Theory in the Margin: Coetzee's Foe Reading Defoe's "Crusoe/Roxana" Author(s): Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak Source: English

in Africa, Vol. 17, No. 2 (Oct., 1990), pp. 1-23 Published by: Institute for the Study of English in Africa, Rhodes University Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/40238659 Accessed: 19/10/2010 12:49
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Theory in the Margin: Coetzee's Foe Reading Defoe's Crusoe/Roxana
Gayatri ChakravortySpivak
For somewhat more than a decade, literarycriticism in the United States had been made to pay attention to the representationand self-representationof margins. So much so, indeed, that the President's Forum at the Modern LanguageAssociation annualconvention in 1988 had the title "BreakingUp / Out / Down: The Boundariesof LiteraryStudy." It is also true that, perhaps as a result of these efforts, a strong demand to keep U.S. culture purely "Western"has also been consolidated. Under pressure of this debate, we tend to monumentalizesomethingwe call "margins."Yet, for the sake of the daily work at the ground level, we must still raise the persistent voice of autocritique. As we try to shore up our defences, we tend to leave untouchedthe politics of the specialists of the margin the area studies, anthropology,and the like. Third World studies, including Third World feminist studies in English, become so diluted thatall linguistic specificity or scholarlydepth in the study of culture is often ignored. Indeed, works in poor English translationor works written in English or the European languages in the recently decolonized areas of the globe or writtenby people of so-called ethnic origin in First World space are beginning to constitute something called 'Third World literature."Within this arena of tertiaryeducation in literature,the upwardly mobile exmarginal,justifiably searching for validation, can help commodify marginality. Sometimes, with the best of intentions and in the name of convenience, an institutionalized double-standard tends to get established: one standardof preparationand testing for our own kind and quite another for the rest of the world. Even as we join in the struggleto establish the institutional study of marginalitywe must still go on saying "Andyet...." ConsiderSartre,speakinghis commitmentjust afterWorldWar II:
English in Africa 17 No. 2 (October1990)

Much of our literary critical globalism or Third Worldism cannot even qualify to the conscientiousnessof this arrogance.or linguistic limit. Let us learn to discriminate the terms colonialism in the European formation stretching from the mid eighteenth to the mid twentieth centuries neocolonialism dominant economic. even that of a Chinese. Let us learn to distinguish between what Samir Amin long ago called "internalcolonization" the patternsof exploitation and domination of disenfranchisedgroups within a metropolitancountry like the United States or Britain and the colonization of other spaces. . Sartre's personal and political good faith cannot be doubted here.. Yet commentingon such passages." through the collection of information. at least none of them is wholly foreign to me . as Sartreputs it. an Indian or a Negro. There is always some way of understanding an idiot. in its institutional consequences. Every project. although its political importancecannot be denied. . since the first term is supposed to have passed or be passing into the second..or.this word has the general existentialist sense of undertaking to construct a life] may be. that only the marginal can speak for the margin. Derridawrote in 1968: "Everythingoccurs as if the sign 'man' had no origin. let us consider a few methodological suggestions: 1. can be understood by a European. Faced with this double-bind.. . a primitive man or a foreigner if one has sufficient information.. of which Robinson Crusoe's island is a "pure" example.2 GAYATRI CH AKRAVORTYSPIVAK And. . one realizes that the history obliteratedhere is that of the arrogance of the radical European humanist conscience. and . and culturalist manoeuvresemerging in our centuryafter the uneven dissolution of the territorialempires and postcoloniality the contemporaryglobal condition.. can. diverse though man's projects {projects . if one looks at the rhetorical trace of Rome in "none of [man's projects] is wholly alien to me" [humaninil a me alienartiputo (Terence via the philosophes)]. he may redo [refaire] in himself the project of the Chinese.4 2. legitimize such an arrogance of conscience. "redoin himself the other's project. of the Indian or the African .. which will consolidate i\selfX>y imaginingthe other. The European of 1945 can throw himself [pro-ject] out of a situation which he conceives towards his limits [se jeter a partir d'une situation qu'il conçoit vers ses limites] in the same way. political." Indeed. The opposite point of view. a child. cultural.. no historical..

internal colonization and the transformationsand vicissitudes in decolonized space in the name of the pure native invests this already establishedethnocultural agenda." At best. . when in search of absolutejustifications. how does "the European" or. We in the United States cannot not want to inhabitthis rationalabstraction. may feed the Eurocentric "thereis always some way of understanding arrogancein Sartre'sdeclaration: [the other] if one has sufficient information. 3. deconstruction might propose a doublegesture: Begin where you are. claiming to preservethe ethnos of origin.S. bringingthe ThirdWorld home. if we keep in mind only the substantivesuggestions."The critical frame reminds us that the institutionalorganizationof historical context is no more than our unavoidable starting point.Yet this too. . it secures the "They"of developmentor aggression against the Constitutional"We. the suggestions above are substantive. the U. desire for the abstractcollective American"We the this People" has been recoded by the fabrication of ethnic enclaves. of "How seriously can we [Africans]take . if unaccompaniedby the habit of critical reading. Our current tendency to obliterate the difference between U. b. in the neocolonial context. can In the face of the double-bind of Eurocentricarroganceor unexamined nativism. move furtherand furtheraway from the vicissitudes and transformations the nation or group of origin. Considerthe following set: a. . of the Indianor the African?" In the face of this question. affectively bonded subcultures. At worst. or the transformativeopinions in favour of women's reproductiverights.THEORY IN THE MARGIN 3 Let us take seriously the possibility that systems of representation come to handwhen we secure our own culture our own culturalexplanations. [Alice Walker's] Africa. which reads like an overlay of South Africa over a vaguely realized Nigeria?"5 c. we might want to help ourselves by a greatereffort at historicalcontextualization. The question remains: With this necessary preparation. Deconstructive cautions would put a critical frame aroundand in between them. Thus. the Equal Rights Amendment. but. One cannot dismiss this as mere "essentialism" and take a position againstcivil rights. critic and teacher of the humanities "redo in himself [or herself] the projectof the Chinese.to quote Sartre again. so that we do not compound the problem by imagining the double-bind too easily resolved. The makingof an Americanis defined by at least a desire to enter the "We the People" of the Constitution.S. it suits our institutionalconvenience.simulacrafor survival that. Traditionally. The double-standard thenbegin to operate.

