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 forever drawn and ceaselessly blurred barriers of id left within the wake of British imperialism.Arguing opposed to a version of cultural id according to 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 life undercuts the assumption in an absolute contrast among England and India. He then turns to the hostile figures of Naipaul and Rushdie, the 2 nice novelists of the Indian diaspora. while Naipaul's lengthy and debatable occupation maps the "deep ailment" unfold via either imperialism and its passing, Rushdie demonstrates that convinced outcomes of that affliction, equivalent to migrancy and mimicry, have themselves develop into artistic forces.After Empire offers enticing and enlightening readings of postcolonial fiction, displaying how imperialism contributed to shaping British nationwide identity—and how, after the tip of empire, that identification needs to now be reconfigured.
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87 They are the same as you, as me, only different; but that above all is what we can't admit, not if the robbery is to proceed in good conscience. Nothing attests to that essential kinship more than the facts of sexual desireand perhaps, for a male writer, a desire not for a feminine Other but for an Other who is also the same. But administration must go on; desire must be denied. Merrick scorns the official truth of empire, the idea of comradeship. Yet it is perhaps closer to that final closeted truth than one would have expected.
It is a concept at the heart of Naipaul's work, and one that's perhaps best understood in the terms proposed by the eighteenth-century theorist of national identity J. G. Herder. For Herder the character of any group is molded by its experience of a particular landscape and especially of a particular climate. "18 That emphasis on human interaction with an environment does call into question any myth of an essential national or racial identity, and indeed Herder insists that man is everywhere one species.
They will never quite get over it. II That image of the white-vested boy in the clearing is one that matters not just to Mr. " Singh connects that vision to his dreams of ''Central Asian horsemen, among whom I am one, riding below a sky threatening snow, to the very end of an empty world" (MM, 82). Such dreams provide a link to the past, offering a kind of solace for the voyage that has first brought his family from India to the Caribbean island of Isabella and has then taken him into political exile in an anonymous London suburb.
After Empire: Scott, Naipaul, Rushdie by Michael Gorra