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382 Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak "Draupadi"
looks to decipher Draupadi's song. For both sides of the rift within himself, he finds analogies in Western literature: Hochhuth's The Deputy, David Morrell's First Blood. He will shed his guilt when the time comes. His self-image for that uncertain future is Prospero. I have suggested elsewhere that, when we wander out of our own academic and First-World enclosure, we share something like a relationship with Senanayak's do~blethinkW.~h en we speak for ourselves,
we urge with conviction: the personal is also political. For the rest of the world's women, the sense of whose personal micrology is difficult (though not impossible) for us to acquire, we fall back on a colonialist theory of most efficient information retrieval. We will not be able to speak to the women out there if we depend completely on conferences and anthologies by Western-trained informants. As I see their photographs in women's-studies journals or on book jackets-indeed, as I look in the glass-it is Senanayak with his anti-Fascist paperback that I behold. In inextricably mingling historico-political specificity with the sexual differential in a literary discourse, Mahasveta Devi invites us to begin effacing that image.
My approach to the story has been influenced by "deconstructive practice." I clearly share an unease that would declare avant-garde theories of interpretation too elitist to cope with revolutionary feminist material. How, then, has the practice of deconstruction been helpful in this context?
The aspect of deconstructive practice that is best known in the United States is its tendency toward infinite regre~sionT.~h e aspect that interests me most is, however, the recognition, within deconstructive practice, of provisional and intractable starting points in any investigative effort; its disclosure of complicities where a will to knowledge would 2. See my "Three Feminist Readings: McCullers, Drabble, Habermas," Union Seminu9 Quarterly Review 1-2 (Fall-Winter 197%80), and "French Feminism in an International Frame" (forthcoming in Yak French Studies).
3. I develop this argument in my review of Paul de Man's Allegories ofReading: Figural Language in Rowseau, Nietzsche,...