European planters had to look elsewhere for their labor needs. Sandhu notes that while Chinese immigrants were Report of the commissioners appointed to enquire into the state of labour in the Straits Settlements and Protected Native States, 1890 ( IM most satisf So at first European (mainly British) planters sent agents like Rajkumar in The Glass Palace labourers were required to sign a contract for three years, although this term of employment was later IM that

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229 sustaining village economy in India, and created a large po caste 43). During the early days of the indentur ed immigration system, the planters in colonial Malaya took full advantage of the desperation of the Indian immigrants T he first indentured laborers were not allowed to change plantations, and the estate workers in the Malay States were paid less than the ir counterparts in Burma and Ceylon (Thomas 24). Eventually, in Thomas writes : Kangany was a middle man who served as a hiring agent betw een planters and labourers. The Kangany system was extremely popular from 1910 until 1938. (24) recruit ied together that made individual desertions rare. At the same time, this new system somewhat reversed the male dominated sex ratio of the earlier immigration pattern because entire families immigrated under this system. However, Thomas also notes that the entice Indians to immigrate, and as we shall note later in this chapter, the diasporic

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230 estate communities inevitably re created a rigid social order with the Kangany as the supe offered a recognizable social enclave for the new immigrants in a foreign country, it was primarily designed as a more efficient means of controlling and regulating the inde ntured laborers. And this more efficient system was necessitated with the introduction of rubber to the plantation economy in 1896. Another important point to note is that the Indian diasporic community in Malaya 55), the Indian diasporic population never exceeded 1 million in Malaysia (48). So Sandhu points out that of the cent were local diasporic community but had never been to India. And though a majority of the r plantation economy railway workers, hospital assistants, teachers, and other technical worke 52).

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231 nts, 51). This independent assisted labor migration was itself banned by the British Indian government on 15 June 1938 even thoug h unassisted migrations continued to occur (Sandhu IM 114). According to the constitute 67.4 % and the Chinese constitute 24.6% (Department of Statistics, Malaysia). Thomas also notes in his book that with two thirds of the Indian population living in i.e., in areas not exceeding 9,999 people [m]ore than two thirds or about 68 per cent, of Indians [in Malaysia] are classified as unskilled or semi skilled workers, and about 30 per cent as skilled workers. The remaining 2 per cent are professionals, such as lawyers, doctors, bankers, or businessmen. On the whole, the Indian community is the poorest in multi racial Malaysia. (64) The Glass Palace have to be traced both back to the ard to the current poverty of the Indian diasporic community in Malaysia. Re territorializing the Subaltern In her book Colonial Visions, Postcolonial Revisions Shanthini Pillai argues for Malaysians and the Indian i ndentured laborers who were brought to the country by the rubber plantation owners in collusion with Indian facilitators. Pillai argues that while the familial ties between the two generations are obvious, modern Malaysians of Indian origins often attempt to erase the legacy of their

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232 the belief that the indentured past represents a meek submission to colonial exploitation without agency. Pillai points out that there are pra ctically no first person records of the : From the confining quarters of the immigrant depots built to hold the labourers as they awaited transportation to the Malay States to the barrack like living quarters they were allocated and all the minutiae of the colonial plantation expe rience, one finds that the presiding issue is always the anxiety to preserve the boundaries of control so that the frame is kept intact at all times. The intention of most colonial textualisations was to keep all configurations of the labour enterprise wel l within the grasp of imperial power. (xi xii) Yet a reading of the colonial records against the grain produces plentiful evidence of ded within and was an affirmation in many senses of the possession of something that could Pillai provides some excellent readings of colonial texts to deconstruct the myth she notes that even in our attempts to represent the victimization of the indentured workers, we erase the actual agency that many coolies significant ways in which th e coolie dodged the frame of docility that was placed around (13), which often forced the European plantation owners to raise wages to hold on to their laborers. Drawing upon the Report of the Commission of Enquiry into the State of Labour in the Straits Settlements and the Protected Native States (RCL) of the year 1890,

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233 report documents a fair number of coolies absconding from ports of disembarkation in the Straits as terms become aware that better can be had, and ultimately refuse to sign contracts unless on better terms, so that those offering lower terms cannot get as many as they 1 an Indian community back to its indentured past. Later in her book, she reads the work of K. S. Maniam as a same time, Pillai clearly points out that this reinsertio n entails reconstitu tion of the colonial [to] articulate[] those disregarded details and fill[] in the gaps left on the inherited murals summing up his creative and her : [t]he gaze of the colonised moves into the v isual space that has previously been dominated by the lenses of the colonial Seeing Eye. It transforms that dismissive sweep. As the lost space of the coolie is reclaimed, the carica tured imperial markings begin to fall off and we see them becoming 1 Shanthini Pillai writes the title of the Report (RCL) differently from K. S. Sandhu though they both refer to the same text.

