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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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Today: Stigmata and Veils

Today: Stigmata and Veils

(p.119) Chapter 6 Today: Stigmata and Veils
Empire of Language

Laurent Dubreuil

, David Fieni
Cornell University Press

This chapter explores the most persistent methods of interdiction to date. The insistence of indigenous discourses in French, in tandem with the wars for independence, has made it difficult for colonial verbiage to claim to represent the language without being ridiculed. But though indigenous speech does open a breach in the colonial edifice, it does not definitely undo interdiction. In exemplary fashion, the school system and the media exert a necrotizing control over any and all speech that breaks with the established order. It is true that in addition to the emancipatory virtues they reiterate, the traditional function of these two worlds is to enforce a kind of censure. Moreover, literature nowadays is not commanded to contribute to the colonial phrase, hence the chapter evokes two poetic trajectories through the density of (post)colonial language: the work of Pierre Guyotat and that of Hélène Cixous.

Keywords:   interdiction, stigma, indigenous speech, school system, media, education, the press, literature, post-colonial language

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