This article analyzes the concept of postcolonial aesthetics as developed and debated by such critics as Bill Ashcroft, Elleke Boehmer and Robert Young. In particular, it critiques Ashcroft’s theorization of the postcolonial aesthetics in his article ‘Towards a Postcolonial Aesthetics’ and recommends an alternative approach to the conceptualization of postcolonial aesthetics with reference to Muhammad Hasan Askari’s essay on Ahmed Ali’s novel Twilight in Delhi. It questions Ashcroft’s emphasis on the hybrid linguistic makeup of the postcolonial text as the source of the particular aesthetic effects of the text and emphasizes the need for differentiating between affection– the writer’s deep sense of engagement with and involvement in the narrative – and affectation – a clever use of native words and expressions by the writer to authenticate his or her cultural identity – in discussing the affective dimension of a postcolonial text. The article argues that the aesthetic impact of the postcolonial text is produced by the intensity of experience and emotional involvement of the postcolonial writer (affection) as opposed to being produced by creative wordplay and mixing of local and foreign languages (affectation). Thus, the article contributes to the ongoing debates about the aesthetic dimension of postcolonial literature.
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