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Enlightenment in the Colony : The Jewish Question and the Crisis of Postcolonial Culture - Aamir R. Mufti

Enlightenment in the Colony

The Jewish Question and the Crisis of Postcolonial Culture

Paperback Published: 29th April 2007
ISBN: 9780691057323
Number Of Pages: 344

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"Enlightenment in the Colony" opens up the history of the "Jewish question" for the first time to a broader discussion--one of the social exclusion of religious and cultural minorities in modern times, and in particular the crisis of Muslim identity in modern India.

Aamir Mufti identifies the Hindu-Muslim conflict in India as a colonial variation of what he calls "the exemplary crisis of minority"--Jewishness in Europe. He shows how the emergence of this conflict in the late nineteenth century represented an early instance of the reinscription of the "Jewish question" in a non-Western society undergoing modernization under colonial rule. In so doing, he charts one particular route by which this European phenomenon linked to nation-states takes on a global significance.

Mufti examines the literary dimensions of this crisis of identity through close readings of canonical texts of modern Western--mostly British-literature, as well as major works of modern Indian literature in Urdu and English. He argues that the one characteristic shared by all emerging national cultures since the nineteenth century is the minoritization of some social and cultural fragment of the population, and that national belonging and minority separatism go hand in hand with modernization.

"Enlightenment in the Colony" calls for the adoption of secular, minority, and exilic perspectives in criticism and intellectual life as a means to critique the very forms of marginalization that give rise to the uniquely powerful minority voice in world literatures.

"By the late eighteenth-century...the 'protean Jew' was...'neither outsider nor one of us'. Mufti begins with the 'paradigmatic narratives' of minority existence within a liberal nation state...which constituted the so-called Jewish Question in modern Europe. He is especially concerned with the processes of secularization...[and focuses] on the connections between the violent resolution of the 'Jewish Question' and the formation of 'majoritarian' cultures. Mufti [provides] nuanced and historically grounded accounts of the 'Jewish Question'. At a time when these issues have assumed a renewed urgency--under the febrile sign of a 'new' anti-Semitism--[this] outstanding [book offers] a contextualized and scholarly approach to the subject."--Bryan Cheyette, Times Literary Supplement "Aamir Mufti's Enlightenment in the Colony: The Jewish Question and the Crisis of Postcolonial Culture offers the most substantial theoretical intervention, one that is likely to have a significant impact on the field in future years."--New Literatures

A Note on Translation and Transliterationp. ix
Acknowledgmentsp. xi
Abbreviationsp. xv
Prologue: Towards a Genealogy of Postcolonial Secularismp. 1
Emergence: Europe and Its Others
Jewishness as Minority
Emergence of a European Problematicp. 37
Inscriptions of Minority in British Late Imperial Culture
From Daniel Deronda to A Passage to Indiap. 91
Displacements: On the Verge of India
Jawaharlal Nehru and Abul Kalam Azad
Discovering Indiap. 129
Saadat Hasan Manto
A Greater Story Writer Than Godp. 177
Faiz Ahmed Faiz
Towards a Lyric History of Indiap. 210
Epilogue: In My Beginning Is My End
Jewish Exile and the Language of English Indiap. 244
Notesp. 263
Works Citedp. 295
Indexp. 315
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780691057323
ISBN-10: 069105732X
Audience: Tertiary; University or College
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 344
Published: 29th April 2007
Publisher: Princeton University Press
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 23.34 x 16.08  x 2.13
Weight (kg): 0.48