An Aesthetic Education in the Era of Globalization

Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak, Author
Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak. Harvard Univ., $35 (612p) ISBN 978-0-674-05183-6
Paperback - 607 pages - 978-0-674-07238-1
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A dense but rewarding series of meditations on the possibility of reading, learning, and teaching that would encourage the full flowering of cultural, sexual, and linguistic diversity and resist the homogenizing force of globalization. Working primarily in the field of postcolonial studies and comparative literature, Spivak (The Post-Colonial Critic) also draws on her experience as a trainer of elementary school teachers in West Bengal as she considers figures as diverse as Friedrich Schiller, Rabindranath Tagore, and J.M. Coetzee to argue how “an aesthetic education” prepares individuals for participation. As usual, with its tortured grammatical structures and addiction to academic jargon, the author’s writing style makes few concessions to the unprepared reader. Nonetheless, patience and a passing acquaintance with the work of some of the writers she draws on are all that is necessary to penetrate the formidable depths of her thought. The gathered texts are a testament to a fundamental faith in the power of literature that is never less than inspiring. (Jan.)
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