Theorising the en-gendered nation

administrative structures or its policies, the new postcolonial nation is historically a maleconstructed space, narrated into modern self-consciousness by male leaders, activists and writers, in which women are more often than not cast as symbols or totems, as the bearers of tradition. Stories of women explores the intricate, often paradigmatic negotiations between gender, sexuality and the post-independence nation which have marked postcolonial narratives, including novels by women, from the independence period up to the present day. The central concept informing the book

in Stories of women
Open Access (free)
Ben Okri, Chenjerai Hove, Dambudzo Marechera

analogies between nations and narrations: the preoccupation with origins, the maintenance of continuity over time, the synthesis of difference into a unified whole.18 To expatiate on the title of Homi Bhabha’s edited collection Nation and Narration, where the ‘real-life’ political nation fails to provide meaningful codes of identity, writers turn instead to narrative structures in order to locate the signifying forms with which to give shape to an ‘unreal’ social life. On the other hand, as was seen in earlier chapters, writers self-reflexively elaborate on the figurality or

in Stories of women
Open Access (free)
Jane Eyre in Elizabeth Stoddard’s New England

by the love games in Jane Eyre, and, especially, the daring representation of a sensual heroine who challenged patriarchal power and claimed the right of self-possession. Brontë’s exploration of these themes fused elements of Gothic literature with the domestic, so that, as Elaine Showalter argues in The Female Malady: Women, Madness, and English Culture, 1830–1980, her writing ‘shows an evolution from Romantic stereotypes of female insanity to a brilliant interrogation of the meaning of madness in women’s daily lives’.3 The images Brontë conjured up of female

in Special relationships

of her work. The story of nation is of course one of the most fundamental narratives in western culture, and foundational myths can be found for almost every society. As Richard Kearney observes, ‘[o]ne cannot remain constant over the passage of historical time – and therefore remain faithful to one’s promises and covenants – unless one has some minimal remembrance of where one comes from, and of how one came to be what one is’.1 The national narrative is a means of producing communal memory and uniting people who may have little more in common than their residence

in Irish literature since 1990
A managerial perspective

radical doubt) to almost all areas of life. Individuals are now invited to question most of what passes as received wisdom, even to the extent of rewriting their own lives’ narratives through counselling, psychotherapy or self-therapy. 13 Taken together, the exposure to other cultures and value systems, and the extension of scientific method to almost all areas of life, lead to a

in The Third Way and beyond
Open Access (free)
Pleasantville and the textuality of media memory

calls a ‘media hall of mirrors’ – a film style dependent on the dizzying mix and self-devouring quotation of historical, mythic and media references – Pleasantville left itself open to criticism of narrative confusion and, more seriously, of demonstrating a lack of political and/or historicist depth. 8 While not argued from the same neo-Marxian position as Jameson, comments

in Memory and popular film

‘historical narratives’ which relate to and are constitutive of ‘identity and human self-knowledge, collectively and individually’ (Smith 2007 : 243). The point of the exercise is, in Iris Marion Young's critical, emancipatory formulation, to project ‘normative possibilities unrealized but felt in a particular given society’ ( 1990 : 6). Inwardly manifested as introspection

in Recognition and Global Politics
The structures of migration in Tales from Firozsha Baag

to things, trim them down to the proper proportions?’ (TFB, 187). Kersi recognises that he is only another tourist in India now, purchasing the specially produced merchandise of the ‘Cottage Industries store’ to take home: an inauthentic, simulated version of rural culture, to contrast with the brutal reality his brother has experienced at first hand. The self-consciousness in this retrospective narrative is indicated by its rejection of modernist narrative’s quasiresolutions. At the end, Kersi finds his questions are still unanswered and recognises that the old

in Rohinton Mistry
Open Access (free)
Postcolonial women writers in a transnational frame

about the possibility [for women] of sharing certain beliefs’.11 Whereas the assertion of the particular and the absolute within the nation tends to collapse the other’s experience into the self ’s, the translocal/transnational not only allows but stimulates that other focus. Lionnet’s observations relate to Yvonne Vera and Arundhati Roy’s work, in that both writers are concerned to structure their narratives to evoke women’s intersubjectivity and to represent women in interrelationship. At significant points in Vera women’s voices are interlinked or superimposed the

in Stories of women

foreign to the burlesque mood. The narrative is framed by ‘A Word of Explanation’: during a guided tour of Warwick Castle (familiar to Scott’s readers of course as Kenilworth), the ‘editor’ encounters a ‘curious stranger’, who, with his knowledge of heraldry, his easy tale-spinning and romantic weaving of spells from the past, seems set up as a figure of the ‘Great Enchanter’ of the nineteenth century. Here already are intimations of the self-immolating preoccupation that later brings Twain’s story toppling down upon itself. The vituperative attack on Scott which will

in Special relationships