In the narrative.cultural. the comparablystructured philosopher. attending to margins.and Political Oppression.' CulturalNarrative. J.4 GAYATRI CH AKRAVORTYSPIVAK rememberthat the margin as such is wholly other.that "the danger to which the sovereign decision [of the historical critic] responds is undecidability.. the wholly other. I learnedanotherlesson from it. by a white South African. It is an active marginalizingof the marshiness. It attendsto the rhetoricalconduct of the text as it stages readingand writing. we must ignore that the end will be inconclusive.the wholly other. For the substantiveprovision of a historical context. or. as Derridaput it in 1968 in a speech given at a philosophicalcolloquium:"I was thinking. a canni«· Derridastuck the word Margins before a title: de la philosophie.I will spend a few moments on it before I turnto Coetzee's novel.9 In marginality: Crusoe.Derridalet the title stand by itself. or yet. philosophize in the margins. we must ignore that our startingpoint is shaky. a double gesture is performed. the white man marginalized in the forest encounters Friday the savage in the margin. the text steps in and reminds us that Fridayis in the marginas such.M. etc. Coetzee.I will look at a novel in English. My readingattemptsto be a critical supplement to his.first of all. . But this ignoring is not an active forgetfulness."11 Since the theory of which my intervention is the consequence is deconstructionin and on margins. The obvious meanings: I. I use Derek Attridge's "The Silence of the Canon: J. Coetzee's 'Foe. the individualistfemale infiltratesnascent bourgeois society. I use the novel as a didactic aid to share with my students some of the problems of which I have been speaking. where it would be no more meaningfulto instigateit thanto prohibitiL"7 To meditateon the wholly othernessof margins. Five years later. In Coetzee's novel.M. Foe."a much more detailed study than mine. Derridapublished his Marges de la philosophie}2 I was taken by the caesurain his title. Or. philosophy lives in its own margins. If we want to get something done. as follows: if we want to startsomething. This novel reopens two English texts in which the early eighteenth century tried to constitute Daniel Defoe's RobinsonCrusoe (1719) and Roxana (1724). In 1972. In Roxana. political. but when her projectapproachesfulfilment. of all those places.where the organizationof a philosophical colloquium simply would have no meaning. here I philosophize in an unauthorizedway. In De la grammatologie. It is my hope thatsuch a readingpoints out thata merely historically contextualized interpretationmight produce closures that are problematic even as they are reasonableand satisfactory. The absent word is marginin the singular. linguistic.Roxana begins her constructionof the marginalwhere she is.

who have not been writtenin the same culturalinscription. It is not impossible.and attentionto the wholly other must be constantly renewed. no more and no less than a formula for doing things: the active and necessary marginalizationof the strange guardiansin the margins who keep us from vanguardism. This is marginal in the general sense. as Cixous goes on to point out.THEORY IN THE MARGIN 5 the swampiness. Yet those of us who "know" this also know that it is in those margins that philosophy hangs out These necessarily and actively marginalized margins haunt what we start and get done. We understandit more easily when folks of the other gender inscription wish to join our struggle. ."13 In a minimal way. but new ways have to be learnedand taught. woman occurs simultaneously in several places. at the beginning and end.Perhaps some of the problemswith some of what you recognize as deconstructivewoik has been a fixation with the stalled origin and the stalled end: differanceand aporia will do as theirnames.and. in a historicalnarrativein which single male figures or groups of men are definitive. as curious guardians. culturalrevolution. this can be taken to mean that." Helene Cixous writes: "As subjectfor history. Maximally.The marginal in the narrowsense is the victims of the best-knownhistoryof centralization: the emergence of the straight white Christianman of property as the ethical universal. and totalitarianism. woman or women as such cannot fît neatly into the established periodizing rubrics or categories. and men. you get both the benign or resentful conservatism of the establishment and the masquerade of the or privilegedas the disenfranchised.in a certain way. in the field of writingaboutand teachingliterature.cannot be mobilized in the same way as the investigation of gendering in our own. Because there is somethinglike a relationshipbetween the general and the narrow sense. The exuberanceof this interest has sometimes overlookeda problem:that a concern with women. the problem of marking a margin in the house of feminism can be stated in anotherway. I confess to a certain unease reading a man's text about a woman. In her influentialand by now classic essay 'The Laugh of the Medusa.if you forget the productiveunease that what you do with the utmost care is judged by those margins. this might also mean that the feminist woman becomes partof every struggle. On the otherhand.if you do not marginalizethem but make them the centre of your attention. Paradoxically.in the political field you get the pluralismof repressivetoleranceand sanctionedignorance. you sabotage their guardianship. Proof of this can be found in the increasing interest in marginality in general within feminism in the academy. the lack of firm groundingat the margins. For example. theirliberator. and varietiesof fundamentalism.

And his critique of political economists including Ricardo is that they read it as literary commentatorson Robinson Crusoe think Marx read it. Of the three precapitalistexamples.producinguse-values. But throughout entire range of his writings. applying capitalist standards. The main drift of Marx's chapter in which this paragraphoccurs is that in generalized commodity production. and yet .the theoreticalfiction of the binaryopposition between use." No. When commodities are not produced specifically for exchange. Indeed. Time. the private is defined by and contains within it the possibility of the social." Time.. is the general equivalent . all the relationsbetween Robinson and the objects . Robinson is the first and most interestingbecause the other two are situationsof exchange. . the activity of one and the same Robinson .we take our own goodwill for guarantee. simple and clear . the characterof Robinson is a form of appearance of man in nature. . of his own creation. . The undoing of the use-value/exchange-valuebinary repeatedly shows that for Marx. I am ready to get on with Coetzee's actualreadingof TheLife and Adventures of Robinson Crusoe. . when we want to intervenein the heritageof colonialism or the practice of neocolonialism. not money." I need not emphasize the importanceof in forms of appearance[Erscheinungsformen] Marx's tight argument In his of man alone in nature. three precapitalist and one post-. Marx is not interestedin the novel. The concrete individual is inherentlypredicatedby the possibility of abstraction. "necessity"thinksabstractlabour:"He knows that .but it is exactly not so. Robinson alreadyof situation. It representsthe relationshipbetween persons as a relationshipbetween things.the commodity has a fetish character.and exchange-value is repeatedlyundone..6 GAYATRI CH AKRAVORTYSPIVAK Yet. containall the essential determinantsof value.. For Marx. consists of nothing but different modes of human labour .. and Marx's first great example of this is Robinson. ratherthan money... and he introduces him this way: "Let Robinson first appearon his island. .are here .. althoughnot of generalizedcommodity exchange. . On the thresholdstands Marx's paragraphon Defoe's novel..14 Everyone reads it as being about capitalism. is then the general equivalent Marx chooses four examples. and all the English translationshide this by rendering his introduction of Robinson as: "Let us first look at Robinson on his island. this fetish characterdisappears. Marx's argumentthatall humanbeings performthat structurein exchange which is later expressed as money is not supposed to hold in cases of the the productionof use-values. Robinson's example is of the productionof use-values.this may be the cornerstoneof the subterranean text of socialist ethics in Marx which is still to be theorized.

