Caliban's Voice: The Transformation of English in Post-Colonial Literatures / Edition 1

Caliban's Voice: The Transformation of English in Post-Colonial Literatures / Edition 1

by Bill Ashcroft
     
 

ISBN-10: 0415470439

ISBN-13: 9780415470438

Pub. Date: 10/28/2008

Publisher: Taylor & Francis

In Shakespeare’s Tempest, Caliban says to Miranda and Prospero:

"...you taught me language, and my profit on’t

Is, I know how to curse. "

With this statement, he gives voice to an issue that lies at the centre of post-colonial studies. Can Caliban own Prospero’s language? Can he use it to do more than curse?

Caliban’s

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Overview

In Shakespeare’s Tempest, Caliban says to Miranda and Prospero:

"...you taught me language, and my profit on’t

Is, I know how to curse. "

With this statement, he gives voice to an issue that lies at the centre of post-colonial studies. Can Caliban own Prospero’s language? Can he use it to do more than curse?

Caliban’s Voice examines the ways in which post-colonial literatures have transformed English to redefine what we understand to be ‘English Literature’. It investigates the importance of language learning in the imperial mission, the function of language in ideas of race and place, the link between language and identity, the move from orature to literature and the significance of translation. By demonstrating the dialogue that occurs between writers and readers in literature, Bill Ashcroft argues that cultural identity is not locked up in language, but that language, even a dominant colonial language, can be transformed to convey the realities of many different cultures.

Using the figure of Caliban, Ashcroft weaves a consistent and resonant thread through his discussion of the post-colonial experience of life in the English language, and the power of its transformation into new and creative forms.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780415470438
Publisher:
Taylor & Francis
Publication date:
10/28/2008
Pages:
208
Product dimensions:
6.20(w) x 9.30(h) x 0.70(d)

Table of Contents

Acknowledgements vi

"Prospero Caliban Cricket" by John Agard vii

Introduction 1

1 Prospero's language, Caliban's voice 16

2 Language, learning and colonial power 35

3 Language and race 55

4 Language, place and nature 75

5 Language and identity 95

6 Language, culture and meaning: The Caribbean 113

7 Caliban's books: Orality and writing 125

8 How books talk 143

9 Translation and Transformation 159

Epilogue 183

Bibliography 184

Index 195

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