A Critical Analysis of Homi K. Bhabha's "How Newness Enters The World: Postmodern space, postcolonial times and the trials of cultural translation"

1599 Words Apr 28th, 2014 7 Pages
Rachit Anand
Professor Subarno Chattarji
Department of English, University of Delhi
13-10-2013
A Critical Analysis of Homi K. Bhabha's "How Newness Enters The World: Postmodern space, postcolonial times and the trials of cultural translation" The Indian theorist Homi K. Bhabha shifted the limelight from the binary1 of the colonizer and the colonized to the liminal spaces in-between in the domain of Postcolonial studies. In Difference, Discrimination, and the Discourse of Colonialism, he stated, "There is always, in Said, the suggestion that colonial power is possessed entirely by the colonizer which is a historical and theoretical simplification" (200). He asserted that colonization is not just a conscious body of knowledge (Said's
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However, it is strung together by the common idea of liminality. The first section draws a parallel between Marlow's lie and Jameson's theory of the postmodern, which Bhabha calls his "theme park". Both of these, according to Bhabha's framework, are attempts to keep the "conversation of humankind going" and "to preserve the neo-pragmatic universe". (212) Bhabha elucidates his criticism of Jameson by re-visiting the poem China, which Jameson had earlier commented upon in his book4. He contests Jameson for not appropriating the newness of China but translating it back into certain familiar terms. He destabilizes Jameson's periodization and claims that communities cannot be explained in pre-modernist terms, the history of communities parallels the history of modernity. In the next section, Bhabha scrutinises Jameson's postmodern city through the subject position of migrants and minorities. He challenges the importance given to class relations in the Marxist discourse by shifting the focus to minority groups. It is important to note that minority is a not just a matter of quantity, but as Deleuze and Guattari point out in "Kafka: Toward a Minor Literature", it is a matter of subject position. The last section poses the last challenge to Jameson, as Bhabha pitches communities directly against class, using Partha Chatterjee's "A Response..." as evidence. Bhabha comments, "Community disturbs the grand globalizing…

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