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Penelope Lively’s Moon Tiger
Huw Marsh

7 Unlearning empire: Penelope Lively’s Moon Tiger Huw Marsh In the opening lines of Salman Rushdie’s Midnight’s Children (1981), the novel’s narrator, Saleem Sinai, famously describes himself as ‘mysteriously handcuffed to history’, his ‘destinies indissolubly chained to those of [his] country’.1 In the opening lines of Penelope Lively’s Moon Tiger (1987), the novel’s narrator, Claudia Hampton, less famously describes her relationship with the history of her times: ‘The bit of the twentieth century to which I’ve been shackled, willy-nilly, like it or not.’2 In

in End of empire and the English novel since 1945

This book explores the history of postwar England during the end of empire through a reading of novels which appeared at the time. Several genres are discussed, including the family saga, travel writing, detective fiction and popular romances. In the mid 1950s, Montagu Slater's brief essay in Arena is the first of a group of contributions, with the authors' warning of a growing American monopoly in cultural expression. Agatha Christie, Dorothy L. Sayers and Josephine Tey are now the best remembered representatives of the distaff side of Britain's Golden Age of crime fiction which extended well into the early postwar period. The book focuses on the reception of John Masters' novels, the sequence of novels known as the 'Savage family saga'. William Golding's 'human condition' is very much an English condition, diagnosed amid the historical upheavals of the mid-twentieth century. Popular romance novels were read by thousands throughout Britain and across the world, and can be understood as a constituent element in a postwar colonial discourse. William Boyd's fiction displays a marked alertness to the repercussions of fading imperial grandeur; his A Good Man in Africa, explores the comic possibilities of Kinjanja, a fictional country based on Nigeria. Penelope Lively's tangential approach to writing about empire in Moon Tiger suggests ambivalence and uncertainty about how to represent a colonial past which is both recent and firmly entrenched in ideas of national identity.

Love in a postcolonial climate
Deborah Philips

5 The empire of romance: love in a postcolonial climate Deborah Philips The rose of romance, the internationally recognised logo of the Mills & Boon publishing house, might appear to be a very English rose, but its sales are global and its readership multinational. In 1999, the official historian of the company could write: ‘Ninety years after its founding, Mills & Boon is one of only two British publishers to have become a household name in Britain and throughout the Commonwealth … [it is] a worldwide publishing empire.’1 In 2008, it was estimated that Mills

in End of empire and the English novel since 1945
John McLeod

4 Race, empire and The Swimming-Pool Library John McLeod In ‘Saved by Art’, Alan Hollinghurst shapes a compelling and considered appreciation of the novels of Ronald Firbank. He juxtaposes their baroque, attenuated plots, treasured inconsequentiality and exquisite bon mots with the expansive and forensic writing of Marcel Proust and Henry James. ‘Firbank achieved his highly complex originality’, Hollinghurst writes, ‘not by expansion but by a drastic compression: instead of putting more and more in, he left almost everything out’.1 William Beckwith, the narrator

in Alan Hollinghurst
Eric Klingelhofer

of the proto-colonial or ‘Plantation’ period, and archaeological research on the Munster colony in the Irish Republic has followed the initiative of work undertaken on the Ulster colony in Northern Ireland. 4 Proto-colonial activities The context of colonization Elizabethan colonization is often viewed as something outside of – separate from – the overall course of European expansion. On the east side of the Atlantic, it was once seen as an expression of the British Empire to come

in Castles and Colonists
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A Review of Hilton Als’ God Made My Face: A Collective Portrait of James Baldwin
Leah Mirakhor

This essay reviews Hilton Als’ 2019 exhibition God Made My Face: A Collective Portrait of James Baldwin at the David Zwirner Gallery. The show visually displays Baldwin in two parts: “A Walker in the City” examines his biography and “Colonialism” examines “what Baldwin himself was unable to do” by displaying the work of contemporary artists and filmmakers whose works resonate with Baldwin’s critiques of masculinity, race, and American empire. Mirakhor explores how Als’ quest to restore Baldwin is part of a long and deep literary and personal conversation that Als has been having since he was in his teens, and in this instance, exploring why and how it has culminated via the visual, instead of the literary. As Mirakhor observes, to be in the exhibit is not to just observe how Als has formed and figured Baldwin, but to see how Baldwin has informed and made Als, one of our most lyrical and impassioned contemporary writers and thinkers.

