Dipesh Chakrabarty, Provincializing Europe

“The author’s position may reflect an ideology, a moral choice, or a political philosophy, but the choices are not unlimited. A madman’s narrative is not history. Nor can a preference that is arbitrary or just personal – based on sheer taste, say can give us rationally defensible principles for narration (at best it will count as fiction and not history).”

Dipesh Chakrabarty, Provincializing Europe

“History, like any other verdict, is not a matter of fact but a point of view. To be honest, I am tired of history. It has been going on for a long time.” Shivanathan, The Hamilton Case

Keeping in mind the above quotes from Chakrabarty and the character of Shivanathan, what are we to make of the singular narrative that Michelle de Kretser gives us in The Hamilton Case? The majority of the novel is told from the point of view of Sam Obeysekere, a Ceylonese lawyer working within the British imperial structure, and gives us the history of his life, and death, during and after the British control of Ceylon. Yet, as the other perspectives that are provided in the novel demonstrate, Sam’s narrative is not entirely to be trusted as fact, at least not entirely. Indeed, Sam’s account of the events of his life partake, to a degree, of Charkrabarty’s notion of the madman’s narrative – which is not to be trusted. As the character of Shivanathan notes, however, history is not a matter of fact but of point of view – so, should not the madman’s narrative also count as valid? What we have to deal with, then, is the problematic that Chakrabarty argues is central to the question of modern historical writing: the relation between the universalizing narrative that is modern history and the particularity of the singular that resists and contests this narrative. In effect, what are we to make of a particular life that has been shaped and warped by the modern discourse and reality of Western imperialism and colonialism? How can Sam’s story help us to better understand and make sense of what the consequences of this discourse and reality have been?

As a way of thinking about the meaning of the novel, you will need to think about therelationship between de Kretser’s narrative and the readings we have been doing from Hughes-Warrington, Chakrabarty, Breisach, Condorcet and Spengler. These readings have both made manifest the manner in which the modern discourse of history has been constructed from the 1700s forward and raised questions about how this discourse needs to be both questioned and subverted. How does de Kretser’s novel exemplify and make concrete the issues that have been raised, both theoretically and historically, in these other readings? What does her narrative have to tell us about both the possibilities and dangers of this modern discourse of history?

A note of caution: the point of the paper is to think about the connections between the novel and the theoretical and historical questions we have been pursuing in class. I do not want you to merely describe the novel or evaluate its aesthetic merits (or faults), I want you to analyze the relationships between the internal structure and contents of the novel and what lays outside its boundaries. In this regard, how can we use this novel to better comprehend what it might mean to write a truly universal human narrative in the modern period? How can we fit together the individually particular with the collectively universal?

FORMAL REQUIREMENTS: 6-8 pages; word-processed; double-spaced; one-inch margins; footnotes/endnotes are to be formatted according to The Chicago Manual of Style

*de Kretser’s and John Mandeville books are on iCloud reader online( I will provide the username and pass below) The rest of the books are to be looked up for an online summary of the books below:

-Marnie Hughes-Warrington, ed., World Histories

-Ernst Breisach, Historiography: Ancient, Medieval, Modern (Third Edition)

– Dipesh Chakrabarty, Provincializing Europe: Postcolonial Thought and Historical Difference

My Homework Nest
Calculate your paper price
Pages (550 words)
Approximate price: -

Why Work with Us

Top Quality and Well-Researched Papers

We always make sure that writers follow all your instructions precisely. You can choose your academic level: high school, college/university or professional, and we will assign a writer who has a respective degree.

Professional and Experienced Academic Writers

We have a team of professional writers with experience in academic and business writing. Many are native speakers and able to perform any task for which you need help.

Free Unlimited Revisions

If you think we missed something, send your order for a free revision. You have 10 days to submit the order for review after you have received the final document. You can do this yourself after logging into your personal account or by contacting our support.

Prompt Delivery and 100% Money-Back-Guarantee

All papers are always delivered on time. In case we need more time to master your paper, we may contact you regarding the deadline extension. In case you cannot provide us with more time, a 100% refund is guaranteed.

Original & Confidential

We use several writing tools checks to ensure that all documents you receive are free from plagiarism. Our editors carefully review all quotations in the text. We also promise maximum confidentiality in all of our services.

24/7 Customer Support

Our support agents are available 24 hours a day 7 days a week and committed to providing you with the best customer experience. Get in touch whenever you need any assistance.

Try it now!

Calculate the price of your order

Total price:

How it works?

Follow these simple steps to get your paper done

Place your order

Fill in the order form and provide all details of your assignment.

Proceed with the payment

Choose the payment system that suits you most.

Receive the final file

Once your paper is ready, we will email it to you.

Our Services

No need to work on your paper at night. Sleep tight, we will cover your back. We offer all kinds of writing services.


Essay Writing Service

No matter what kind of academic paper you need and how urgent you need it, you are welcome to choose your academic level and the type of your paper at an affordable price. We take care of all your paper needs and give a 24/7 customer care support system.


Admission Essays & Business Writing Help

An admission essay is an essay or other written statement by a candidate, often a potential student enrolling in a college, university, or graduate school. You can be rest assurred that through our service we will write the best admission essay for you.


Editing Support

Our academic writers and editors make the necessary changes to your paper so that it is polished. We also format your document by correctly quoting the sources and creating reference lists in the formats APA, Harvard, MLA, Chicago / Turabian.


Revision Support

If you think your paper could be improved, you can request a review. In this case, your paper will be checked by the writer or assigned to an editor. You can use this option as many times as you see fit. This is free because we want you to be completely satisfied with the service offered.