Poet Agha Shahid Ali traces the relationship of the English literary canon to the colonization of India: that colonial subjects were forced to internalize English literary standards was, Ali points out, a critical part of the colonial project. How, then, should we relate to the canon now? Ali draws on writing by Paul Celan, Wallace Stevens, Salman Rushdie, and Edward Said to consider this question, and to offer a “subversive endorsement” of canonized writers.
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