Crusoe has no interest in being its agent. So who is this female narrator?It is time I tabulatedsome of the ways in which Coetzee altersDefoe as he cites him. He was born the son of James and Ann Foe. But in restoring this proper name."together with "five cows. First. "beingsuch as I found properfor service. I make this digression before I enter Foe because. . Indeed. Whose Foe is Mr Foe? I will leave thatquestionsuspendedfor now. . Just as the Jamaicanwhite Jean Rhys's rewritingof the English classic cannot accept Jane Eyre as the paradigm nineteenth-century woman. The planting is reserved for those who come after us and have the foresight to bring seed. The theme of the transitionfrom land to landedcapital is. only one importantstrandof the mission of imperialism. consider the title.' said he. after all. not even to the extent of saving tools. or for wives to such as would take them. not even notches to indicate that he counted the years of his banishmentor the cycles of the moon"(F 16). Coetzee's focus is on gender and empire.ratherthanthe story of capital. There was the typecast mother.THEORY IN THE MARGIN 7 that expresses this production. the benevolent widow whose role it was to play the benevolent widow. She begs him to keep a record. . This is perhaps the result of the colonial white's look at the metropolitanclassic. of Foe's Crusoe has no interestin keeping time.16 inscribedspace to an indefinite future:"'The planting is not for us.but he resolutelyrefuses. but [finds] no carvings. 'We have nothing to plant that is our misfortune .Coetzee's book seems interestedin space ratherthan time.15 Foe is more about spacing and displacementthan about the timing of history and labor. the nameless wife who was marriedand died in the conditional mode in one sentence so thatCrusoecould leave for the East Indies in the very year of the founding of the Bank of England. Who is this female narratorof Robinson Crusoe! We know that the original had no room for women. Although producedby merchantcapitalism. Coetzee also makes it a common noun. as it stages the difficulties of a timekeepinginvestigationbefore a space thatwill not yield its inscription. so can the South African white's rewritingof an eighteenth-century English classic not accept Crusoe as the normative man in nature. the "seven women" he sent at the end of the story. the narrator Foe. "search[es]the poles .and last but not least. who is not Crusoe. three of them being big with calf' (RC 237). I only clear the ground for them'" (F 33).. We know of course that Foe is Defoe's proper patronymic. Foe. already This Crusoebequeathesa lightly committedto a constitutivechronometry. in my reading..

we cannot know now. At the beginning of the text is a quotationwith no fixed origin. I will admit. (A century and a half later. As Attridgepoints out. Coetzee's Susan Bartonis also Defoe's Roxana. Coetzee has trouble negotiating a gendered position. Tillie Olsen will write the poignant tragedy of an . Coetzee makes the final episode of Defoe's novel Roxana flow into this citationof RobinsonCrusoe. he and the text strain to make the trouble noticeable. however. (There are other incidental similarities. thereis talk of "freechoice" in Foe. This text will not defend itself against the undecidability and discomfort of imagining a woman.who wants of to "father"her story into history. that my life is drearily suspended till your writing is done?" (F 63). for it must not only tell the truthabout us but please the readerstoo. Susan Bartonhas writtena title. At this point.Crusoe's deathon boardship on the tripback to England. earning even as he is framed by the dynamic narrative of mercantile capitalism woman for elsewhere. Will you not bear in mind. we are obliged to ask a furtherquestion:What happenswhen the unequalbalance of gender determinationin the representation the marginalis allowed to of tip? The male marginalin the early eighteenth-century imaginationcan be the the right to imperialistsoul making solitary contemplativeChristian. not all of which have arrivedat theirdestination.8 GAYATRI CHAKRAVORTYSPIVAK The narrator Foe is an Englishwomannamed Susan Barton. The female marginalis the exceptionalentrepreneurial whom the marriagecontractis an inconvenience when the man is a fool. whose first name is Susan. At any rate. What happens to The Female Castaway! Susan Bartonbegins the novel with quotationmarks. Is that authoritativeword father being turned into a false but useful analogy (catachresis) here? Or is Coetzee's Susan being made to operate a traditionalmasculist topos of reversal and makingFoe "gestate?" We cannotknow. Before the story of fathering can go any further. The Female Castaway and a \ memoir and many letters and sent them to Mr Foe. This first part the stay of her discovery of Crusoe and Friday. a strange sequence intervenes.it is either the book Robinson Crusoe or the book Foe. an allegory of the guardian that watches over all claims to demonstratethe truthof a text by quotation. and her arrivalin Englandwith Friday is her memoirs. it is simply the markof the citationand alterationwhich is every reading.a self-citation:"At last I could row no further"(F 5).) Because Crusoe and Susan/Roxanaare made to inhabitthe same text. As fa* her history.17"Moreis at stake in the historyyou write. with Mr Foe's help. It is as if the margins of bound bodes are themselves dissolved into a general textuality.

may enjoy that Liberty to as much purpose as Men do.. control. tho' it was true. Notions of Matrimony.)18 Not only because of Defoe's own patriarchal "normally" patriarchal productionbut also because of the conventions of the picaresque. made by men as merchants. and not only among the bourgeoisie) produces children as commodities that cannot be legitimately exchanged and may produce an affective value that cannotbe fully coded. In this enterprise. especially the last .THEORY IN THE MARGIN 9 exceptional revolutionarywoman marriedto an ordinary..bewildered. He attempts to represent the bourgeois individualistwoman in early capitalism as the agent of other-directedethics ratherthan as a combatantin the preferentialethics of self-interest. which.Defoe has at least two predictable questionsaboutprinciplesand the dissimulation problemsthatraise important of principleas well as about the negotiabilityof all commitmentsthroughthe productionand coding of value. that I thought a Woman was a free Agent. In the presentationof this narrative. (/? 147) Second: the representationof the affective value of mothering when contrasted with the destiny of female individualism. differing elevated strain . and manage money: tho' I could give up my Virtue . Susan Suleiman has recently discussed the immense ramifications of this binary opposition in I "Writingand Motherhood. and talk upon a kind of an as follows: I told him.a social marginal finally centralizing herself through marriage.. and was bom free. and she uses her sexuality as labourpower. merely man. I was oblig'd to give a new Turn to it. yet I wou'd not give up my Money.. First: the relationship between principles and the dissimulation of principles. I had. Defoe cannot make his Roxana utter her passion for woman's freedom except as a ruse for her real desire to own. The rhetoricof Foe.his heroine must be a rogue.she uses the money held by men as aristocrats."19 will add a theoreticalexplanationof Defoe's of representation:Sexuality used as labour power outside of the problem institutionof marriage(not only in the British early eighteenth century. yet was really too gross for me to acknowledge . It is thereforeshe who is involved in the constructionof the marginal both Cruso (Coetzee's spelling) and Friday. perhaps. as well as a Man. I think it is for ratheran important reason that none of these issues is quite relevant for Coetzee: He is involved in a historically implausible but politically provocative revision.. She is a subjectfor history.. and herself as character as object of knowledge. and cou'd she manage herself suitably. from what the receiv'd Custom had given us of it.

