Re-writing Friday’s silence: a post-colonial journey through Defoe, Coetzee, De Certeau, Derrida, Spivak, Walcott and Glissant

I have recently found out the audio file of a paper I read some years ago, during an  important annual arts and literature festival in Schio (near Vicenza, Italy), “Azioni Inclementi” (2009). The main theme of the festival was that of the island (Robinson’s island and Friday’s island) and we invited to speak, among others, Edouard Glissant and Claudio Magris. Unfortunately, my speech is in Italian and not everybody may understand it. Anyway, I think it’s good to share it on this research blog, as it deals with some fundamental issues of my present research, such as the complex and ambivalent relation between writing, power, violence and the silence of the colonized, the subaltern etc. Starting from the important novel Foe by J.M. Coetzee (a postcolonial rewriting of Robinson Crusoe by W. Defoe) I try to reflect on some possible ways in which postcolonial writing and thinking has reworked and resisted to the “epistemic violence” of colonialism, which had excluded Friday (the colonized) from the space of writing and representation (the “scriptural economy”, according to Michel De Certeau) constructing him as the silenced Other of the Western dominant rationality (the cultural model for the homo oeconomicus). In Coetzee’s novel, Friday’s tongue has been cut off.

You can find the written version of this paper here.

And here is the audio of the speech, entitled “Dal silenzio di Venerdì all’arcipelago del tutto-mondo”: