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Setting himself against the growing tendency to homogenize “Third World” literature and cultures, Aijaz Ahmad has produced a spirited critique of the major theoretical statements on “colonial discourse” and “post-colonialism,” dismantling many of the commonplaces and conceits that dominate contemporary cultural criticism. With lengthy considerations of, among others, Fredric Jameson, Edward Said, and the Subaltern Studies group, In Theory also contains brilliant analyses of the concept of Indian literature, of the genealogy of the term “Third World,” and of the conditions under which so-called “colonial discourse theory” emerged in metropolitan intellectual circles.
Erudite and lucid, Ahmad’s remapping of the terrain of cultural theory is certain to provoke passionate response.
“An erudite and brilliant work—one of the few books in recent years on politics, and literature, which deserves to be taken completely seriously.”—Guardian
“A brilliant polemic which remorselessly undoes some Western illusions about post-colonial societies.”—Times Literary Supplement
“A sustained and searching polemic. Ahmad’s voice is one of the most important in the current critical debate.”—Financial Times