Cambridge Journal of Postcolonial Literary Inquiry Pub Date : 2021-04-23 , DOI: 10.1017/pli.2021.2 Ato Quayson
If, as Eric J. Cassell suggests in The Nature of Suffering and the Goals of Medicine, “Suffering occurs when an impending destruction of the person is perceived; [and] continues until the threat of disintegration has passed or until the integrity of the person can be restored in some manner,” and that suffering is due to both emotional and physical conditions, then there has been much suffering concentrated into the year that was 2020.1 All definitions of suffering have to find a way of aligning two central vectors: the Self as category has to be defined in all its variegated possibilities and contradictory levels and then correlated to the category of World. But often Self and World are not easily separable even for heuristic purposes given the boundaries of one overlap with the other and the two are often completely co-constitutive. Although the Self may disintegrate in direct response to reversals of fortune, it may also, properly speaking, suffer an experience of painful biographical discontinuity simply at losing the capacity to produce a coherent account of the world to itself and to others.2 This sense of incoherence is central to the conditions that were experienced under colonialism and its aftermath in many parts of the world, where the instruments for making meaning both communally and individually were often seen to have been compromised by the impositions of colonial history.
如果像埃里克·卡塞尔（Eric J. Cassell）在《苦难的本质和医学目标》中所建议的那样，“苦难是在人们意识到即将来临的人的破坏时发生的；[并且]继续下去，直到瓦解的威胁已经过去，或者直到可以以某种方式恢复人的完整为止。”并且苦难是由于情感和身体条件造成的，因此，在那一年中，有很多苦难集中在那一年。 2020年1所有关于苦难的定义都必须找到一种方法来统一两个中心向量：必须以各种可能性和矛盾程度来定义“自我”类别，然后将其与“世界”类别相关联。但是，考虑到一个人的边界与另一个人的边界重叠，并且即使出于启发式目的，Self和World通常也不容易分离，并且两者通常是完全共同构成的。尽管自我可能会因命运的逆转而直接瓦解，但恰当地讲，自我可能会遭受痛苦的传记不连续性经历，仅仅是因为失去了对自己和他人产生连贯的世界描述的能力。2个 这种不连贯性是殖民主义及其后果在世界许多地方所经历的条件的中心，在世界上许多地方，人们常常认为，无论是在社区上还是在个体上，产生含义的手段都因殖民历史的强加而受到损害。