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234 creators of their own narrative. With these changes, it becomes increasingly possible to retrieve the beginnings of the story of the formation of the diasporic Indian identity that is the l egacy of every Malaysian Indian today. (73) approaches of Bernard Wilson and Peter Wicks to according to her, Indian culture (82). And according to Pillai, Maniam realizes this cultural re territorialization through three motifs South Indian architectural form of the thinnai The Return The Glass Palace non The Return written in 1981, is generally regarded to have autobiographical resonances though Maniam notes the similarities of the textual characters and 165). The novel reconstructs a particular vision of Malaysian society from a diasporic worldview. The focus of the narrative, in spite of the first person narrator seemingly tracing a personal bildungsroman, is not complet ely limited to the voice of Ravi, the main protagonist or the authorial self image, but shifts subtly from character to character, depicting a complex pattern of lives and deaths, dreams and frustrations, triumphs and failures.

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235 Here I point out that Wicks The Atlantic Literary Review in 2002, not ing that he believes that beyond the personal landscapes of the individual, the prospects of south sense of cultural loss, and of never having arrived at a secular alternative. For too m any Indian Malaysians, diaspora is both inescapable and acutely problematic. (82) Asian Profile in February 2002, Wicks makes a sim parameters of Malaysian identity were, and remain, communally defined and Malaysia is an i mportant one, particularly when we take into account that later waves of in a new land, at least for a while until memory fades, and nostalgia and a mournful communalism such as caste restrained the upward mobility, occupational choice, and material success that the new circumstances of Malaya/Malaysia warranted and cultural that English is the language tha heterogeneous, multi has persisted with English writing in Malaysia, especially after the passage of the

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236 National Language Act in 1967 tha a recognition of cultural pluralism that is more than political lip service, and for a larger The Return In a Far Country Textual Practice in 2003, actually makes an argument similar to oeuvre his vision of nation invariably begins and ends with conscious and subconscious qu ests for self truth as a reaction to the marginalization of identity superficially imposed through political or geographical conditions. What is clear is that perceptions of indiv idual ethnic identity and a collective plural national identity should not be diametrically opposed or mutually incompatible indeed it is only when the individual acknowledges his or her ethnic heritage and identity that the potentiality of true nation can begin to exist. (392) Wilson, like Wicks, focuses on the importance of language in the constitution of both consciousness and individual identity to an overwhelming ex The Return and second generation Tamil Indians and examines their obliteration/regeneration in confronting colonial, postcolonial and neocolonial influences an d their (largely unsuccessful) attempts to negotiate a path towards a hybrid identity that acknowledges

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237 So the novel reflects the unique socio politico economic structure of the country where though these three major races, Malay, Chinese and Indian live side by side, they exist in relative isolation, and their cultures and languages mostly develop in pockets. Maniam assert s each other for enrichment, the diasporic cultures re The Return staccato, coarse, unending and seemingly unne addresses the issue of language in greater detail than Wicks, addressing Anne The Return vocality of the novelistic form that I will take up later in the chapter. Importantly, Wilson notes that constantly evolving process that is non directional and open ended, employing (both subconsciously and consciously) myriad cultural,

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238 his community and from his father (395). Mariam Pirbhai, in her book Mythologies of Migration, Vocabularies of Indenture published in 2009 takes up a similar argument about the status of English in The Retu rn alienate it enables him to escape the poverty of the diasporic Indian community into a more cosmopolitan urban life. His ability to traverse linguistic boundaries tran slates into an ability to traverse economic and cultural boundaries, but only through self differentiation from (and rejection of) his immediate family and extended community. Pirbhai also on as Refuge, or Conflict and Non Malaysia, the privileging of Bahasa Malaysia is a program for the privileging of ethnic anguage offers a refuge: produce the majority of English language literary

