oa Alternation - Writing from the Margins, or the decentering of English Literature

Volume 5, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 1023-1757



Human experience, as insights provided by 'the linguistic turn in philosophy' have made abundantly clear, is prestructured and thus predetermined by language. Therefore, every sign we use is a 'signifiant signifie' (Sartre 1972:52), which implies that instead of being a transparent window on the world-it is already replete with meanings derived from a more or less arbitrary construction of reality that, in a dialectic process, is subject to certain changes within that reality: ' ... the social world is seen through classifications which in their turn are motivated by the social world itself' (Lima in Cerquiglini 1983 :511). The language game' English' is in no way exempted from this process, especially in view of the more recent socio-political-historical changes brought about by what goes by the name of 'decolonisation' referring as it does to the assertion of the colonised's cultural identity in the wake of (in this case British) colonisation.

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