مواجهات إعجاز أحمد الثقافية / The Cultural Confrontations of Aijaz Ahmad



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الموسوي, محسن جاسم; al-Musawi, Muhsin Jassim

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Research Article

Publication Title

Alif: Journal of Comparative Poetics

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[While concentrating on Aijaz Ahmed's In Theory: Classses, Nations, Literatures, this essay attempts some engagement with the most significant positions in comtemporary cultural criticism. It is rather concerned with the ongoing debate regarding priorities of focus and analysis, especially in matters of discourse that have been gaining in attention since the heyday of New Criticism. Yet, it is Ahmad's intention to redirect scholarly analysis among the left towards "classes, nations, and literatures," for it is his contention - which is well -taken by Edward Said - that cultural production falls within a larger human activity. Otherwise, idealism of cultural nationalism is no less diverting than the utter engagement with culture as discourse. Both assumptions, poststructuralist and Third Worldism, confuse texts with material realities. Accordingly, Ahmad asks colleagues and comrades to reach some specifically defined position in the epistemological field in order to escape conflictual perspectives, as in the case of Said's combination of both Foucault and Auerbach, or Brenda with Gramsci. Thus, the debate involves texts, authors, and nations in an enlarged context of domination and resistance. But while contesting Said, Jameson and Rushdie, Ahmad joins his admiration for both Jameson and Said with some great recognition of their achievement. His rigorous mind and thorough commitment to a Marxist ideology tend to draw every argument towards a fully-fledged strategy to displace what he calls a "Supermarket criticism" as the very correlative of trans- national capital. But the outcome of the argument is no less enlightening for being so committed.]

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