" Thus. as use-value. in need.10 GAYATRI CHAKRAVORTYSPIVAK section. freed on the island from heavy historicaldetermination.and undeveloped capitalist agency that we have already noticed: Susan's longing for "freedomof choice in writing her history. the problemof the representation the affective value of mothering as opposed to the ambitions of possessive female individualismis dismissed by Coetzee's Susan Bartonas Mr Foe's ideas of a woman's dilemma. a decision is not easy to take. "Withoutventuringup to that perilous necessity. unacknowledged.as merely"father-born. This is the liability of the peculiarlyEuropean"sense of responsibilityfor the humanconscience. in this mother-daughter subplot. for Coetzee. and. the basic theme of marriageand sexuality. Thus also. shows that as such an agent.Coetzee marksan aporia. She is convinced that this encounter and Defoe's pursuitare Foe's fabrication. By everyday common sense. she does not ventureinto the new cartography the space of conquest. she is also the instrumentof defence against undecidability.21 From the point of view of an other-directed ethico-politics. dating her own section of the book meticulously. (Attridgeclues us into the "historical" contributionto this scenario.) Now a of woman who claims to be her daughterhaunts her footsteps and wants to be reclaimed. (Although Defoe's Roxana is a great travellerin the northwestEuropeanworld looking forward to the turmoil of the transitionfrom mercantileand commercial capital. which is a real and imagined citation of Defoe's real book and Barton'sunrealone." let us decide that the problem is recast from the point of view of the feminist as agent. trying at once to rescue mothering from the Europeanpatriarchalcoding and the "native" from the colonial account. Susan Barton had gone to Bahia Bianca to search for her daughterand had been shipwreckedon Crusoe's island on her way back." If we take the open-ended double-value or abyssality of Father under advisementhere. at first of living on Clock Lane.begging Cruso to marktime. in a way thatresemblesthe dream's"citation" waking of I am suggesting that here the book may be gesturing toward the reality? impossibilityof restoringthe historyof empireand recoveringthe lost text of . Susan Barton's credibilityor sanity would here be thrown in doubt But what place does credibilityor verifiability have in this book.without the usual affective charge."Susan's desire to use time as the general equivalent.) We cannot be convinced of this explanation.indeed. Defoe's problem of the dissimulation of the desire for liberty as a ruse for control of money is ennobled in Foe into the full if unrecognized. becomes a radicalcounterfactual: the woman giving pleasure. Susan Barton cannot recognize her as her lost daughterand tries to get rid of her in many ways.

) Susan Barton " lures her strangedaughterinto the heartof EppingForest and tells her 'You are father-born.part mother.markingthe date. But overdetermination rebus in the dream has been straightenedout in analyticalprose. lost her at last in the forest?'" But is a dream contained in a dream citation a loss of authority? This first severing is not neat. "'Whatdo I mean by it. I read "in anotherlife" as.as aporia. In the middle of Foe. In the frame of this peculiar aporia.We could praise him for not presumingto speak a completed text on motherhood. call it the mark of aporia in the center. We could fault Coetzee for not letting a woman have free access to both authorshipand motherhood.part historian. the mysterious expulsion Derrida of the daughtercan be read as markingthis aporia.22 One cannot pass throughan aporia. I would rather save the book. . and teach my students something about the 3 impossibilityof a political programfoundedon overdetermination." Paul Celan's citation of the cry from February 1936. there can be no politics founded on a continuous overdeterminedmultiplicity of agencies.First. . Susan is imagined as imagining Foe imagining the history of The Female . Yet Franco did pass through. and the stories have but a single source'"(F 91). the decision to keep or reject the mother-daughter story is presentedin termsof the makingof narratives. the eve of the takes SpanishCivil War. the curled fingers that would never open. I could not put from my thoughtsthe little sleeper who would never awake. another register. The main narrativeof Foe passes throughthis obstinate sequence bits of fiction that cannot articulate as a story. (In "Shibboleth. also. " wake in the grey of a London dawn with the word still faintly in my eyes .No pasaran. Yet this too could Susan asks herself in the be a dream. We could ourselves "explain"this curious sequence in various ways.THEORY IN THE MARGIN 11 motheringin the same register of language. 13 February1936. Because of this dislocation. Celan's poem stands guardian. Who was the child but I. father-born?'" letter in which she recounts this to Foe. and pass on to more plausible explanations offered by this text. the pinched eyes that would never see the sky. Have I expelled her. Susan writes Foe again:"I must tell you of a dead stillborngirl-child"she unwrapsin a ditch some miles out of Marlborough: *Try thoughI might. reminderof a history that did not happen.What you know of your parentagecomes to you in the form of stories. where plausibilityis plural. It is true that we are each of us overdetermined. strictly. in anotherlife?" (F 105). anotherstory. It is merely defensive to dress up the strategic desirability of alliance politics and conscientious pluralism in the continuous space opened up by socialized capital in the language of undecidabilityand plurality.and translatesit. and many other determinations can itself be disclosed when the condensed besides.

(F117) We do not read this projected novel in Foe. I should like to think that.which engendersFoe. without the woman as inventorand progenitor. then recovery. Here. One day when we are departed you will tip them out and glance through them. As to novelty. The island is not a story in itself/ said Foe gently.. In the former..12 GAYATRI CHAKRAVORTYSPIVAK Castaway. Susan Barton tries to break the binary opposition by . in terms of textual strategy. It is thus that we make up a book: loss. ? I think not Many strengths you have." You will murmur to yourself: "Better without the woman. it is describedas a road not taken. Could you have made up Cruso and Friday and the island . Defoe's RobinsonCrusoe. The two cannot occupy a continuous space. .Coetzee's text makes (De)foe's book share its own concerns. assumption of the quest by the daughter. then end. The actual is presentedas the counterfactual. The island is the central story of both the real Robinson Crusoe and this fictive projected Female Castaway. Yet in Coetzee's story.. At first. this is lent by the island episode . but invention is not one of them.which is properly the second part of the middle . and the adventure of the island. does not exist. abandonment of the quest. . the quest for the daughter in Brazil. "Better had there been only Cruso and Friday. I drop them in the box. and reunion of the daughter with the mother. Next. then quest. It is a long series of questions. then middle. Mr Foe is made to take a similar decision within his frameworkof structuralstrategy.the framenarrativeis capitalismand colony. I seal them. Susan Bartonimaginesa rejection: I write my letters. it would be the mother-daughter story.. In my reading..and Foe supplies the answershimself and tells her the structure his storyingof TheFemale Castaway: of 'We therefore have five parts in all: The loss of the daughter. My previous remarkson the formal peculiarities of the motherdaughter subplot carried the implication that feminism (within "the same" culturalinscription)and anticolonialism(for or againstracial"others")cannot occupy a continuous(narrative) space. (F 71-72) These musings describeDaniel Defoe's RobinsonCrusoe as we have it today. beginning.and by the reversal in which the daughter takes up the quest abandoned by her mother . these imaginings may signify no more than Defoe's idea of a woman's dilemma. he tries to question her on the details of the plot. when Susan meets Foe." Yet where would you be without woman? . here thematized as Foe's problem in writingthe story. In the latter.

