Narrativ föreställningsförmåga: ett spivakianskt ”hopp i den andres sjö”?: Nussbaum, Spivak och att (med skönlitteratur) skapa förståelse för den Andra
Independent thesis Advanced level (professional degree), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesisAlternative title
Narrative imagination: a spivakian ”leap into the others’ sea”? : Nussbaum, Spivak and to create (with literature) understanding for the Other (English)
This survey is a theoretical analysis concerning didactics of literature, in which I problematize what Martha C. Nussbaum describes as ”narrative imagination”. By using postcolonial theory, more specific: Gayatri Spivaks essay ”Can the Subaltern Speak?” and her theoretical formula ”a leap into the other’s sea”, I try to answer the following question: Can ”narrative imagination” be understood as a manifistation or concretisation of ”a leap into the other’s sea”?
The answer that is given concerning my general question is simply: No. Nussbaums’ reader is far to active, whereas Spivak strongly argues that hearing and/or listening to the subaltern requires a state of self-suspendedness. Nussbaum also shows a great belief in literature as a representation of something truly real, but also as a representation of the Other. Drawing on Spivaks critique of Deleuze and Foucault, I have suggested that representation of this kind should, from a poststructuralistic and Marxist point of view, be seen as a theoretical misstake, for: representation postulates objectiveness or/and transparentness. Finally Nussbaums goals, in terms of cultivating the humanity, has been problematized. Her cosmopolitan and democratic approach is based upon – a form of – universalism and an ambition towards consensus, which – again: from a poststructuralistic perspective – is highly debatable.
With this background I have concluded two implications concerning didactics of literature: Firstly, there are plenty of voices not represented by literature, a fact that needs to be considered. Thus, to base a world citizenship, a democracy or an understanding of the Other on works of literature is to restrict ”the world” or ”the Other” to the fictional, literary characters that has been written. Secondly Spivak urges us to reflect on the reader as an interpreter. A total suspension of the self is a naive statement – but she is right to point to the occidental subject as a member and reproducer of postcolonial discourse.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2014. , 45 p.
Didactics of literature, Nussbaum, Spivak, narrative imagination, postcolonial theory, the subaltern, representation
Litteraturdidaktik, Nussbaum, Spivak, narrativ föreställningsförmåga, postkolonial teori, den subalterna, representation
Languages and Literature
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:sh:diva-24100OAI: oai:DiVA.org:sh-24100DiVA: diva2:725583
Subject / course
Farhan, Christine, Professor
Jonsson, Eva, Högskolelektor