Memo on mimicry

Bill Ashcroft, Gareth Griffiths and Helen Tiffin Key Concepts in Post-Colonial Studies Routledge, 1998

Key Concepts in Post-Colonial Studies (Key Concepts Series)

Key Concepts in Post-Colonial Studies (Key Concepts Series)

 mimicry—“the ambivalent relationship between colonizer and colonized”に関わる――”When colonial discourse encourages the colonized subject to ‘mimic’ the colonizer, by adopting the colonizer’s cultural habits, assumptions, institutions and values, the result is never simple reproduction of those traits.”
--“This is because mimicry is never far from mockery, since it can appear to parody whatever it mimics.”(p.139)
Lord Macaulay Minute to Paeliament(1835)—advocating “the reproduction of English art and learning in India”(pp.139-140)
“interpreters”—“a class of persons Indian in blood and colour, but English in tastes, opinions, in morals, and in intellect”—の必要
→”(….)not only was the mimicry of European learning to be hybridized and therefore ambivalent, but Macaulay seems to suggest that imperial discourse is compelled to make it so in order for it to work.”(p.140)

Homi Bhabha—mimicry as “the process in which the colonized subject is reproduced as ‘almost the same, but not quite’ “(ibid.) or “almost the same, but not white”(p.141)
“at once resembalance and menace”(p.140)
“The ‘menace of post-colonial writing(….) does not necessarily emerge from some automatic opposition to colonial discourse, but comes from this disruption of colonial authority, from the fact its mimicry is also potentially mockery.”(pp.140-141)
“Macaulay’s interpreter, or Naipaul’s ‘mimic man’*1”—“appropriate objects of a colonial chain of command” at the same time “’inappropriate’ colonial subjects”
--“This ’inappropriate’ disturbs the normality of the dominant discourse itself.”(p.141)――The Location of Culture, pp.85-92の抜粋。
用語としてのmimicryのラカン起源――mimicry as “camouflage”


Hybridity, Bhabha argues, subverts the narratives of colonial power and dominant cultures. The series of inclusions and exclusions on which a dominant culture is premised are deconstructed by the very entry of the formerly-excluded subjects into the mainstream discourse. The dominant culture is contaminated by the linguistic and racial differences of the native self. Hybridity can thus be seen, in Bhabha's interpretation, as a counter-narrative, a critique of the canon and its exclusion of other narratives. In other words, the hybridity-acclaimers want to suggest first, that the colonialist discourse's ambivalence is a conspicuous illustration of its uncertainty; and second, that the migration of yesterday's "savages" from their peripheral spaces to the homes of their "masters" underlies a blessing invasion that, by "Third-Worlding"the center, creates "fissures" within the very structures that sustain it.
Abdennebi Ben Beya “Mimicry, Ambivalence and Hybridity”


*1:See pp.141-142.

*2:See pp.118-121