This essay explores the vexed matters of race and Empire in Alan Hollinghurst's The Swimming-Pool Library, tracing the lines of connection between colonial and contemporary constructions of otherness upon which the novel dwells. In presenting the protagonist's libidinous pursuit of black sexual partners in 1980s' London as recycling some of the exploitative behaviours of colonial desire, the novel probes the possibility of opening up a critical space where an alternative rendering of race might be sourced amidst the cross-racial sexual encounters that seem driven by older, illiberal attitudes. Rather than support the view that the novel is fully complicit with familiar forms of racialisation, this essay suggests that a different, more liberal view of race relations can be glimpsed and is empowered by Hollinghurst's engagement with a counter-hegemonic tradition of gay writing that includes figures such as E. M. Forster and especially Ronald Firbank.
industrialism and democracy’ and ‘nationalism represents the attempt to actualise in political terms the universal urge for liberty and progress’ (p. 2). However, this ‘liberal’ view of the nation repeatedly comes up against a dilemma: how can nationalism also facilitate illiberal movements and regimes which created internecine violence, political crises and civil war? Chatterjee points out that there is a conflict right at the heart of nationalism which he calls the ‘liberal dilemma’: nationalism may promise liberty and universal suffrage, but is complicit in
The first collection of its kind, Chartist Drama makes available four plays written or performed by members of the Chartist movement of the 1840s. Emerging from the lively counter-culture of this protest campaign for democratic rights, these plays challenged cultural as well as political hierarchies by adapting such recognisable genres as melodrama, history plays, and tragedy for performance in radically new settings. A communal, public, and embodied art form, drama was linked for the Chartists with other kinds of political performance: the oratory of the mass platform, festival-like outdoor meetings, and the elaborate street theatre of protest marches. Plays that Chartists wrote or staged advanced new interpretations of British history and criticised aspects of the contemporary world. And Chartist drama intervened in fierce strategic arguments within the movement. Most notably, poet-activist John Watkins’s John Frost, which dramatises the gripping events of the Newport rising of 1839, in which twenty-two Chartists lost their lives, defends the rebellion and the Chartist recourse to violence as a means for the movement to achieve its aims. The volume’s appendices document over one hundred Chartist dramatic performances, staged by activists in local Chartist associations or at professional benefits at some of London’s largest working-class theatres. Gregory Vargo’s introduction and notes elucidate the previously unexplored world of Chartist dramatic culture, a context that promises to reshape what we know about early Victorian popular politics and theatre.
: for Donne, the ‘fecundity’ in true religion emerges precisely in the local, if illiberal, demands confession places on the self in the ‘natural’, ‘spiritual’, and ‘civil’ life of the divided Body of Christ. These demands figured prominently in the Hague sermon’s audience and occasion. Hastily delivered at the end of Lord Doncaster’s ambassadorial trip through the Palatinate and Northern Europe, Donne’s December 1619 address followed closely on the heels of the conclusion of the Synod of Dort, yielding a text he would only later compile from ‘short notes’ in 1630, during
thought and political traditions from the colonial period to the present. 6 The importation of slaves, beginning in 1658, was the first instance of an illiberal policy that would initiate the liberal and ‘enlightened’ challenges to Dutch East India Company rule and later to slavery itself. 7 This is the foundation from which this chapter proposes to launch an argument about the history of protest literature in South Africa. Contrary to popular belief and perception, protest literature did not begin in the 1960s but is actually a long-standing tradition of South
indexed references. Anonymous, A Reply to Captain Marryat’s Illiberal and Incorrect Statements Relative to the Coloured West Indies, as Published in his Work, Entitled, ‘A Diary in America’, London, E. Justins & Sons, 1840. See Anonymous, A Reply to Captain Marryat, p. 3. The claim is made by a ﬁgure signed ‘A Coloured West Indian’. For details of Frederick Marryat’s life see David Hannay, Life of Frederick Marryat, London, Walter Scott, New York and Toronto, W.G. Gage and Co., 1889, and Florence Marryat, Life and Letters of Captain Marryat (2 volumes), London, Richard
the photograph ‘because of Molly’, whose mischievous spirit will be betrayed (Am, p. 75), rather than because of a moral abhorrence of illiberal motives. Halliday’s motives are additionally tainted, of course, by the possibility of a personal vendetta against Garmony, a hated love rival. Most important, however, is the impossibility of either character achieving a position of moral disinterestedness in relation to the photographs: the very act of putting a case is ethically flawed for both of them. In Halliday’s self-justification, the vein of satirical humour
greater Sun. Though we hardly associate Milton with middle ways or half measures, this chapter nonetheless charts a path between more extreme nodes of ‘revision’, one that would reformulate Milton as ‘antiformalist, unrevolutionary, and illiberal’, and another that would rewrite his radicalism in essentially secular terms – a strenuously Baconian Milton, an ‘atheist’ Milton. 106 The poet’s godliness and his commitment to some form of virtue politics that might be called ‘republican’ cannot be altogether erased – and why should
-simplification, I suggest a common element in these strategies: it was simply too hard, and generally unpalatable, in the nineteenth-century English cultural climate to credit the ‘Father of English poetry’ with a sincere medieval Catholicism. To identify Chaucer as an adult Catholic with a strong religious allegiance would have meant for most readers branding him as fundamentally un-‘English’ – subservient, superstitious and illiberal, rather than the manly, sensible, tolerant fellow most of them desired. The problem was not simply fear of the Church as ‘a totalitarian, foreign
silly joy at silly things; and they call it being merry. In my mind there is nothing so illiberal, and so ill bred, as audible laughter. True wit, or sense, never yet made anybody laugh; they are above it: they please the mind and give a cheerfulness to the countenance. But it is low buffoonery, or silly accidents, that always excite laughter … a plain proof, in my mind