Monday, October 11, 2010

On (Third) World Intellectuals ...

"All of which slowly brings us to the question of the writer himself in the third world, and to what must be called the function of the intellectual, it being understood that in the third-world situation the intellectual is always in one way or another a political intellectual. No third-world lesson is more timely or more urgent for us today, among whom the very term 'intellectual' has withered away, as though it were the name for an extinct species."

"We have allowed ourselves, as first-world cultural intellectuals, to restrict our consciousness of our life's work to the narrowest professional or bureaucratic terms, thereby encouraging in ourselves a special sense of subalternity and guilt, which only reinforces the vicious circle. That a literary article could be a political act, with real consequences, is for most of us little more than a curiosity of … literary history."

(Fredric Jameson, "Third-World Literature in the Era of Multinational Capitalism")

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