Available:*

Library
Material Type
Shelf Number
Copies
Status
Searching...
Ebook XX(1336702.1) 1
Searching...

On Order

Summary

Summary

In After Empire Michael Gorra explores how three novelists of empire--Paul Scott, V. S. Naipaul, and Salman Rushdie--have charted the perpetually drawn and perpetually blurred boundaries of identity left in the wake of British imperialism.

Arguing against a model of cultural identity based on race, Gorra begins with Scott's portrait, in The Raj Quartet , of the character Hari Kumar--a seeming oxymoron, an "English boy with a dark brown skin," whose very existence undercuts the belief in an absolute distinction between England and India. He then turns to the opposed figures of Naipaul and Rushdie, the two great novelists of the Indian diaspora. Whereas Naipaul's long and controversial career maps the "deep disorder" spread by both imperialism and its passing, Rushdie demonstrates that certain consequences of that disorder, such as migrancy and mimicry, have themselves become creative forces.

After Empire provides engaging and enlightening readings of postcolonial fiction, showing how imperialism helped shape British national identity--and how, after the end of empire, that identity must now be reconfigured.



Summary

In After Empire Michael Gorra explores how three novelists of empire--Paul Scott, V. S. Naipaul, and Salman Rushdie--have charted the perpetually drawn and perpetually blurred boundaries of identity left in the wake of British imperialism.

Arguing against a model of cultural identity based on race, Gorra begins with Scott's portrait, in The Raj Quartet , of the character Hari Kumar--a seeming oxymoron, an "English boy with a dark brown skin," whose very existence undercuts the belief in an absolute distinction between England and India. He then turns to the opposed figures of Naipaul and Rushdie, the two great novelists of the Indian diaspora. Whereas Naipaul's long and controversial career maps the "deep disorder" spread by both imperialism and its passing, Rushdie demonstrates that certain consequences of that disorder, such as migrancy and mimicry, have themselves become creative forces.

After Empire provides engaging and enlightening readings of postcolonial fiction, showing how imperialism helped shape British national identity--and how, after the end of empire, that identity must now be reconfigured.



Reviews 4

Choice Review

Gorra (Smith College) suggests that nationality and identity are never absolute. In the novels of Paul Scott, Salman Rushdie, and V.S. Naipaul, the old assumptions of replacing one identity with another give way to a new understanding that several identities can coexist. In this critical work, one encounters passages of brilliant prose that invite the reader to reread the original works and look for new meanings. For example, of Naipaul's A Bend in the River Gorra writes, "To read A Bend in the River, that long tone-poem of moral isolation, is to feel as if one's mind has been flayed, as if one's deepest anxieties lie quivering and exposed." Gorra's vision is that the postcolonial world is the result of the rage that "brought independence into being." In the chapters on Rushdie, he seeks to answer the question "What is a postcolonial angry for?" In Rushdie's vision of collapsing worlds and identities, Gorra makes his final point: "My purpose hasn't been to assimilate [Naipaul and Rushdie] to England but rather to suggest how England, and English, might assimilate itself to them." Gorra engages in modern critical discourse, but his intimate, jargon-free language makes his work accessible and enjoyable for all readers, undergraduates as well as advanced scholars. P. Venkateswaran; Nassau Community College


Library Journal Review

Gorra (The English Novel at Mid-Century, St. Martin's, 1990) has written a thoughtful, thoroughly researched, jargon-free study of postcolonial literature. She concentrates her study on Paul Scott's Raj Quartet; several works of V.S. Naipaul, including A House for Mr. Biswas (1961) and A Bend in the River (1979); and Salman Rushdie's Midnight's Children (1981) and The Satanic Verses (1989). Scott's and Rushdie's novels are set in India after independence, and Naipaul's works describe Indians living outside India. Gorra considers the characters' (both Indian and English) struggles to find personal and cultural identities after Indian independence. There are bibliographic notes for each chapter but no bibliographies. A significant contribution to postcolonial scholarship; highly recommended for academic British studies collections.‘Judy Mimken, Boise P.L., Id. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


Choice Review

Gorra (Smith College) suggests that nationality and identity are never absolute. In the novels of Paul Scott, Salman Rushdie, and V.S. Naipaul, the old assumptions of replacing one identity with another give way to a new understanding that several identities can coexist. In this critical work, one encounters passages of brilliant prose that invite the reader to reread the original works and look for new meanings. For example, of Naipaul's A Bend in the River Gorra writes, "To read A Bend in the River, that long tone-poem of moral isolation, is to feel as if one's mind has been flayed, as if one's deepest anxieties lie quivering and exposed." Gorra's vision is that the postcolonial world is the result of the rage that "brought independence into being." In the chapters on Rushdie, he seeks to answer the question "What is a postcolonial angry for?" In Rushdie's vision of collapsing worlds and identities, Gorra makes his final point: "My purpose hasn't been to assimilate [Naipaul and Rushdie] to England but rather to suggest how England, and English, might assimilate itself to them." Gorra engages in modern critical discourse, but his intimate, jargon-free language makes his work accessible and enjoyable for all readers, undergraduates as well as advanced scholars. P. Venkateswaran; Nassau Community College


Library Journal Review

Gorra (The English Novel at Mid-Century, St. Martin's, 1990) has written a thoughtful, thoroughly researched, jargon-free study of postcolonial literature. She concentrates her study on Paul Scott's Raj Quartet; several works of V.S. Naipaul, including A House for Mr. Biswas (1961) and A Bend in the River (1979); and Salman Rushdie's Midnight's Children (1981) and The Satanic Verses (1989). Scott's and Rushdie's novels are set in India after independence, and Naipaul's works describe Indians living outside India. Gorra considers the characters' (both Indian and English) struggles to find personal and cultural identities after Indian independence. There are bibliographic notes for each chapter but no bibliographies. A significant contribution to postcolonial scholarship; highly recommended for academic British studies collections.‘Judy Mimken, Boise P.L., Id. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


Table of Contents

Introduction After Empire
1 The Situation: Paul Scott and The Raj Quartet
2 V. S. Naipaul: In His Father's House
3 The Novel in an Age of Ideology: On the Form of Midnight's Children Appendix to Chapter 3 "Burn the Books and Trust the Book":The Satanic Verses, February 1989
Conclusion Notes towards a Redefinition of Englishness
Notes
Index
Introduction After Empire
1 The Situation: Paul Scott and The Raj Quartet
2 V. S. Naipaul: In His Father's House
3 The Novel in an Age of Ideology: On the Form of Midnight's Children Appendix to Chapter 3 "Burn the Books and Trust the Book":The Satanic Verses, February 1989
Conclusion Notes towards a Redefinition of Englishness
Notes
Index