HomeIDEYA: Journal of Humanitiesvol. 9 no. 2 (2008)

Post-colonial Duality: A Reading of N.V.M. Gonzalez’s The Bamboo Dancers

Antonette P. Talaue

Discipline: Humanities, Philippine Literature



The paper is a post-colonial reading of The Bamboo Dancers (1959, 1993), the third novel written by National Artist for Literature Nestor Vicente Madali, or N.V.M., Gonzalez. The experience of colonialism, post-colonial critics argue, invalidates the possibility of achieving an identity independent of the impositions of the colonizer. The duality that marks the colonized may be an effect but in itself is a powerful form of resistance to colonial control. Drawing from the ideas of Homi Bhabha, Stuart Hall, and Timothy Brennan, the paper studies how the novel represents doubleness as the position of the post-colonial through the appropriation of the colonial language, the construction of cultural identity, and the representation of the nation. The paper then examines how this duality enables what Bill Ashcroft, Gareth Griffiths, and Helen Tiffin call “subversion from within.”