The Encyclopedia of Twentieth-Century Fiction - Vol. 3

By John Clement Ball | Go to book overview

Introduction to Volume III

At the four corners of the Albert Memorial in London’s Kensington Gardens are four large sculptures whose stylized groupings of animals and people allegorically represent Europe, Asia, Africa, and the Americas – an imperial version of the biblical four corners of the earth, it would seem, with only Australia and the South Pacific conspicuously missing from this display of Victorian England’s global reach. The bronze statue at the center of the memorial shows Albert himself seated, staring resolutely southeast, and holding in his right hand a catalogue of the 1851 Great Exhibition of the Works of Industry of all Nations. Since, from a distance, the Prince Consort’s reading matter could be any book at all, it is tempting (in a playfully postcolonial sort of way) to imagine the contents of his hand being regularly replenished by the literary works of the nations from those four corners in the years since the statue was built. Perhaps he has just now finished Things Fall Apart (1958), the most widely read novel by a black African – a writer whose given name, not coincidentally, is Albert, but who is better known to the world as Chinua Achebe.1 What, we might wonder, would Victoria’s Albert, enthusiastic sponsor of the Great Exhibition’s display of worldly creativity, have made of this other Albert’s works? Or, to extend our fanciful musings, of the more recent fiction of Samoa’s Albert Wendt? As he sits in his visionary pose, looking perennially about to begin a book or as though he has just finished one, what pleasures (or pains) might the Prince get from the emerging canon of fiction in English that his wife’s vast empire unwittingly helped create, a body of work that, over the course of the twentieth century, moved from the peripheral corners of literary consciousness to take its place at the center of English-language writing?

The novel is a European genre and the novel in English was, until the end of the nineteenth century, a primarily English genre, with notable contributions from the ex-colony of the United States and the then current one of Ireland. While English-speaking settlers in Canada, South Africa, Australia, and New Zealand were also writing during that century, composing such notable fictions such as John Richardson’s Wacousta (1832), Olive Schreiner’s Story of an African Farm (1883), and Miles Franklin’s My Brilliant Career (1901) – the latter published during the eventful year in which Victoria died, Australia became a nation, and the new century began – more fully developed and confidently embraced national literary traditions would not emerge in these young nations until the second half of the twentieth century. Indeed, in 1930, in a manifestation of what the critic A. A. Phillips would later call “the Cultural Cringe,”2 H. M. Green began An Outline of Australian Literature with the humble statement that “Australian literature is a branch of English literature, and however great it may become and whatever characteristics it may develop, it will remain a branch”;3 similar assessments of their literature’s branch-plant status, immaturity, belatedness, and the like – legacies of colonial paternalism – were typical in the other settler nations as well, despite the originality and international successes of writers such as L. M. Montgomery and Stephen Leacock of Canada, Henry Handel Richardson and Katharine Susannah Prichard of Australia, and Katherine Mansfield of New Zealand. In those imperial footholds that Britain continued to occupy well into the twentieth century, the colonies of invasion in the West Indies, Africa, and the Indian subcontinent, little or no English-language fiction was written by colonized residents in the nineteenth century; in

-937-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
The Encyclopedia of Twentieth-Century Fiction - Vol. 3
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Editors i
  • The Wiley-Blackwell Encyclopedia of Literature WWW.Literatureencyclopedia.Com ii
  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • List of Entries vii
  • Acknowledgments xiii
  • Notes on Contributors to Volume III xv
  • Introduction to Volume III 937
  • A 942
  • B 980
  • C 995
  • D 1034
  • E 1052
  • F 1066
  • G 1094
  • H 1121
  • I 1145
  • J 1154
  • K 1167
  • L 1180
  • M 1198
  • N 1252
  • O 1270
  • P 1277
  • Q 1296
  • R 1300
  • S 1325
  • T 1365
  • U 1370
  • V 1373
  • W 1378
  • Z 1398
  • Index 1400
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this book
  • Bookmarks
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
/ 1484

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.