Representations of Irish political leaders in the ‘Haughey’ plays of Carr, Barry and Breen
urges Fermoy to withdraw by hinting at the dirt
he will sell to the papers to tarnish his opponent, not least the fact that
‘there’s a few inquiries to be med as to how the cement and gravel empire
goh off of the ground’ (p. 34). In the Act II interview, which confirms
that Fermoy beat Hanafin, there’s the suggestion he did so by disclosing scandal about his opponent.
Verona . . . didn’t you rise in proportion to Hanaffin’s fall?
Fermoy A cuurse I did, but thah doesn’t diminish divine grace. If that
scandal had broken a week laher, Hannafin would’ve kept hees
understanding’. Cracking the code
‘will reveal to you how a man thinks, what his character traits are, his
loyalties, his vices, his entire intellectual architecture’. Fired up by his
own dream of total control, he exclaims ‘If we could break into that
vault, David, we wouldn’t control just an empire. We would rule the
entire universe’. Here is the ultimate dream of power, and a reminder
that eugenics could prove dramatically attractive to dictatorial, racist
regimes like Hitler’s Germany. It is an equally
New generation Northern Irish poets (Sinéad Morrissey and Nick Laird)
between nineteenth-century, early twentieth-century and contemporary
colonial adventurism; like Shelley’s ‘Ozymandias’,31 the poem invites
us to reflect on the transience of empire and the monumental follies
political leaders continue to commit. At the same time, it should be
added that Laird’s perspective is itself ineluctably ‘compromised’ since
it regards the east through western eyes.32
Its first two parts portray the working practices of the archaeologist
Sir Austin Henry Layard (1817–94), whose
, NC: Duke
University Press, forthcoming). I am grateful to Susan Andrade for sending me
drafts of her book chapters and for our continuing conversation on gender and the
Jameson, ‘Third-world literature in the era of multinational capitalism’, p. 96; see
also Lazarus, ‘Fredric Jameson on “third-world literature”’.
On the Indian postcolonial novel in English as a nation metaphor, see also Amit
Chaudhuri, ‘Forms of renewal’, TLS, 5262 (6 February 2004), 13.
Anderson, Imagined Communities, pp. 26–34.
Louise Yelin, From the Margins of Empire: Christina Stead
Gender and nationalism in the early fiction of Flora Nwapa
the alienated, selfhating colonised in Frantz Fanon, Black Skin, White Masks , trans. C. L.
Markmann (London: Pluto Press, 1970), or Jean-Paul Sartre, Black Orpheus ,
trans. S. W. Allen (Paris: Présence Africaine, 1976). On Indian eﬀeminisation and
the countering force of ‘hyper-masculinity’ under empire, see Ashis Nandy’s
groundbreaking The Intimate Enemy: Loss and Recovery of Self under Colonialism
(New Delhi: Oxford University Press, 1983); and Mrinalini Sinha, Colonial
Masculinity: The ‘Manly Englishman’ and the ‘Eﬀeminate Bengali’ in the Late
The inflection of desire in Yvonne Vera and Tsitsi Dangarembga
unworldly clients to an openly scopophilic perusal, all in the name of her
implied British audience’s imperial and anthropological interests. She would
have been horror-struck to hear such scrutiny described in terms of the desiring
male gaze, though to the contemporary critical eye it may well invite those terms.
Working under empire, her ﬁrst priority was to conform to western ideas of propriety, to the persona of the unﬂappable, rational, Oxford-educated observer.
Her example strongly demonstrates that no reading of desire, perhaps especially
women’s desire, can be
Sangeeta Ray, En-gendering
India: Woman and Nation in Colonial and Postcolonial Narratives (Durham, NC and
London: Duke University Press, 2000), pp. 6–7.
17 Chitralekha Basu, ‘A meeting of minds’, TLS, 5212 (21 February 2003), 23.
18 To adapt from a description which is given of Astha’s poems, such same-sex ‘mindfucking’ is like ‘her own experience endlessly replayed’ (MW 79).
19 See Inderpal Grewal, Home and Harem: Nation, Gender, Empire and the Cultures of
Travel (London: Leicester University Press, 1996), pp. 5–7; and also Partha
Chatterjee, The Nation and its
John Lydgate’s ‘Soteltes for the coronation banquet of Henry VI’
include Barbara A. Hanawalt and Michal
Kilbialka, eds, Medieval practices of space (Minneapolis: University of
Minnesota Press, 2000); Mayke de Jong, Frans Theuws, and Carine
van Rhijn, eds, Topographies of power in the Middle Ages (Leiden: Brill,
2001); Virginia Chieffo Raguin and Sarah Stanbury, eds, Women’s
space: patronage, place, and gender in the medieval church (Albany,
NY: State University of New York Press, 2005), and Geraldine Heng,
Empire of magic: medieval romance and the politics of cultural fantasy
(New York: Columbia University Press, 2003).
in languages few Western readers understand. Others are part
Hindi, part Gujarati and part English.’32 However, while this is a
strategy straight out of the manual of postcolonial appropriation, there is a danger in overlooking the cultural specificities of
Mistry’s narrative materials that inhere in the history and the
experience of the Parsis. While Mistry’s texts are concerned to
examine the complexities of contemporary alienated identities
rather than to obsess over the bitterness of the colonial
experience, the legacy of empire perforce appears
something of her
childhood, before death entered her world and took away first
her father, then her mother. After her own demise, it comes to
contain Yezad’s sacred paraphernalia, which replaces the commemorative clock in his affections. Both the toys and the clock
represent more of those doomed attempts to cling on to the
things of the past. Yezad’s new use of the cabinet merely perpetuates the same inclination, only with a different object. The
cabinet holds framed pictures of Zarathustra, photographs of the
remnants of the ancient Persian Empire, including the ruins at