The escalation of systematic, if random, violence in the contemporary world frames the
concerns of the article, which seeks to read Baldwin for the present. It works by a
measure of indirection, arriving at Baldwin after a detour which introduces Chinua Achebe.
The Baldwin–Achebe relationship is familiar fare. However, here I explore not the shared
congruence between their first novels, but rather focus on their later works, in which the
reflexes of terror lie close to the surface. I use Achebe’s final novel, Anthills of the
Savanah, as a way into Baldwin’s “difficult” last book, The Evidence of Things Not Seen,
suggesting that both these works can speak directly to our own historical present. Both
Baldwin and Achebe, I argue, chose to assume the role of witness to the evolving
manifestations of catastrophe, which they came to believe enveloped the final years of
their lives. In order to seek redemption they each determined to craft a prose—the product
of a very particular historical conjuncture—which could bring out into the open the
prevailing undercurrents of violence and terror.
continuity’, while men are constructed as the progressive agents of
modernity (McClintock 1997 :
359). In an echo of the gendering of space in colonialism (the feminisation
of the territory to be occupied, possessed or penetrated), nationalist
resistance also establishes a gendering of space, so that
‘decolonization is waged over the territoriality of the female,
domestic space’ (McClintock 1997 : 360). In Algeria, as Nefissa
and Popular Culture: Bertrand Blier’s Les Valseuses (1973) ’ in Susan Hayward and Ginette Vincendeau , French Film: Texts and Contexts, 2nd edn, London and New York , Routledge , 213-26 .
Lefèbvre , Henri ( 1968 ) La Vie quotidienne dans Ie monde moderne, Paris, Gallimard .
Rigby , Brian ( 1991 ) Popular Culture in Modern France: a Study of Cultural Discourse, London and New York , Routledge .
Ross , Kristin ( 1996 ) Fast Cars, Clean Bodies: Decolonization and the
of post-war French modernisation,
France was transformed with ‘unusual swiftness’ from a ‘rural, empire-oriented,
Catholic country’ into an ‘industrialized, decolonized, and urban one’ (Ross 1995: 4).
According to Ross, in France, ‘unlike in the United States, [modernization]
is experienced for the most part as highly destructive’ (1995: 21–2). For her, Tati
is the ‘greatest analyst of postwar French modernization’ in part because his films
register the ‘suffering and destruction’ (30) that ‘inevitably accompanied’ it (63). Ross
is hardly alone in holding this view
’, trans. Michael Holquist and Caryl Emerson, in Pam Morris
(ed.), The Bakhtin Reader (London: Edward Arnold, 1994 ), p. 184.
SHC, box 51, ‘Progress report’, April 20
Deborah Rose Bird, Reports from a Wild
Country: Ethics for Decolonization
industry during the Occupation. Interestingly, the film features Jean Aurenche as one of
the protagonists and Pierre Bost in a secondary role.
If Tavernier’s relation to the Occupation is mediated
by sympathy for and identification with his father’s generation, his outlook in relation to
colonialism and decolonization places him squarely within his own age cohort. Tavernier
celebrated his twentieth birthday on 25 April 1961. This was the penultimate year of France’s
conflict in Algeria and thus, for example, the
Poststructuralism and naturalism in literature, television and film in the 1980s
favoring emerging writers over veteran authors from earlier generations, and in some ways privileging fiction over drama and television writing.
The new generation of writers emerging in the 1980s, those hyped in Granta 's “Twenty Under Forty,” or “The Best of Young British Novelists” in 1983—Julian Barnes, Pat Barker, Martin Amis, Salmon Rushdie, Graham Swift, Ian McEwan, Kazuo Ishiguro and Rose Tremain, to name a few—had been born during or just after the Second World War and grew up during the era of decolonization. They generally practiced what
Addressing intersectionality in the casting and performance of Chris Chibnall / Jodie Whittaker era Doctor Who
, S.M. and
Saenz ( 2019 ).
‘ Colonialist Pasts and Afrosurrealist Futures: Decolonizing
Race and Doctorhood in Doctor Who ’, Journal
of Medical Humanities , 40 ( 3 ), pp. 315–28 .
Cantrell , T. and
Hogg ( 2016 ). ‘ Returning to an Old Question: What Do Television Actors Do When They
Act? ’, Critical Studies in Television: The
International Journal of Television Studies , 11
( 3 ), pp. 283–98 .
Cantrell , T. and
: Decolonization and the Reordering of French Culture ,
Cambridge, Massachusetts and London ,
MIT Press .
Rochereau , Jean ( 1983 ), ‘Coup de foudre de Diane Kurys,
Féminisme bien tempéré’, La
Croix , 7 June.
Straayer , Chris ( 1990 ), ‘The hypothetical lesbian heroine’ ,
Jump Cut , 35 , 50–7 .
Tranchant , Marie -Noëlle
( 1983 ), ‘Au bonheur de Diane’ , Le
tolerance (the blacklist); his career, his
oeuvre , spans the most fundamental cultural confrontation of the
century – between Marxism and Modernism, between progressive
“realism” and the avant-garde subversion of optimism.’ 2 It is a life ideally suited, perhaps,
to understanding and dissecting a Britain racked by the uncertainties and
trauma of decolonization (witness the Suez débâcle of 1956), and
more importantly, a country