Avant-garde as counter-force

Irving Goh, The National University of Singapore

Note 32 in the author's " Promising "Post-colonialism": Deleuze-Guattari's "Minor Literature" and the Poetry of Arthur Yap"

The sense of avant-garde as counter-force has also been noted by Anne Brewster in her Introduction to Yap's the space of city trees. She writes of Yap's poem, "down the line": "In evoking the reach of government propaganda and the extent to which government planning and the dictates of economic development affect every aspect of people's everyday lives, the poem is a sustained critique of the intervention of the state in civil society and the private lives of its citizens. It points to the conflation of state and civil society and the shrinking of the private sphere [] In 'down the line' Yap critiques the totalising discourse of official nationalism; what we can see as an alternative in these poems, I suggest, is a kind of grass-roots nationalism: informal bonding which takes place at the local level. A people's and a nation's informal sense of history is based on memory, and memory is local before it can be national" (xx).


Postcolonial OV discourseov Casablanca Conference Singapoe Singapore

Last modified: 31 May 2001