James Baldwin Review
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Writing under the influence

Focusing through the concept of influence, this collection considers the entire breadth of Alan Hollinghurst’s Booker Prize-winning writing. It addresses critical issues threaded through the work of Britain’s most important contemporary novelist. Chapters encompass provocative and timely subjects ranging from gay visual cultures and representations, to Victorian, modernist and contemporary literature, as well as race and empire, theatre and cinema, eros, translation and economics. Revealing the often troubled tissue of weighty affect that lies beneath the poise and control of Hollinghurst’s writing, this book addresses readers interested in question of subjectivity, history and desire, as well as those curious about biography and literary experimentation. Alongside contributions by distinguished international critics, the book includes an unpublished interview with Hollinghurst and the eminent biographer Hermione Lee. With critical energy and creative flair, Alan Hollinghurst: Writing Under the Influence provokes a new account of Hollinghurst’s work that is both authoritative and innovative.

An archaeology of Elizabethan Ireland

This book examines life in the leading province of Elizabeth I's nascent empire. It shows how an Ireland of colonising English farmers and displaced Irish ‘savages’ were ruled by an imported Protestant elite from their fortified manors and medieval castles. The book displays how a generation of English ‘adventurers’ including such influential intellectual and political figures as Spenser and Ralegh, tried to create a new kind of England, one that gave full opportunity to their Renaissance tastes and ambitions. Based on decades of research, it details how archaeology had revealed the traces of a short-lived, but significant, culture that has, until now, been eclipsed in ideological conflicts between Tudor queens, Hapsburg hegemony and native Irish traditions.

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Author: Susan Watkins

This study examines the writing career of the respected and prolific novelist Doris Lessing, who was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 2007 and who has recently published what she has announced will be her final novel. Whereas earlier assessments have focused on Lessing's relationship with feminism and the impact of her 1962 novel, The Golden Notebook, this book argues that Lessing's writing was formed by her experiences of the colonial encounter. It makes use of postcolonial theory and criticism to examine Lessing's continued interest in ideas of nation, empire, gender and race, and the connections between them, looking at the entire range of her writing, including her most recent fiction and non-fiction, which have been comparatively neglected.

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Victorian orphans, culture and empire
Author: Laura Peters

This book argues that Victorian culture perceived the orphan as a scapegoat - a promise and a threat, a poison and a cure. It first establishes a discursive context in which to read the orphan figure as embodying a difference within the family. To do so, it describes the figure of Heathcliff in Wuthering Heights against a number of discourses - namely, those of the foundling, the orphan as foreigner, and the orphan as criminal. The book then looks at the role of the orphan and popular orphan adventure narratives in policing and extending empire. It considers Charles Dickens's 'The Perils of Certain English Prisoners, and Their Treasure in Women, Children, Silver and Jewels' within the context of both the Indian Mutiny of 1857 and Dickens's own imperial sympathies. The book also offers the historical context for the schemes adopted at the time for emigrating orphans. It focuses on the three main destinations -Bermuda, New South Wales and Canada - in order to consider the motivations behind the emigrating of orphans and the contemporary evaluations of it. In this historical context, the book positions Rose Macaulay's Orphan Island (1924), which in its Utopian framework poses problems for the both the rationale of the schemes and for current debates within post-colonial studies. It further looks at the exiling of difference, in George Eliot's Daniel Deronda and the return of the exiled orphan from the colonies to the heart of empire, London, in Dickens's The Mystery of Edwin Drood.