"... I have the impression that this literature of Africa, the Caribbean and Asia is viewed as a thing apart, that it belongs to Africans, Asians and Caribbean people and not to the world. This is not so surprising when the bulk of this writing has been produced over the last thirty to forty years. The writers came from countries that were colonies and the literature produced was a colonial literature, a literature seen as a literature of the learner, the student of civilization. Some of us have done impressively well. I don't mean to scoff at all, because this learning of English was a very important matter. While it was the language of the colonizer, English has also been the language in which text-books were written and it provided in one sense a getaway for the entry of those societies in the modern world.
Since Independence has been achieved in these countries, we have changed. From being colonial writers, we are now Third World writers. From colony to Third World is, I suppose, some progress, but we are not viewed as being quite in the world.
What then is the world? Who qualifies for the world? Who decides what is the world? Is there a world? Is there one world? Why are we not an automatic part of the world?
I do not want to simplify things, but I believe that it is the technological superiority of Europe that supports in the minds of its people their right to decide for the world. Technological advancement has become the morality, the argument, the rationale for a sense of leadership, so much so that technological advancement is viewed as being synonymous with human advancement.
Of course it is undeniable that technological competence has contributed much to human society, and even if we were to grant Europe the praise for refining and even spearheading this in the modern world we need to recognize that technology expresses only one dimension of human advance. I think we must see that life is much more complex, much more textured than the straight line of technological advance called progress. We must also see that while technological advance brings life, it also brings death, and most importantly that while it provides services, it does not provide meaning...
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