By Michael Gorra

In After Empire Michael Gorra explores how 3 novelists of empire—Paul Scott, V. S. Naipaul, and Salman Rushdie—have charted the ceaselessly drawn and without end blurred obstacles of id left within the wake of British imperialism.Arguing opposed to a version of cultural id in accordance with race, Gorra starts with Scott's portrait, within the Raj Quartet, of the nature Hari Kumar—a seeming oxymoron, an "English boy with a gloomy brown skin," whose very lifestyles undercuts the assumption in an absolute contrast among England and India. He then turns to the adverse figures of Naipaul and Rushdie, the 2 nice novelists of the Indian diaspora. while Naipaul's lengthy and arguable occupation maps the "deep sickness" unfold via either imperialism and its passing, Rushdie demonstrates that yes effects of that sickness, equivalent to migrancy and mimicry, have themselves develop into inventive forces.After Empire presents attractive and enlightening readings of postcolonial fiction, displaying how imperialism assisted in shaping British nationwide identity—and how, after the top of empire, that id needs to now be reconfigured.

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Extra resources for After Empire: Scott, Naipaul, Rushdie

Sample text

Biswas pays no attention and goes on eating. But the boy's excited cry remains. The world is "too small," Mr. Biswas has earlier thought; the family he has married into is "too large" (B, 91). For the Tulsis, ambition takes an entirely negative form: ''Not to be unmarried, not to be childless, not to be an undutiful daughter, sister, wife, mother, widow" (B, 160). And for years their slipshod yet heavy-handed way of maintaining their Hindu traditions almost defeats his ambition to stand out, to create an individual self and life.

Yet just as important is the fastidious purity of the sentence itself. It is periodic and yet direct, formal but not Latinate. Read aloud, its slow and stately progression of commas makes each word seem as if it has been dropped calmly and precisely into place. 2011 21:48:26] cover "perhaps," Naipaul's measured toneshis "grimly perfect grammar," in Sara Suleri's inspired phrasesuggest above all his great confidence in his own judicious appraisal of the world. " A prose so beautifully modulated carries something of the status of fact.

2 Her observation is to some degree belied by Naipaul's account, in The Enigma of Arrival (1987), of his life in a Wiltshire cottageof how he came to feel at home at last in the deep country of Stonehenge and Salisbury, of how he made a place for himself in both England and its literature. Yet even that great, peculiar, autumnal book depends on an earlier unhousing, on the decision to leave the Trinidad of which he writes with such affection in his most recent autobiographical work, A Way in the World (1994);3 and so Mukherjee's statement stands, an account of the way in which the relation between home and homelessness provides the central metaphor of all Naipaul's work.

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