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239 ar predicament as the excluding subject who gradually dissociates from family and friends (his recognizable world), as well as the excluded subject among a European elite, a majority indigenous Malay population and an increasingly incomprehensible Tamil co colonial [novel] in 168). So to sum up, Pillai, in arguing against Bernard I note that he also goes on to argue that ev en though members of the Indian diasporic The Return polarities of cultural rigidity and cultural polyglot, transcultural myths without the rejection of an ancestral base: a weaving of the fabric of cultures and discourses to make sense of this permanent state of transition and to combat the political discourses of colonialism and 98). And while Wicks argues for English in Malaysia as the ideal linguistic vehicle for

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240 also suggest s that the latter language partly provide s precariously balanced multicultural and multilingual present that accepts past, present and future as colonial imposition and continuing n eo colonial politics of English both as language and Indian cultural motifs as enabling the survival of the indentured diasporic Indian community into the Malaysian Indian community of current times. I now quickly territorialization of Malaysia by the In The Return that tie the family to their Indian roots. While Ravi is unattached to such material piece of land on which his house stands As Pillai notes, in his attempt to re territorialize

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241 orders him to vacate the form of admission into the new generations of the Indian diaspora in Malaysia emerge their own, which is in many senses th e blueprint of the design of the diasporic identity [ whose] caballa like design ts In a Fa r Country is not continuous and is disrupted and interrupted by the various stages of the s into a territory that brings it into contact with the multi

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242 1). house that lies between the thalvaram or street corridor consisting of a rais ed sheltered interact with the latter and if they are more familiar, they transgress in to the space of the territoriali z ation takes place in the diaspora. And Pillai elaborates on her motif by showing how Bill Ashcroft developed a similar theory of transcul turation emphasizing Postcolonial Transformation that space in which discourse itself is disrupted and the ver novel Between Lives transfiguration of communal consciousness from its liminal relationship with the coolie interesting and instructive, and agree that the ending of The Return is far from an

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243 territorial the diaspora meets the dominant in the new homeland, but must also acknowledge the erasures and the absences that are a part of the anxiety of this community in its diasporic condition. The reconstitu tion of hope immolation should not ignore the dis figurement of the subaltern beyond the margins of colonial and postcolonial narratives whose dis embodied absence cannot be cre mation. I locate the work not at the center of his fiction, but at the liminal moment of textual apostrophe when the subaltern slips off even the dis placed margins that s erve to define the The Diasporic Condition of the Hyphenated Ethnic In the novel The Return Ravi recounts the experiences of his childhood and youth as he struggles to educate himself hoping to escape the futility of a l ife in the poverty and humiliation of a rubber estate hospital compound near Bedong, Malaysia. A second generation immigrant, he chooses the dominant alternative of an English education over his traditional Tamil heritage. In the process, he gradually grow s distant from the rest of his family who continue to struggle against the squalor of an exploitative system that is built upon their labors but ignores them as legitimate participants in its socio economic fabric. The novel moves along two parallel lines a modern urban existence for himself liberated from the caste and class hierarchies of the diasporic Indian community he was born into through the emancipatory possibilities

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244 acquired a teaching job, which brings about a need for the la tter to critically re evaluate his life, his ties to his family, his relationship with his past and his sense of dislocated identity. as a widow from India to Malaysia with her three infant children. Periathai had tried to put down roots in her adopted land, tried to build a fashioned, Indian cooking lourful entrance [a] double Ravi, however, promises hims his or her own destiny and his encounter with a certain Miss Nancy in his first year at ides him with the alternative to what he sees as futile pursuit gateway to the u pper echelons of both colonial and post independence Malaysia. This up in the first part of the novel. Access to English determines whether one is left toiling away l it