The unrepeatabilityof the unique event can only be repeated imperfectly. (Attridge provides the "real" detail of Coetzee's answer to this in an interview.the orchestration her desire to constructFridayas subjectso that he can be her informantcannot be summarized. Like us. Each picture fails this way. if the story seems stupid.' I said. but the true story is buriedwithin Friday.who gives the native speech.and the metropolitananti-imperialist who wants to give the native voice. told you of my conviction that. In Foe. That too is a margin. a genre that is generated to bring undecidabilityunder control. to give him speech. says Robinson. That is to say.who is mute. It is also noticeable that. to fatherhis story.) Susan wants to know him. after the first publication of Robinson Crusoe. Friday's tongue has been cut off. and teach him to speak to me" (RC 161). many stories can be told of Friday's tongue. And then. or unable to be told by me. The stalling of thatbreachingor broachingis the story of Foe: '"In the letters that you did not read. She must recognize with chagrin that her picture of Robinson possibly cutting out his tongue."I began to speak to him. When she "begins to turnin Friday'sdance." it is not a con-versadon a turningtogether for "Fridayis sluggishly asleep on a hurdle behind the door" (F 104).THEORY IN THE MARGIN 13 broachingthe real marginthat has been hauntingthe text since its first page. to learn from him. Of course Crusoe knows the savages have a language. She asks Friday to explain the origin of his loss througha few pictures. I ask my studentsto note it.by slavers. But the contrasthere is by also between the colonialist. Where is the guaranteeof this? Where indeed is the guaranteeof Attridge'sconviction thatFridayis a metaphorfor the work of art? Contrastthis to Defoe's text It was noticed ratherquickly. not to make it the . And it is a longstandingtopos that barbarians definition do not speak language. The shadow whose lack you feel is there:it is the loss of Friday'stongue'"(F 117). Coetzee provides the racial difference between Crusoe's and his own Friday. The true story will not be heardtill by art we have found a means of giving voice to Friday" (F 118). that Defoe kept Friday's language acquisition skills at a ratherlow level. Crusoe does not need to learnto speak to the racial other. But her project remains to "give a voice" to Friday:"The story of Friday's tongue is a story unable to be told. "might also be taken to show Cruso as a beneficent father putting a lump of fish into the mouth of child Friday" (F 68-69). at their first encounter. her longing for Friday's desire and her exasperation at of herself. (In the interview cited by Attridge. which will also be her story:the accountof her anguishas Fridaygrows dull in London. "who was to say there do not exist entire tribes in Africa among whom the men are mute and speech is reservedto women?"(F 69). Susan is at her wit's end. that is because it so doggedly holds its silence.

a Roman name for what the Greekscalled "Libya. The discussion of speech and writingbetween these two Europeanprincipalsis of great interest. and stood truly for the word house and the pictureI had drawn. Finally. Like two blood brothers. He is on his way out of the margin. Fridaykills the bear with a gun in his ear. At this stage the only letter he seems to be able to reproduceis . and kills his other self to enter the shady plains of northwestern Europe. "Friday wrote the four letters h-o-u-s. The staging of this errantscene of writingshouldbe examinedfully in a classroom reading. The bear understands tone and gestures.it is the letter of muteness itself. where words are losing their mode of existence as semes. Now let us look at the last scene of Fridayin Susan's narrative.Foe asks Susan to teach Fridayto write. He makes his mastershis spectatorsand replaces the arrowwith the gun.like all propernames it is a mark with an arbitrary connection to its referent. The footsore company have just escaped from wolves. and Robinson quite surprisingly allows him to do so. When Crusoe strange . This is an amusementavailable to the natives.24he is also the prototype of the successful colonial subject He learns his master's speech. This effort is rich in meaning and its limits. It is bitter cold.a catachresis.is a metonym that the points to a greaterindeterminacy: mysteriousnessof the space upon which we are ban. Africa. the night is advancing. Nationalismcan only ever be temporarydwelling a crucial political agenda against oppression.it cannotprovidethe absoluteguaranteeof identity.14 GAYATRI CH AKRAVORTYSPIVAK tool to an unproductive standsas closure. is a letter in this book. Friday is not only the "domesticated anti-type. happily swears loyalty."itself perhapsa latinizationof the name of the Berber tribe Aourigha (perhaps pronounced"Afarika"). All longings to the contrary. believes the culture of the master is better. The metropolitananti-imperialist cannot teach the native the propername of his nation or continent. He has reinscribed his savagery.) The last scene in Susan's narrative a warning to both. Friday speaks to the bear in English. Before I read it I want to remind ourselves of the last scene involving Friday in Robinson Crusoe. or four shapes passably like them: whether they were truly the four letters. One of the words Bartontries to teach Friday is Africa. only he knew" (F 145-46).they dance in the his trees.and the thing itself. This scene of writing may also be an unfinished thematizing of dissemination. The earth as has no foundationalname. At this point Friday offers to amuse the company with a huge threateningbear. does his master's work."as JohnRichetticalls him. Susan thinks it is a poor idea but agrees because she "findfs] it thankless to argue" (F 144). Africa is only a time-boundnaming.

