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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 eternally drawn and without end blurred barriers of identification left within the wake of British imperialism.Arguing opposed to a version of cultural identification in response to race, Gorra starts off with Scott's portrait, within the Raj Quartet, of the nature Hari Kumar—a seeming oxymoron, an "English boy with a depressing brown skin," whose very life 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 debatable profession maps the "deep affliction" unfold by way of either imperialism and its passing, Rushdie demonstrates that sure effects of that sickness, comparable to migrancy and mimicry, have themselves turn into artistic forces.After Empire offers enticing and enlightening readings of postcolonial fiction, exhibiting how imperialism assisted in shaping British nationwide identity—and how, after the top of empire, that identification needs to now be reconfigured.

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Extra info for After Empire: Scott, Naipaul, Rushdie

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But nowhere is that return more impossible than in the Caribbean. To what past? To whose? Its aboriginal peoples have been long extinct. Most of its current inhabitants are descended from those brought together by slavery and indenture. Its languages took shape in the lands of the colonial masters, languages "native" neither to the region nor to those who must now speak them; indeed, as late as 1958 even C. L. R. " 34 Froude has always been reviled by Caribbean writers, and the Victorian writer's phrasing does indeed carry a knee-jerk, reflexive racism that suggests there are in the islands no individual men and women.

Biswasand the novel calls him that even as a baby, an acknowledgment, at once absurd and profoundly moving, of the dignity his world denies himMr. Biswas is an orphan. His father's early death has forced him to rely on relatives, and though in consequence he's learned to read and to write (unlike his older brothers, already "broken" into estate work), it has also cost him "the only house to which he had some right" (B, 40) and made all subsequent dwellings seem a "temporary arrangement'' (B, 48) at best.

And old, with a "worn face and wet blue eyes'' (F, 8), a face "worked over by distress" (F, 11). Once on board, he talks continuously, his speech "full of dates, places and numbers" (F, 9): the visit to Canada in 1923, to New Zealand in 1934.  . [he] knew he was odd" (F, 10). When he opens a magazine, he doesn't read but instead shreds its pages, his "nervous jigging hands" (F, 13) covering the floor around him with litter. "The Tramp at Piraeus" forms the prologue to V. S. Naipaul's 1971 collection In a Free State, a travel sketch whose nameless narrator can be taken as a critical portrait of the author himself.

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