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245 is evident that his power as superintendent derives from his knowledge of English, which makes him the intermediary between the workers and the doctors at the hospital. It is not merely his knowledge of English, however, that renders Ayah so invaluable, but The Return reads Bakhtinian polyglossia i nto the novel its re memorialized caste and class hierarchies, frozen in time but reinscr ibed in a new geographical space, reconstitu polyglossic positive mutual animation of languages and cultures that Brewster invokes in citing Bakhtin. Maniam posits no simple privileging of multi linguality as the site of postcolonial empowerment. In the entire novel, only Ayah reserves the right to multi linguality, to restrict the laborers from transgressing his privilege. This is clearly expressed by Ravi in the following lines : 76) The Indian laborers understand the power of English and send their children to the English school in Sungai Petani, hoping to cross through the linguistic barrier into a better life. This translation of language into class and caste identity is a significa nt born into is through the means of English, which is the point that Pirbhai makes about

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246 colonial and postcolonial linguistic politics, where education is the only cap ital a disenfranchised people can rely on, and the only education that has market value is often available through the dominant discourse of the language of colonization. Ravi chooses to adopt English, preferring it over his own language and culture, so m uch so that he also begins to identify with the English landscape that Miss Nancy introduces to him through the English book of alphabets, and through English fairy tales. Miss Nancy, especially since this part of the narrative is set in pre independence M alaysia, embodies the colonial values, in her almost pathological aversion to dirtiness, in her imposition of an imagination that borrows from a cultural context, spatially and ference into her students of the implicit faith in the inherent superiority of everything associated with English. Miss Nancy, in this respect, represents a postcolonial metaphor the text does not make it clear whether she is European or Eurasian embodying in her a dichotomy two of the various dolls that she uses to recount fairy tales to her young students and (28). iss Nancy undergoes a mental struggle between these two personas, resulting for a moment in a of sexual

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247 horror, a very colonial anxiety at any notion of racial inter mingling and hence pollution. Overall, in this encounter between the two selves, Miss Nancy represents, in her own obvious sexual repression, the colonized condition of the Malaysian ( ethnic and creating a socially and culturally, as well as economically and politically, repressed the same marriage reciprocated by Ravi in his assimilation of English as the foundations of his perhaps a premonition of year visit to England that So Ravi substitutes one language an d culture for another, moving from the discourse of the dominated to that of the dominant. Here, we see a clear parallel between Ravi in The Return The Glass Palace But while through his English education, Ravi ends up questioning both the cultural myopia of his diasporic community and the disaffection of the urban life that his English education privileges him to. Bringing these two character s in to

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248 The only other instance of multi lingualism, and in this case a literal fusion of languages, occurs at the very end of The Return death of Periathai, has abandoned his own pu rsuit of economic betterment and, like his mother, illegally occupied a piece of government land, building a house and growing (172). Slowly he sinks into irrationality, holding his own rituals, disassociating himself from the socio economic concerns of everyday life, till eventually, threatened with eviction by the Town Council, he self immolates, burning down the house along with all which the former is excluded and whi ch at the socio economic level disempowers him. the books, comics and other materials Ravi had collected during his school years, as well as some of his degrees and certificates. Brewster sug gest s that Naina portrays polyglot, transcultural myths hus the hybrid language may be for Naina a ritual representation of the only

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249 means of creating a national consciousness that is inclusive of even diasporic identity, i.e., an inter mingling and inter mixing of the races, mainly Malay, Chinese and Indian, w ho due to the historic process of colonial socio politico economic circumstances were brought together in this country, and left to live side by side, yet largely isolated in their es and narra belonging in seems to be an attempt to class of both his minority problematic because it is the postcolonial legacy of a colonial imposition that is inherently structured in the model of a foreign system, alienated from the soc io cultural environment of the country. English excludes him, rejects him and hence from the prism is son has

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250 age of power community. Therefore, Interru pting the Trace of the Subaltern and selfish individualism, his apathy towards his family after his return from England, his loving gestures. Ravi in quite clear terms declares Watching my infant brothers and sisters, I only felt disgust (84) been the goal of his life, and he manages to achieve such a level detachment that when Kannan heavy debts by staging an elaborate fune ral, and then the entire family throws itself into backbreaking labor to make ends meet, Ravi candidly expresses amusement at their 141), thus finally would be leaving his family behind, to toil away in the same conditions of degradation

