1st Edition

Making Subject(s) Literature and the Emergence of National Identity

By Allen Carey-Webb Copyright 1999
    257 Pages
    by Routledge

    256 Pages
    by Routledge

    Considering a wide range of cultural materials and engaging in a close reading of literary texts, this book draws a compelling comparison between national identity in Europe and the Third World. The author explores historical periods of nation building in Europe (Early Modernism) and the postcolonial world (post-1945 decolonization) to demonstrate that intriguingly similar circumstances of imperial rule, linguistic diversity, and educational systemization facilitated the emergence of national consciousness in both European and non-European countries. By bringing the insights of postcolonial studies to classic canonical dramas of Shakespeare and Lope de Vega, the author describes the impact of New World colonial encounters on Spanish and English national formation and self-conception. This book is the first to investigate the rich intertextuality of El Nuevo Mundo (Spain, 1601) and The Tempest (England, 1611). Turning to Ousmane Sembene and Salman Rushdie-perhaps the two most important postcolonial writers-this study shows how their finest novels write back to the European tradition of Lope and Shakespeare and simultaneously represent the trend of postcolonial literature from assertive anticolonial nationalism to postmodern national critique. Tracing developments in the study of nationalism and literature from Louis Althusser and Benedict Anderson through Frederic Jameson, Homi Bhabha, and Partha Chatterjee, the book's introduction serves as a lucid guide to a central problem in contemporary cultural studies for the general reader or the specialized scholar. Juxtaposing Renaissance etchings, traditional African and Indian sculpture, 19th-century political cartoons, and intriguing works of contemporary art, Making Subject(s) is of unusual interest and visual appeal.

    Chapter 1 Introduction; Part I Colonizing Nations and the Public Theater in Early Modern Spain and England; Chapter 2 Other-Fashioning; Chapter 3 Imagi/Native Nation; Part II Anticolonial Nationalism and the Postcolonial Novel; Chapter 4 Pedagogical and Performative Nationalism in Ousmane Sembène's Les bouts de bois de Dieu; Chapter 5 (Dis)Integrating Nation and Self; Chapter 6 Conclusion;


    Carey-Webb, Allen

    "What distinguishes this study from similar ones is the author's thorough comparison of the topic across genres, historical moments and traditions...He literally breaches the boundaries of canonicity not just by juxtaposing these works and treating them as world literature but also does an admirable job in meticulously analysing the dialogue between them." -- Lifongo Vetinde, Lawrence University, Canadian Review of Comparative Literature