We may yet find a precise use for the toriously elusive category 'postcolonial', but only on the condition that we abandon its usual associations with plurality, fragmentation, particularity and resistance. This book argues that the category is best used to describe an ultimately singular configuration. A singularity is something that generates the medium of its own existence, in the eventual absence of external criteria and other existences. Like other singularities - pertinent comparisons include aspects of Buddhism and Islam, as well as concepts drawn from the philosophies of Gilles Deleuze and Alain Badiou - what is distinctive about a postcolonial discourse or literature is its abstraction from the domain of relationality. Here, Hallward offers a new conceptual distinction between singular and specific modes of differentiation, which should prove influential in a range of discourses.
Peter Hallward is Professor Of Modern European Philosophy at Kingston University, London, and is the author of Subject to Truth: The Philosophy of Alain Badiou (2002)