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Mimicry of man – bhabha colonial mimicry is the desire for a reformed, recognizable Other, as a subjecto f a differencteh at is almost thes

ame, but not quite. Which is to say, that the discourse of mimicry is constructed around an ambivalence; in order to be effective, mimicry must continually produce its slippage, its e cess, its difference. !"# Mimicry is, thus, the sign of a double articulation; a comple strategy of reform, regulation, and discipline, $hich %appropriates% the Other as it visualizes po$er. Mimicry is also the sign of the inappropriate, ho$ever, a difference or recalcitrance $hich coheres the dominant strategic function of colonial po$er, intensifies surveillance, and poses an immanent threat to both %normalized% &no$ledges and disciplinary po$ers.!"# 'or in %normalizing% the colonial state or subject, the dream of post()nlightenment civility alienates its o$n language of liberty and produces another &no$ledge of its norms.!"# * classic te t of such partiality is +harles ,rant-s %Observations on the .tate of .ociety among the *siatic .ubjects of ,reat /ritain% 0!12"3 ,rant-s dream of an evangelical system of mission education conducted uncompromisingly in )nglish $as partly a belief in political reform along +hristian lines and partly an a$areness that the e pansion of company rule in 4ndia required a system of %interpellation%((a reform of manners, as ,rant put it, that $ould provide the colonial $ith %a sense of personal identity as $e &no$ it.% +aught bet$een the desire for religious reform and the fear that the 4ndians might become turbulent for liberty, ,rant implies that it is, in fact the %partial% diffusion of +hristianity, and the %partial% influence of moral improvements $hich $ill construct a particularly appropriate form of colonial subjectivity.!"1 4n suggesting, finally, that %partial reform% $ill produce an empty form of%the imitation of )nglish manners $hich $ill induce them 5the colonial subjects6 to remain under our protection,%7 ,rant moc&s his moral project and violates the )vidences of +hristianity(a central missionary tenet($hich forbade any tolerance of heathen faiths. !"1 8hen the great tradition of )uropean humanism seems capable only of ironizing itself. *t the intersection of )uropean learning and colonial po$er, Macaulay can conceive of nothing other than %a class of interpreters bet$een us and the millions $hom $e govern(a class of persons 4ndian in blood and colour, but )nglish in tastes, in opinions, in morals and in intellect%#(in other $ords a mimic man raised %through our )nglish .chool,% as a missionary educationist $rote in !9!2, %to form a corps of translators and be employed in different departments of :abour.%!"9 8he desire to emerge as %authentic% through mimicry(through a process of $riting and repetition(is the final irony of partial representation.!"2

% are al$ays crucially split.%!<! 8he ambivalence of mimicry((almost but not quite(suggests that the fetishized colonial culture is potentially and strategically an insurgent counter(appeal. 4 $ould add.!"2 partial presence. Mimicry conceals no presence or identity behind its mas&. articulates those disturbances of cultural. as 'anon has observed.% that $hich it disavo$s. mimicry rearticulates presence in terms of its %otherness.!"2 mimicry. $hich is the basis of mimicry. the representation of identity and meaning is rearticulated along the a is of metonymy. *nd in that other scene of colonial po$er.imilarly. racial.% can be seen the t$in figures of narcissism and paranoia that repeat furiously. $here history turns to farce and presence to %a part. comes from the prodigious and strategic production of conflictual.What 4 have called mimicry is not the familiar e ercise of dependenct olonial relations through narcissistic identification so that. fantastic. it is not $hat +esaire describes as %colonization(thingification%!< behind $hich there stands the essence of the presence* fricaine. 4n the ambivalent!<" .!<! 4ts threat. and historical difference that menace the narcissistic demand of colonial authority. but a form of resemblance that differs=defends presence by displaying it in part. metonymically. !<" 8he ambivalence of colonial authority repeatedly turns from mimicry(a difference that is almost nothing but not quite(to menace( a difference that is almost total but not quite.8 he menaceo f mimicry is its double vision $hich in disclosing the ambivalence of colonial discourse also disrupts its authority. uncontrollably. mimicry is li&e camouflage.!<! 'or the fetish mimes the forms of authority at the point at $hich it deauthorizes them. What 4 have called its %identity(effects.!" the blac& man stops being an actional person for only the $hite man can represent his self(esteem. no %itself. discriminatory %identity effects% in the play of a po$er that is elusive because it hides no essence. *s :acan reminds us. . *nd it is a double(vision that is a result of $hat 4-ve described as the partial representation=recognition of the colonial object. not a harmonization or repression of difference.