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Empire of LanguageToward a Critique of (Post) colonial Expression$
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Laurent Dubreuil

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780801450563

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: August 2016

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9780801450563.001.0001

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Haunting and Imperial Doctrine

Haunting and Imperial Doctrine

(p.36) Chapter 2 Haunting and Imperial Doctrine
Empire of Language

Laurent Dubreuil

, David Fieni
Cornell University Press

This chapter shows that it is permissible to rearrange theories and words in their connection to (post)colonial possession. (Post)colonial languages make use of multiple paradigms that tell without telling (qui disent sans dire). Each dogma thus contains an internal tension that both makes the phrase of possession speak and attempts to displace it in the direction of another system. Each utterance is in fact likely to repeat and to modify itself. Herein the act of reconstructing possession becomes, not a tangible and preliminary critical model, but—reflecting the era of the philosophes—a new, dark Enlightenment. The great modern political themes of colonization appear, in this sense, as so many confirmations of the phrase of possession and of ad hoc deformations of it.

Keywords:   post-colonial possession, post-colonial languages, imperial doctrines, reconstructed possession, colonial haunting

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