so does Robinson confess that he is not a good religious instructor. 'Ha-ha-ha.. GrippingFridayby the hair. Neither narrativenor text gives pride of place to it: active marginalizingperhaps. Here is the guardianof the margin. We also rememberthat in Robinson Crusoe "saying 0" is Friday's pidgin translationof his native word for prayer.' said Friday. It is noticeable because no other letterof the alphabetis treatedin this way. 'It is too dark.' said Cruso. In the light of this. The next day Friday dresses up in Foe's clothes and proceeds to write: a packed series of os.. 'Tomorrow you must teach him û'" (F 152). each set upon a 'Give! Give me the human foot: row upon row of eyes: walking eyes . It is not a beginning unless one forgets the previous forgetting. Are those walking eyes rebuses. and it is around the accounts of praying practices that Robinson shares with us the two negatives of reason. Fridayput three fingers into his mouth and wet them with spittle and rubbed the slate clean"(F 147). Friday!' I commanded. "WhileFoe and I spoke. said Cruso. "How can Friday know what freedom means when he barely knows his name?"(F 149).' sa[ys] Foe.ideograms. or is their secret that they hold no secret at all? Each scrupulous effort at decoding or decipheringwill bring its own rewards. Even then it would be writing. it is particularlyinterestingto notice what Coetzee stages between the inside marginsof the first and second days of the writing lesson.but there is a structural possibility that are nothing. with the promise of a continuedwriting lesson that never happens. and motioned to Friday to repeat. As Susan confesses that she is not a good writing teacher." Within divine law. I drew away.' said I. for he cannot make revelationaccessible to the merely reasonablesavage. '"La-la-la. Its example is Fridayand his tribe's saying "0. reason is sublimely negated by revelation. Fridayfilled his slate with open eyes. and Cruso released Friday's hair" (F 22-23). All throughthe book the letter H is typographicallyraised and separatedfrom the line in vague mimicry of eighteenth-centurytypeface. Within naturallaw what negates reason is unreason. slate. This event changes the course of Foe's and Susan's conversation only to the extent that Susan finally says.25 . One can of course say that Foe is wrong. H is the failed echolalia of the mute. the end. This is where Susan's narrative ends. Its example is the inconstancies of Christian doctrine. 'La-la-la.. 'Do you see?' he said.THEORY IN THE MARGIN 15 ' had first shown Friday's loss to Susan. '"It is a beginning. Whereupon. he broughthis face close to mine. but that argumenthas no they place here.'said Friday from the back of his throat 'He has no tongue/ said Cruso. hieroglyphs. 'Ha-ha-ha. naively pointed out by Friday.instead of obeying me. and could conceivably be omega.

But my particular word to Parryis thather efforts (to give voice to the native) as well as mine (to give warning of the attendantproblems) are judged by those strange margins of which Friday with his withholding slate is only a mark. Yet it is Friday rather than Susan who is the unemphaüc agent of withholding in the text For every territorialspace that is value-coded by colonialism and every command of metropolitan anticolonialism for the native to yield his "voice."29 I have no objection to conscientious ethnography. He or she is the curiousguardianat the margin. We talk like Defoe's Friday. the resistantpostcolonialhas become a scandal. . because we have had access to the so-called culture of imperialism.16 GAYATRI CHAKRAVORTYSPIVAK It is the withholdingthatis of interestin termsof Susan Barton'snarrative.and GayatriSpivak for being so enamoredof deconstrucüonthat they will not let the native speak.in the offing then. The night before. Postcolonial persons like ourselves from formerlycolonized countries are able to communicate to each other (and to metropolitans). to withhold." thereis a space of withholding. afterall. Benita Parryhas criticizedHomi Bhabha. among the migrant population in metropolitanspace.markedby a secret that may not be a secret but cannot be unlocked. the murderous projectof 7 South Africa caught in that earlier dispensation. has given place to neocolonialism. artizansand artists. he or she is also an agent. is not only a victim." This impossible "no" to a structurethat one critiques yet inhabits intimately is the deconstructiveposition. to establish sociality. In the apartheidkeeps so-called decolonized context proper.to exchange. The neocolonial anticolonialist still longs for the object of a conscientious ethnography. although I am forewarnedby its relationshipto the historyof the discipline of anthropology. only much better. Susan had said to Foe: "it is still in my power to guide and amend. which has its historical case in postcoloniality. passed since Defoe's fabricationof Friday. singers of sacredsongs. Territorialimperialism. In a recent article in OxfordLiteraryReview. Within the broadtaxonomythatI am proposinghere.Abdul Jan Mohammed. After this Foe and Susan Bartoncopulate for the first time.26 She has forgottenthat we are natives too. Above all. sometimes gender-marked for feminism: "where women inscribedthemselves as healers. Nearly three hundredyears have."whateverthat might mean. By such means do I still endeavour to be fatherof my story"(F 123).ascetics. "The native. Shall we then assign to that culture a measure of "moral luck?"28I think there can be no doubt that the answer is "no.

that allows the indeterminatereader. and then more writing too small to read" (F 155). above head-height. Robinson Crusoe has not been written. unpublished. Under the names of the dead father. deliberatelystaged a scene of (future) writing.THEORY IN THE MARGIN 17 Does the book Foe recuperatethis margin? The last section of the book. . Foe detains Barton with a seducer's touch. Defoe is dead and memorialized. are the words. let us turn to Bartonand Foe's copulation. is a sort of readinglesson by which would suggest the opposite. " (F 139). . in a woman). Then I drew off my shift and straddled him (which he did not seem easy with. an image engendered in the representationof the primal scene of writing but also dredged up from The Tempest.a plaque is bolted to the wall.' I whispered. Coetzee plays the register of legible banality with panache.for now Bartonwill not reach Crusoe's island. now properlyaddressed:"DearMr Foe. the trip leads not to Crusoe's island but to the second wreck. and the reader is staged as filling the subjectposition. "At one corner of the house. The ride is smooth. narrated a readerof unspecifiedgender and date. everythingis at once real and fantastic. Daniel Defoe. This is easy reading. In the pleasantpause after this musing-cum-fathering.but the dates are too small to read. It is this sea monster. To recover this suggestion. and Foe speaks. a play of repeatedly read as a representation the colonizer-colonized dialectic. unexpectedly. Nothing is cited. Susan's supposed daughteris present earlier in the evening. the margin caught in the empire of . white on blue. disturbedme less now that I knew her better"(F 136).sole shifteron this trip.and Foe is annulled. Then the reader reads the self-quotationthatopens Foe. rather different from Friday's withheld writing. Susan grows drowsy. where Susan Barton lies fat and dead. or whatever they were." The quotation marks disappear. 'This is the mannerof the Muse when she visits her poets.we enter and discover Susan Barton's book. "to us [Friday]leaves the task of descending into that eye [across which he rows and is safe]" (F 141). for Barton'stext continues. this reading knits itself into Susan's scene of strangefathering. .all the permissiveindulgencesof narrativefiction in the narrowsense are available to the reader. of sea monsters and resumes. We have seen these plaques in London.leaving Friday's writinglesson apart. or apparitions. Friday is affirmed to be there. Author. The topmost leaf crumbles. That scene is put to rest by these noticeably unremarkable words: "Her appearances. In bed she claims "'a privilege that comes with the first night'. the central characterof this last section. . . to descend into "Friday'shome. This is the second take on the misfiringof the mother-daughter story."3 In other words.

