Bliss: opera’s untenable pleasures
Monica B. Pearl
This is an essay about pleasure, to which opera, for me, is not incidental.
What is incidental: my knowledge of opera, my musical knowledge.
As someone committed to scholarship, I am invested in believing that if I don’t
know something, I can correct that; I don’t mean I could take on any talent: I am
not hubristic, not in this way at least. But I am practical. I am able to suppose that
with some earnest application and attention (i.e., studying), I could learn about
music. For the most part, I have chosen not
Here on the outposts of the American Empire … ( Bliss , 9)
C AREY ’s first published novel capitalised on the success of his stories to exhilarating effect. Its anarchic narratology puzzled many reviewers, 1 but as Carey’s œuvre grows, its mix of satiric realism, fable, fantasy and manic cartoon quality seem entirely characteristic. After War Crimes was awarded the New South Wales Premier Award in 1980, Bliss received the same prize in 1982, as well as the Miles Franklin and the National Book Council
Sexuality, Catholicism and modernisation in Ireland, 1940–65
Michael G. Cronin
Married bliss: sexuality,
Catholicism and modernisation in
In February 1963 The Sunday Press, the largest selling national
newspaper in Ireland at the time, began publishing a series of articles by
Angela MacNamara.1 MacNamara had begun her career writing for a
Catholic magazine, The Irish Messenger of the Sacred Heart, where her
articles on motherhood and child-rearing had drawn on her own experience as a young middle-class mother in Dublin in the late 1950s.
Subsequently, she had started to give talks on marriage and sex to
Bower of Bliss is destroyed – when, that is, the threat of the
vampiric maternal has been quelled, and clear relations between self
and other are restored – only then is Verdant named.
What I would like to do is place next to this reading
one that centres not on psychic processes such as abjection but on
relations among human, vegetable and animal life. I will argue that
Peter Carey's fictions explore the experiences lurking in the cracks of normality, and are inhabited by hybrid characters living in between spaces or on the margins. Carey took a circuitous route into literature and writing. Characterising Carey's stories takes us to the heart of his fictional practice. Most adopt a mixture of narrative modes, a central feature of his writing. In Carey stories, terminal societies trap characters in drive-in movie car parks, or offer the bizarre possibility of exchanging bodies, or generate a counter-revolutionary resistance movement led by fat men. Grouping the stories around themes and issues allows for a fairly comprehensive insight into Carey's shorter works, and provides some key threads for later discussions of the longer fiction. Four of the most significant areas are: American imperialism and culture; capitalism; power and authority; and gender. In Bliss, the hippy capitalists of 'War Crimes' are replaced by the more conventional scenario of hippies versus capitalists. Illywhacker examines twentieth-century Australian history with the savage humour and fantasy of the earlier fiction now placed within an epic framework. Oscar and Lucinda might be termed 'retro-speculative' fiction. The Tax Inspector is Carey's most savage novel to date, and it captures Marx's vision of the ravening effects of capital. The Unusual Life of Tristan Smith marks a return to the overt alternative world-building found in the early stories with their fantastic and fable-like scenarios. The overlap between post-modernism and post-colonialism in Carey has been investigated by a number of critics.
calls to mind the modern aphorism that in a state
of bliss there is no need for a ministry of bliss. 35 In a well ordered constitution,
the king would govern wisely and parliament would give generously.
Clarendon’s belief that both parliament and king were responsible
for failing to maintain bliss contributed not only to the sanctimonious
air of his memoirs but also to his post-1667 exile which gave him the
Seventeenth-century England saw the Puritan upheaval of the 1640s and 1650s and the Glorious Revolution of 1688. These crises often provoked colonial reaction, indirectly by bringing forth new ideas about government. The colonies' existence was a testament to accumulated capital and population and to a widespread desire to employ both for high and mundane ends. The growth of population and production, the rise of new and the decline of old trades were important features of 17th-century American and English history. This book presents a study that brings attention back to a century when the word imperialism had not even been coined, let alone acquired the wealth of meanings it has now. The study covers the North American and West Indian colonies as well as England. Research on American sources concentrated on the main settlements of Massachusetts, Virginia, Barbados and Jamaica, their public records, printed and manuscript correspondence and local and county records. Lesser colonies such as New York, Carolina and the New England fringe settlements they have their own stories to tell. The study firstly rests on the proposition that England's empire was shaped by the course of English politics. Secondly, it argues that although imperial history was marked by tension between colonial resistance and English authority. Finally, the broad view is taken of the politics of empire aims to establish a general framework for understanding seventeenth-century colonial history. Attention has also been paid to the political writings and the "non-colonial" activities of governments and politicians.
A survey of the imperial territory and the beginnings of political empire
Robert M. Bliss
This chapter focuses on the proposition that the course of English politics shaped not the post-1660 navigation system nor by the century's mercantilist consensus nor by military men and ideas but the empire of England. During the seventeenth century, England's empire grew from a publicists' dream to a precocious maturity. The chapter argues that the empire's underlying reality marked the tension between colonial resistance and English authority, colonial dependence (political, economical and even psychological) in the imperial history. The imperial territory embodied both a community of English culture and a radical physical expansion of the English community. America's liberal political economy made its appearance as the organizers of colonization, like Sir Edwin Sandys, recognized the necessity to attract settlers of substance to the new world. Revolutions, Restoration, Navigation Acts, administrative reforms, all demonstrated to colonists that English politics directly affected them through the imperial connection.
Throughout English America, the contractualism of Charles I's empire helped colonial governments to resist the threatening disorder of their new environment. Charles's most enduring contribution to the politics of empire took place at the start of his reign when he endorsed his father's solution to the Virginia problem. The economic uses of power were more starkly illustrated in the plantation colonies than in New England, but the Puritans were no strangers either to the virtues of servitude and subordination or to the dangers of liberty. In 1622, Bermudans seized the opportunity presented by the Virginia Company's troubles to protest against their own Somers Islands Company. Autonomous local governments, much like that set up under the Virginia Company's Great Charter, would be part of Charles I's royal empire' in America. Both the Maryland and Massachusetts charters granted the context of developing plans for conciliar direction of American ventures.
The colonial legislation of 1650 and 1651 tells us and warned colonists of the radical, transforming potential of the English Revolution. The context established by these debates will help us to understand why colonists saw the Plantations Act of 1650 as far more intrusive and threatening than the more famous Navigation Act of 1651. The civil war brought forth attacks on the English hierarchy of liberty and privilege. The most open colonial rejections of parliamentary authority since the outbreak of the civil war was denying the proclamations of loyalty to Charles II, have to be reversed. Colonies, as parts of the ancien regime, enjoyed some protection, and not merely because revolutionary England became, soon enough, Restoration England. The ambiguous impact of England's revolution on the politics of empire can be deduced from contemporary debates about the proper relationships between state and society.