Comment to Provincializing Europe
Keywords:Postcolonial Thought, historical critique, subaltern studies, historical time
The commentary is a contribution to the reading of Dipesh Chakrabarty’s book, Provincializing Europe (English, 2000) translated into Spanish as Al margen de Europa (Madrid, Tusquets, 2008). The book presents a bold and complex attempt to question the hegemonic account of history as a civilizing process from the eyes of historians of colonized peoples and especially the subalterns. Of course the author does not ignore the criticisms that the project of historians of the su- balternity, a group to which he himself belonged, has been subjected to, but he revisits it in a critical key that allows him to reread the stories of the subalterns as interruptions of the linear history of capital, “stubborn knots that stick out and break the regular surface of the tis- sue”. The distinction between History 1 (history of capital) and history 2 (local stories that interrupt or alter its course) is key in this attempt Its reference authors are on the one hand the British historians (E. P.Thompson, E. Hobsbawm, ...), in addition to Marx that combines with the hermeneutic tradition, in particular Heidegger and his insis- tence on the worlds-of-life. In the second part of the book he uses key texts of the Bengali cultural tradition.