Now you can view this blog on your mobile phones! Give a try.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Modernity, World Literatures Paper

  • What is a nation? It is an imaginary idea which rests in time but not in space, which consists of a specific geographical location. Therefore, while the State has a specific geographical locality, which is material and tangible, a nation is only an imaginary entity.
  • The idea of a state is a product of modernity, which has given birth to nation-states. The idea of a nation state stands counter to that of the nation-state. While the universal is a consistent identity that stands for the interests of everyone, and is supposedly common to everyone, a nation has a specific identity and subjectivity of its' own. Hence, the World Literatures paper seeks to consilidate specific identities of specific nations. This is a result of the colonial and postcolonial legacies.
  • There is only an imagination that we are moving away from the nation-state identity issue when we speak of a "world literatures". It only transcends in the imagination only, and not in the practicality of the issue. We are still, for all the technically important reasons, under the nation.
  • Then, what is modernity?
Features of modernity:
  1. Rise of Capitalism
  2. Make use of surplus labour to increase capital.
  3. Marked by industrialization
  4. Increased interest of the state in the individual.
  5. Democracy
  6. New technologies for the self
  7. The idea that the world can be transformed through inventions.
  8. Rise of political institutions
  9. All modern societies live in the future.
  10. Sacrificing the present to make the future secure (Rama Sena draws upon the past to change the future and sacrifices the present in order to secure the feature; and in this sense there is nothing old or ancient about what the Rama Sena was trying to do; it was a very modernist stand/act.
  11. Obsessed with validity, visuality, visibility and evidence.
  12. Seeing becomes believing instead of hearing as believing. However, 78% of grapevine is always true. This example comes to prove seeing need not be believing and that the fact that seeing has to be believing is not a fact but a construct.
Literature is a product of modernity.Therefore, World Literatures is a political act that need not necessarily revolve around bringing about changes in understanding what literature is or to bring about harmony in the world through literature, but as a response and reaction to postcololiality and coloniality only.

Therefore, questions like "role of an artist in literature" or "how does a community represent itself through an artist" are not as important as questions regarding how many communities are represented and how the entire act of a world literatures is actually a political act with certain meanings attached to the way in which it represents the communities it represents and which communities it represents.

No comments: