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By Judith L. Tabron

How do we learn literatures from different cultures? The metaphors of fractal geometry might help us take into consideration the complexity of the cultural state of affairs of a textual content or an writer. Postcolonial Literature from 3 Continents identifies 4 basic subject matters universal to postcolonial texts-technology, reminiscence, language, and geography-and examines them in dating to 4 texts from Nigeria, the USA, and Australia in order that we see either the colonized and colonizing positions of those works. The quartet of texts are Amos Tutuola’s The Palm-Wine Drinkard, H. D.’s Helen in Egypt, Ralph Ellison’s Invisible guy, and Patrick White’s Voss.

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The difficulty of racism is that, as it runs along the infinitely complex boundaries of a culture, it does not change, but itflexes. The gallant project of humanism tends to retreat before its multi-quillioned attack. When the enemy cannot be consolidated, it must be battled through excavation, through a careful search for and revelation of its own complexities. I use the word "excavation" to draw attention to the potential for this kind of reading to re-colonize the object of its attention. Strategic re-colonization can happen, but again, this is not necessarily in the interest of the humanist project.

It is at the moment of battle, in other words, that an unstable, contingent, limited truth becomes true. The nationalist misconception is to think that this truth can be extended past the moment of battle, that it can become a unifylng force; it cannot, because it is always a fundamentally incorrect approximation of the complexity of the truth. All of the authors represented in this work resist simple Euclidean models of their cultures and of themselves within their cultures. This is what is recognized when people suggest that postcolonial studies may have more to do with ethnic studies than with national literatures.

If the failures of liberalism are always "practical," then what kind of perfectibility does the principle claim for itself? Such a campaigning stance obscures indigenous traditions of reform and resistance, ignores "local" leavenings of liberty flies in the face of feminist campaigns within nationalist and anti-colonialstruggles, leaves out well-established debates by minority intellectuals and activists concerned with the difficult "translation" of gender and sexual politics in the world of migration and resettlement.

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