however. the voyage of readingat the end of the book. Theory itself has no con-sequence. since for him. Theory is the productionof theory. and the withheldslate. lead to a scrupulouslydifferentiated politics. the staging of the wish to invade the margin. and for Daniel Foe.the seaweeds seem to sigh: if only there were no texts.it withdrawsits graphematic space. the enabling violator. When one wants to be a friend to the wholly other.method. for without him there is nothing to cite. A month after finishing with writing. in a continuous narrative space. texts are porous. dependenton "whereyou are.31I suppose I can say now that this Foe. But we cannot hold together. nothingbut . In this end."that I could work out this didactic exercise. Situatingthe politics of overdetermination aporia as 4. Halting before Friday." Coetzee's text can be taughtas: 1.giving voice to the native "in"the text. in history. What is the guaranteeof this confidence? For this end. Foe allows that to be told. Withoutit. a white male South African writer engaging in such inscriptions"outside"the text) should not be regularizedinto a blithe continuity.however insubstantial object might be. where the European redoes the primitive's project in herself.in comradeship 2. is the site where the line between Mend and foe is undone. Perhaps that is the novel's message: the impossible politics of overdetermination (mothering. It is the home of Friday"(F 157). It can.authoring. in presupposition.18 GAYATRI CHAKRAVORTYSPIVAK signs. The end is writtenlovingly. CorrectingDefoe's imaginationof the marginal. At first I had wantedto end with the following sentence:Mr Foe is everyone's Foe. Reinserting the white woman as agent. thatis the arbitrary name of the withheldlimit. They go throughto wish fulfilment Yet we also know that Coetzee's entire book warns that Friday's body is not its own sign. Theoryis a bit like Mr that Foe. as the asymmetricaldouble of markthis the author. I heardJacques Derridadeliver an extraordinary paperon friendship. here. (I think the problemswith the figure of "fathering" asymmetry) 3. and for Susan Barton.yet it is what we undo. Susan Barton'snarrative. end It is always withdrawnfrom that which it seeks to theorize. story It is no doubt because I heardand read Derrida'spieces on friendshipand marginsand read BernardWilliams's "MoralLuck. now. It is always off the mark. It is autosequentialratherthan automatic. "This is a place where bodies are their own signs. I know that Stanley Fish has no objections to accepting the consequences of reading theory. and we will not give it up.

and Susan Barton.resembling more "what a novel should be?" Should my colleague have known that her notion of the relationship between theory and practice has caused and is causing a good deal of sufferingin the world? If figurationis seen as a case ." He stages the full range of that impossibility by claiming corrective comradeshipand complicity with Foe.cultural. by a metropolitan white anticolonialistactivist woman and a successful black colonial female subject. Does "the sign 'woman' have no origin. I should nope thatmy studentswould keep this duplicitousagent of active marginalizing theory. "Coetzee has read a lot of theory. woman in her teens. Coetzee juxtaposed passages from Mothobi Mutloatseand Nadine Gordimerand commented:"The white writer in South Africa is in an impossible position. Lily wrote her conviction: "We make people believe that civilization came with evil. a poor Christianorphan"Bantu" In a letterto MabelPalmer. like all transactions among men.M. both anxious of help) of the native seeking (ratherthan withholding)agency. and it shows. But . Lily Moya. The novel is neither a failure nor an abdication of the responsibilityof the historicalor nationalelite. no historical. left the woman anonymous.withoutinterruption. both fiction and nonfiction. I should not like to discount the suggestion: I would ratheruse it to repeat my opening cautions.THEORY IN THE MARGIN 19 the wished-for inarticulationof the naturalbody: "a slow stream. without breath.in mind as they read with informed sympathy interventionist writing.) What should the practicehave been in this case? A book thatdid not show the readingof theory.the white anticolonialistactivist." Less than two years later.said my colleague." betrayedby the spacingof the words that wish it (FIST). ."35 The stone is (in the) margin."Not Either An ExperimentalDoll: The Separate Lives of Three South African Women is the "nonfiction" account of the unavoidable thwarting (in the middle of our century." (So much for theory having no consequences. Mongane Serote's To Every Birth Its Blood is an example of interventionistfiction not "necessarily directed at the elite international readership" ourselves"addressed by South African writers such as J. A colleague unnervedme by suggesting that this book." But what? "Theoryshould lead to practice. or linguistic limit?" Is Friday not a man? Further. our friend Foe." Lily undidthat conviction and wrote: "I was never meant to be a stone but a human being with feelings not either an experimental doll. . after Mabel Palmer sent her a message "of total emotional rejection coupled with her act of generosity in funding Lily to an alternativeschool. At a recent conference. Coetzee and Nadine Gordimer.

trans. The Closing of the AmericanMind: How Higher Education Has Failed Democracy and Impoverished the Souls of Today's Students(New York: Simon and Schuster. followed by page number).47. 1. The editions used are Daniel Defoe. Hyman. 1988). The argumentfor reverse discrimination sometimesugly: "Leftistteachershave createdan atmosphere is in which those who question the value of women's studies and ethnic studies are labelled sexist. Alan Bass (Chicago:Universityof Chicago Press." she added. 7. 1987) (hereaftercited in text as F. The obvious texts are Allan Bloom. J. 2.the Teaching of English. Emphasismine. Derrida. For what sort of patafiction of concrete experience must we reserve our seal of approval? The field of practice is a brokenand uneven place. Various essays written by me in the last few months share some common themes. 116. 1975) (hereaftercited as RCt followed by page number). 5. Jacques Derrida."Endsof Man.D. Existentialism and Humanism. 4. See also Lee Dembert. Some passages occur in more thanone of them." forthcoming in New Literary History (Autumn 1990). 1989]: 5). Roxana: The . could anotherpolitics of reading have led her to the conclusion that her desire to help racially differentiated colonial others had a threshold and a limit? "I quite like metafiction." On Campus 8 [April. "The Beginnings of (Wo)manin Africa. 1976). and E.20 GAYATRI CH AKRAVORTYSPIVAK of theoreticalproduction(one practiceamong many). TextlBackgroundslSourceslCriticism." in Margins of Philosophy trans. for are also to be found in "TheMaking of Americans.M. Translation modified. 6. Robinson Crusoe: An Authoritative ed. CulturalLiteracy: WhatEveryAmericanNeeds to Know (New York: Vintage. Michael Shinagel (New York: Norton. 9. racist or 'cold warriors'"(LawrenceW. 3. "The CultureBattle.5 May 1989. Hirsch.30 April 1989. A35.. 1948). example."New YorkTimes Book Review. 1982).M. The convenienthighway of a single issue is merely the shortestdistancebetween two sign-postedexits. UnequalDevelopment trans. JonathanArac and BarbaraJohnson (Baltimore:Johns HopkinsUP).and Daniel Defoe. The last few paragraphs. 369. 46. Philip Mairet (New York: Haskell House. 1987). but . Coetzee. and the Future of Culture Studies. Foe (New York: Viking."LeftCensorshipat Stanford. ed.Brian Pearce (New York: Monthly Review Press. 'The Ends of Man."112-13." New YorkTimes. . NOTES This essay is forthcoming in Consequences of Theory: Selected Papers from the English Institute. 1987-88. . Samir Amin. Jean-Paul Sartre. 8. J. Coetzee.

