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Globalectics: Theory and the Politics of Knowing (The Wellek Library Lectures) Hardcover – January 31, 2012

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Product Details

  • Series: The Wellek Library Lectures
  • Hardcover: 120 pages
  • Publisher: Columbia University Press (January 31, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0231159501
  • ISBN-13: 978-0231159500
  • Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 5.5 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #806,949 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


Globalectics is a stunning addition to Ngugi wa Thiong'o's creative and theoretical interventions in world culture. Basing his thought as always in personal experience of creating and teaching literature, he makes a powerful plea for understanding the fictive imagination via real, sensuous experience in all its global places. Turning to Hegel to argue that the 'bondsman' emerges stronger than the master from that oppressive relationship, Ngugi wa Thiong'o argues brilliantly that orature, and 'cyborature,' are making new transcultural connections across the myriad 'centers,' or knots, of the worldwide net of cultures.

(Timothy Reiss, author of Against Autonomy: Global Dialectics of Cultural Exchange)

Brilliant essays that demonstrate the transformative power of postcolonial cosmopolitanism. Globalectics as a method of reading rescues world literature from the distortions of its imperial past and transforms it into a mode of sharing, a gift to all of humanity. This is vital pedagogy for a new generation and a beautiful book.

(Susan Buck-Morss, Cornell University and the Graduate Center, City University of New York)

Globalectics allows us to read world literature through Ngugi's sharp and compassionate eyes. Part memoir, part magisterial survey, and entirely engrossing, this book is a capstone to a long and brilliant career.

(Christopher L. Miller, Yale University)

A monumental book, reminding us of the internationality of Pan-African postcolonialism and radiating out to a complete rethinking of the stakes of a world literature today. The teaching of the literature of English is spatio-temporally situated with theoretical and practical brilliance. The final discussion of orature has instructed this reader in ways that cannot be contained within a brief comment.

(Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak, Columbia University)

In an ever-shrinking world, this book demonstrated the need to understand the similarities and differences in the stories we tell each other.

(Publishers Weekly)

Ngugi's writing style seamlessly blends personal narratives with complex theoretical discussions, taking the reader on a journey that combines his indisputable literary skills with an acute awareness of the theoretical landscape.

(Annika Hughes ID: International Dialogue 1900-01-00)

Globalectics is an outstandingly succinct, grounded, and wide-reaching study that will be of interest, and an inspiration, to many scholars, especially those working and teaching in the fields of globalization and of postcolonial and comparative literary studies.

(Erica Lombard Modern Langauge Review 1900-01-00)

About the Author

Ngugi wa Thiong'o is Distinguished Professor of Comparative Literature and English at the University of California, Irvine, and an award-winning Kenyan author currently writing primarily in the Gikuyu language. The author of novels, plays, short stories, and essays, Ngugi wa Thiong'o is founder and editor of the online Gikuyu-language journal, Mutiiri, and an honorary member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters. His most recent books include Dreams in a Time of War: A Childhood Memoir; Decolonising the Mind; Something Torn and New; and the novels The River Between, Petals of Blood, and Wizard of the Crow, among others.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Loudon on December 22, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Another masterpiece from the prolific, waywardly gifted and thought-provoking Ngugi wa Thiong'o. Once I finished reading this book, I wondered why wa Thiong'o has never won the nobel prize for Literature, and is not as universally acknowledged in the world of literature. The entire world is a better place in my view for wa Thiong'o's brilliantly articulated theories that he has enuciated persuasively in this book.

I recommend this book to all those with a keen interest in the theory of literature from the African perspective.
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