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251 that he wishes to escape fr om. In fact, he considers his family members to be part of the compels us to take into account the characters of his two brothers, Kumar and Samy, not to mention his other si blings whom Ravi considers failures corrupted by his step mother Karupi for [t]hey had all dropped out of school in favour of the mindless work and the beguiling chatter around the laundry shed and the kitchen fire (107) Both his brothers Kumar and Samy however, can be appreciated for the support they provide to the family almost uncomplainingly, never grudging Ravi his dreams, but instead respecting him for the success and status he is able to achieve. Even later, when Kannan gives up his laundry busin ess and shifts to farming, and these two boys take up their own professions, they hand over all their earnings to their parents, toiling practically to their grave. Kumar, in fact, dies crushed under one of the lorries he is employed to service. It is the relative silence of Kumar and Samy that forces readers to notice their presence, and ask are they really mindless brutes yoked to a system of exploitation with no desire for relief, or are we to appreciate the loyalty they bear to the family and the sense of responsibility and sacrifice that they display in the course of the novel that s built upon the shoulders of these individuals and would collapse if they too like him put personal ambitions before family needs. The laundry business, especially after Kannan leaves the hospital compound, would have become non functional had it not been for all the other family members working themselves to the bone, which Ravi finds amusing as

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252 Govindan, and their sons, like his childhood friend Ganesh, Ravi depicts a picture of pettiness, malice, ignorance and hatred. Ganesh, like his brother s Kumar and Samy, is seems to result from a central grievance : Later, Ravi notes the moral and economic victory that he and his father score over ce Is this merely the blind malice of an ignorant people who have no desire for betterment but cannot bear the thought of somebody among them rising above their lot in life?

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253 Though theirs is again a story never revealed to the reader from their own perspective, I argue that the answer lies in the important accusation that Govindan throws at Ra vi that Thus Ravi, in his quest to escape the degraded life of his fellow sufferers, turns away from them, growing so distant that he fails to see the humanity of their struggles. One of the most poignant moments of the narrative is when Kumar comes to meet Ravi after the up within him because of the immense gulf that his brother has constructed between them. The narrative notes Kumar entered the room and stood beside the bed, silent and unsure. Then So once again, we find in the re configuration of a postcolonial subject one recuperated not only from the margins of colon ial discourse, but also the margins of the dis tension between the co optation of native informant absences. T his reconstitu tion of the narrati ve margins of The Return needs to be strategically interrupted to defer the dialectical subsumption of characters like Kumar, to interrupt their co optation as native informant a segregated diasporic Indian commu nity mired in poverty and caste discrimination. Malaysian Indian identity that is

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254 ethnic, postcolonia l, hybrid, resistant subject Maniam, through these resounding silences in The Return and hence the shift of multitudinous presences and simultaneous absences seemingly subsumed by the narratorial voice, add to the multi vocality of the text and its multiple guage. I argue that rational speech at the end of The Return foundations that Bakhtin defines in The Dialogic Imagination : Four Essays as the linguistic speech diversity and multi social heteroglossia double voiced discourse I argue not ju st speech, but in his novel addresses both the hybrid construction is not ultimately divisible into verbal exchanges possessing precisely marked

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255 fraction of authorial living hetero glossia of novelistic for such inclusivity would reinscr ibe the essential classifications of diverse races, languages and cultures but is age from one linguistic racial cultural identity to another. Fringe of a Mu lti tainted language dilemma of a postcolonial writer who has adopted a language that both privileges and marginalizes in the national context of Malaysia, but most importantly brings up issues of authenticity and identity crisis. Whether the novel is autobiographical or not is beside the identity, his linguistic center and his need to re assess his adoption of a colonially imbricated while postcolonially liberative language. The novel is left open ended, co ncluding with a poem representing a critique of

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256 hybrid identity is not to be found in his work, which itself harnesses the medium of which language or culture they belong, herefore conclude this chapter by arguing that instead of rupt the dialectical sublation of the margins to recover the subject at the narrative center either attempts to co opt as reconstitu ted native informant or erase as subaltern absence. By interrupting the sile need to both re marginal voic es can strategically con textualize themselves in our ongoing postcolonial discourse.

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265 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH Aniruddha Mukhopadhyay received his PhD in English from the University of Florida in the spring of 2013. He received his Master of Arts degree in English with the highest GPA in 2004 from Jawaharl al Nehru University, New Delhi, India. He received his Bachelor of Arts in English (Hons.) from the University of Calcutta in 2002.