Royal Art of Benin The Perls Collection by Kate Ezra

By Kate Ezra

В книге представлена коллекция произведений искусства Бенина

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What is ‘English’ in these discourses of colonial power cannot be represented as a plenitude or a ‘full’ presence; it is determined by its belatedness. As a signifier of authority, the English book acquires its meaning after the traumatic scenario of colonial difference, cultural or racial, returns the eye of power to some prior, archaic image or identity. Paradoxically, however, such an image can neither be ‘original’ by virtue of the act of repetition that constructs it—nor ‘identical’ by virtue of the difference that defines it.

The original purpose of the journey may sometimes have nothing to do with the results that attend upon it. That journey took place nearly five centuries ago; and the result has been one of the world’s most fascinating communities. The next event is the abolition of slavery and the arrival of the East—India and China—in the Caribbean Sea. The world met here, and it was at every level, except administration, a peasant world. In one way or another, through one upheaval after another, these people, forced to use a common language which they did not possess on arrival, have had to make something of their surroundings….

Moreover, the…freedom from physical fear has created a state of complacency in the West Indian awareness. And the 15 GEORGE LAMMING higher up he moves in the social scale, the more crippled his mind and impulses become by the resultant complacency. In order to change this way of seeing, the West Indian must change the very structure, the very basis of his values…. I am not much interested in what the West Indian writer has brought to the English language; for English is no longer the exclusive language of the men who live in England.

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