Capital:A Critiqueof Political Economy.IN THEORY THEMARGIN 21 FortunateMistress. 10. 23. Whathappens when lettersdo or do not arriveat theirdestination? 18. "Journals. trans. 1980). This active marginal ization is vintage Derrida. 1976).Ben Fowkes (New York: Vintage. trans. 20.of course. one might look at Jacques Derrida. 1986). Although this phraseis not coined by them. Jacques Derrida. Both of these studiesemphasizetiming. 75. 1987). Of Grammatology. Hartmanand SanfordBudick (New Haven:Yale UniversityPress.Geoffrey Wall (New York: Methuen. Werner Hamacher. Tell Me a Riddle (New York: Peter Smith. 19. To thicken the thematicsof sexual difference here. 352-77. Jane Jack (Oxford:Oxford University Press.1.Heterologies: Discourse on the Other. ed. trans. Helene Cixous. one could not do better than Pierre Macherey's study in Theoryof LiteraryProduction.Alan Bass (Chicago:Universityof Chicago Press. 21."in Midrash and Literature. Politics: Notes on Paul de Man s Wartime Journalism. and Madelon Sprengnether(Ithaca: Cornell UniversityPress. ed." in New French Feminisms: An Anthology. "The Purveyor of Truth. Werner Hamacher. ed. 1986). and Michel de Certeau. Geoffrey H. "Shibboleth. the enablementfor this programis generally sought in Ernesto Laclau and ChantalMouffe's most influentialHegemony and Socialist Strategy:Towardsa Radical DemocraticPolitics. Shula Marks (Bloomington: Indiana UniversityPress. 16. to Tillie Olsen. This piece is forthcomingin Karen Lawrence. *The Laugh of the Medusa. 1985). 252. Reading Robinson as a book for Europe. 169-70. Shirley Nelson Gamer. Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press. followed by page number). 1964) (hereafter cited as R. 1978). 15. Claire Kahane. See Gayatri ChakravortySpivak. I am referring."in The Post Card: From Socrates to Freud and Beyond.cited in Not Either an ExperimentalDoll: The Separate Lives of Three South African Women.trans. 74.Winston Moore and Paul Cammack(London:Verso. 439. Brian Massumi (Minneapolis:University of Minnesota Press. Elaine Marks and Isabelle de Courtivron (Amherst: University of MassachusettsPress. 1985). 4Three Women's Texts and Critique of CriticalInquiry12(1985): 243-61. 1986). epigraph. KarlMarx. trans. CulturalPolitics: Modern BritishLiteraryCanons (Princeton: PrincetonUniversityPress). ed. ed. (Paris:Minuit). In The (M)otherTongue:Essays in FeministPsychoanalyticInterpretation. 13.Neil Hertz.vol. Jacques Derrida. 14. trans. ed. Zbigniew Herbert. Imperialism. 1977)." 17. 12. and Thomas Keenan (Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press. ed. 22. 11. 320f.. . All the passages from Marx are taken from these two pages."in Responses: On Paul de Man's Wartime Journalism. 1989). 1987).

by and large. 1983). and of in ed. 33.Canadianand U. Moya's diagnosis of "schizophrenia" an uncanny demonstrationof Gilles is Deleuze's and Felix Guattari's argumentin Anti-Oedipus: Capitalism and Schizophrenia. 56. that 1) a taxonomy is most serviceable when not exhaustive. Parry." 35. "Of Friendship:Of Democracy"(Unpublishedlecture given at the University of Pittsburgh. in only this respect of course. David Attwell of the University of the WesternCape has pointedout to me the existence of the notion of a "colonialism of a special type" in South Africa. Ibid. 35. 30. 42. 89. a difference looms. Benita Parry. Lane (Minneapolis:University of MinnesotaPress. ."Problems. yet once again. 31. 1981). He makes the interesting suggestion that this. BernardWilliams. 27-58. See Jacques Derrida. 27.Experimental Doll. The quoted passage is from William Finnegan.S. "Caribbean AfricanAppropriations The Tempest. BarbaraHarlow (Chicago: University of Chicago Press. 20-39. Robertvon Hallenberg(Chicago:Universityof Chicago Press. 185-206.RobertHurley. Mongane Serote. 166-84. (The Australian. Stanley Fish. too. Defoe's Narratives: Situations and Structures (Oxford: ClarendonPress. 38. Experimental Doll. trans. 29. 315-41. 125f. 7 May 1989. might explain Coetzee's Cruso's noncommittalattitudetowardclassic metropolitaninterests. "A Distant Rumbling in the Township."Problemsin CurrentTheories of Colonial Discourse. Moral Luck: Philosophical Papers 1973-1980 (Cambridge: CambridgeUniversityPress.) The agenda is promiseof futurework andcollective critique. 1975). something like heterogeneousexceptions to the British case. 1989). I have rearranged partsof the sentencein the interestof coherence. 34. Marks. 1979). "Constitutions and Culture Studies. Spurs. whereas indigenous nationality was not generally the claim of territorialimperialists of the classic period."in Doing What Comes Naturally (Durham: Duke UniversityPress.MarkSeem and Helen R. Given the specificity of the situation and its imbricationwith the current conjuncture.. and 2) "the occupationalweakness of the new and somewhat beleaguered discipline of a transnational study of culture" is that "conceptualschemes and extent of scholarshipcannot be made to balance" (Spivak." New York Times Book Review. 28. Negotiations with the current conjuncture have led to various internal manoeuversthat are beyond the scope of this chapter. a colonialism that did not. 32. 26. 1987). This makes clear. 25. 28-29 September1988). John Richetti. See also Rob Nixon." Oxford LiteraryReview 9 (1987).the white South African claims to be South African.9* Politics and Poetic Value. To EveryBirthits Blood (New York:Thunder'sMouth Press. export surplus value. "Consequences. 1989). cases are. Marks. trans." Yale Journal of Law and the Humanities [forthcoming]).22 GAYATRI CH AKRAVORTYSPIVAK 24. Attridge points at many echoes of The Tempestin Foe. I keep to my much less fine-tuned point of territorialpresence though even there.

"Tri-Quarterly (1987): 235.IN THEORY THEMARGIN 23 36." The Essential Gesture: Writing." Universityof Tulsa. 17n. 30 March 1989.. Ndebele. Coetzee juxtaposed Mutloatse. 'The English (Johannesburg: and Social Changein SouthAfrica. and 69 Language Nadine Gordimer. "Living in the Interregnum. 1988). in Politics and Places (New York.Knopf. 11). Conferenceon "Re-definingMarginality. Mothobi Mutloatse Raven Press. ed. 275-76. 6. . "Editor's Introduction. and as quoted in N. 1981). This is the position he has describedelsewhere as "generated the concerns of people by no longer European.'*in Reconstruction.not yet African" (White Writing: On the Culture of Letters in South Africa [New Haven: Yale University Press. 1988].

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