Intercultural Voices in Contemporary British Literature: The Implosion of Empire

Intercultural Voices in Contemporary British Literature: The Implosion of Empire

Intercultural Voices in Contemporary British Literature: The Implosion of Empire

Intercultural Voices in Contemporary British Literature: The Implosion of Empire

Synopsis

During the last decades of the 20th century it has become increasingly difficult to consider British literature as "national" or "mainstream." This book investigates contemporary fiction and poetry written in or relating to Britain, and uncovers a distinct sense of a new and different national and social reality. Tracing literary effects of migration, globalization, and regionalization, the book focuses on literary tradition as an inspiration or object of hate and frustration for the exploration and expression of post-imperial experiences.

Excerpt

The process from idea to book has also in this case been one of constant revision and adjustment. the original concept was to present a study of what has been happening in British literature of the late twentieth century as a result of stimuli from cultures formerly of the British Empire and now independent but decidedly oriented – ‘sucked’ – towards Britain in a post-Imperial implosive dynamics. Hence, in the subtitle, ‘Implosion of Empire’, to begin with signifying the literary exposition of the formerly colonial other in British literature. However, as the project progressed, it became increasingly clear to me that the state of British culture towards the end of the twentieth century is very much that of a transitional culture, for which a past of wider spaces and undisputed influence represents a highly complex legacy. Not only did the Empire implode, with Britain again after half a millennium a national state in a European context, the implosion coincided with searches in different contexts for new identities politically, culturally and socially, in combination opening up for new and complex creative energies in literature.

The following persons and institutions have been helpful at different stages of work on this book, and I want to express to them my gratitude: Professor Susan Bassnett of Warwick University, the British Council (in Copenhagen and London), Mary Enright at the Poetry Library on the South Bank, Maxim Jakubowski of Murder One bookshop in Charing Cross Rd, London, Judith Cutler of the Crime Writers Association, uk. the University of Southern Denmark, formerly Odense University, I wish to thank for having granted me ‘time out’ from teaching obligations without the prospect of which a research and writing project like this would indeed be meaningless, but with the daily burdens of which, as we in the trade all know, its implementation would be well nigh impossible.

University of Southern Denmark lars ole sauerberg

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