By Asha Varadharajan
Publication by way of Varadharajan, Asha
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Additional info for Exotic Parodies: Subjectivity in Adorno, Said, and Spivak
This strange "empirico-transcendental doublet" (Foucault 1973b, 322) is a creature who is perhaps no more "than a kind of rift in the order of things" (xxiii), but who must nevertheless trust his fallible reason to determine the conditions of (his) being. The discourse of postmodernity explores this inescapable dilemma, not only in order to explain how "man" came into being, but also, in the course of undermining his authority as the transcendental ground of knowledge, to translate the reduction of being as the promise of difference.
This charting of postmodernism's debt to its "other" fathers serves to reinforce the point that the fall of reason is in infinite regress. It might therefore be best to remember with Andreas Huyssen that "modernism as that from which postmodernism is breaking away remains inscribed into the very word with which we describe our distance from modernism" (Huyssen 1984, 10), or with Derrida that "breaks are always, and fatally, reinscribed in an old cloth that must continually, interminably, be undone" (quoted in Fraser 1984, 131).
After all, they see things clearly enough when men are involved. As for "the woman of color," Fanon says, baldly, "I know nothing about her" (Fanon 1967a, 179). This (disingenuous) silence is broken briefly in Black Skin, White Masks and at length in Studies in a Dying Colonialism. In Black Skin, White Masks, Fanon discusses the case of an Algerian whose wife has been raped by the colonizers and who now suffers from impotence. Fanon probably never met the wife, but it is curious that his attention remains focused on the consequences for the man and his sense of self.
Exotic Parodies: Subjectivity in Adorno, Said, and Spivak by Asha Varadharajan