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Exotic Parodies

Subjectivity in Adorno, Said, and Spivak

1995
Author:

Asha Varadharajan

Exotic Parodies

This groundbreaking text begins with the premise that postmodernism, poststructuralism, postcolonialism, and Marxism continue to present certain problems with the self/other distinction. It goes on to offer the first extended critique of the work of Gayatri Spivak; challenge the critical reception of Adorno in the American academy; examine Said's connection to Adorno; and make the first in-depth use of Adorno's Negative Dialectics in the context of postcolonial theory.

This groundbreaking text begins with the premise that postmodernism, poststructuralism, postcolonialism, and Marxism continue to present certain problems with the self/other distinction. It goes on to offer the first extended critique of the work of Gayatri Spivak; challenge the critical reception of Adorno in the American academy; examine Said's connection to Adorno; and make the first in-depth use of Adorno's Negative Dialectics in the context of postcolonial theory.

Nimbly weaving her way through the minefields of contemporary theory, Asha Varadharajan unexpectedly retrieves a neglected, but potent resource for post-colonial studies: the negative dialectics of Theodor W. Adorno. Directing attention away form the dominating colonizing subject, she explores instead the complicated identities now available to the once colonized object, the 'other' seemingly buried beneath the weight of orientalist discourse.

Martin Jay, Professor, University of California at Berkeley, and author of The Dialectical Imagination: A History of the Frankfurt School and the Institute of Social Research

Exotic Parodies was first published in 1995. Minnesota Archive Editions uses digital technology to make long-unavailable books once again accessible, and are published unaltered from the original University of Minnesota Press editions.

This groundbreaking text begins with the premise that postmodernism, poststructuralism, postcolonialism, and Marxism continue to present certain problems with the self/other distinction. It goes on to offer the first extended critique of the work of Gayatri Spivak; challenge the critical reception of Adorno in the American academy; examine Said's connection to Adorno; and make the first in-depth use of Adorno's Negative Dialectics in the context of postcolonial theory.

Varadharajan attempts to reformulate the agenda of postcolonialism and to establish a much-needed basis for the evaluation of specific critical positions and practices occasioned by its discourse. Her daring interpretative moves and highly nuanced readings of complex issues in Marxist and poststructuralist theory will be of interest to those contemplating relations between feminism, postcolonialism, Marxism, and deconstruction.

Exotic Parodies

Asha Varadharajan is a professor in postcolonial literatures and theory in the Department of English at Queen’s University. Her work has focused on romanticism, critical theory, and the relations between feminism and postcolonialism.

Exotic Parodies

Nimbly weaving her way through the minefields of contemporary theory, Asha Varadharajan unexpectedly retrieves a neglected, but potent resource for post-colonial studies: the negative dialectics of Theodor W. Adorno. Directing attention away form the dominating colonizing subject, she explores instead the complicated identities now available to the once colonized object, the 'other' seemingly buried beneath the weight of orientalist discourse.

Martin Jay, Professor, University of California at Berkeley, and author of The Dialectical Imagination: A History of the Frankfurt School and the Institute of Social Research

This subtle and astute reading and assessment of the critical situation today should attract a wide audience in the critical theory field.

The Reader’s Review

This is a perspacious and important book that deserves a wide readership. In its engagement not only with post-colonialism, but also with the larger frame of postmodernism, Exotic Parodies will certainly repay serious reading.

Theory and Society

Varadharajan, who claims the authority of a ‘native informant,’ raises valuable issues about the subjectivity of the colonized.

Canadian Literature

A clearly argued, intelligent, and demanding account of Adorno.

Monatshefte