Literary appreciation, comparatism, and universalism in the Straits
of imperial liberalism: ‘the reform must be a real reform within and without, not a mere adoption of a European external covering to hide the old sores of an inner life’. 84
Mark Frost, Saul Dubow, Daniel Goh, and others have recently argued for the importance of reformist and petit-bourgeois nationalists who used ‘the language of late-nineteenth-century liberalism to call the BritishEmpire to account’, noting that ‘assertions of Britishness or Englishness could run counter to the declared interests of the British state’. 85 It is therefore possible to
Cultural geographies of poetry in colonial Aotearoa
to the BritishEmpire, Meredith Martin has pointed out the ways in which the imperial periphery and its subjects were central to the conception of the Lays volume, which she reads ‘as a bridge between late eighteenth- and early nineteenth-century romantic ideas of poetry, imagined primitive communities and fragmentary history, and later revivals of these ideas’. 21 In an instantiation of what Martin calls ‘the ballad-theory of civilization’, Macaulay’s poems aim at a universal ballad history, woven into the fabric of all societies and thus feeding and shaping a
Unearthing the truth in Patrick O’Keeffe’s The Hill Road
Vivian Valvano Lynch
. Mary’s and his mother’s views, of
course, typify those held in rural Ireland in the 1940s, 1950s and 1960s,
and lead directly to Jack’s becoming the first family exile. Albert Cagney,
by contrast, made a wrong choice, persuaded by John Redmond’s4 claims
that fighting for the BritishEmpire would be the best way of enabling
Ireland to achieve her independence. In what will prove to be a recurring feature in The Hill Road, the initial impetus for departure comes
from the women in the family, a phenomenon which suggests how much
O’Keeffe has drawn from the work of John
the flash as a form of popular Romantic retrospective avant-gardism. I read the flash language, then, as the index of a late fashionable world of expatriated Regency dandyism. I read it, too, for its agential power, as a random collection of ‘late fashionable words’ (as Grose called it) that is also world- making : anachronistically sustaining, moving in and out of ‘the world’ of elite Regency London, travelling south in ‘crabshells’ in subversive refractions of the world-system of the BritishEmpire, and celebrating the powers of ancient slang in a new time and
Settler emigration, the voyage out, and shipboard literary
shaped by the spatial, temporal, and material limitations of the voyage. As they move across the globe, they disseminate not only news of what happens on a particular voyage, but also the cultural form of the periodical. 6
As Jude Piesse has argued, land-based periodicals in this period are marked by a mobile subjectivity: they circulate widely throughout the BritishEmpire, and within a settler colonial context they ‘not only reflected mobility, but were actively involved in producing it’. 7 Shipboard periodicals might be said to go one step further: not only do
Wordlists, songs, and knowledge production on the colonial Australian
, ‘Expansion, 1820–1850’, in Stuart Macintyre and Alison Bashford (eds), The Cambridge History of Australia (Melbourne: Cambridge University Press, 2011), pp. 121–48.
22 Hilary Golder, High and Responsible Office: A History of the NSW Magistracy (Sydney: Sydney University Press, 1991); Amanda Nettelbeck, Indigenous Rights and Colonial Subjecthood: Protection and Reform in the Nineteenth-Century BritishEmpire (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2019).
23 NSW Parliament Legislative Council, Report from the Select Committee on the Condition of the Aborigines
Petitions, politics, and the African Christian converts of the nineteenth
African letters; its provenance can be dated back to the beginning of the ‘Anglicisation’ of the Cape Colony and the attendant institutions and cultural assumptions that arrived with the British and the English language. What characterises this protest is not just that it was directed at the BritishEmpire or the Queen of England, but that it was couched in the language of rights, citizenship, and subjecthood. This is what distinguishes it from the African Nationalism or Africanism that would define African politics from the 1960s to the end of apartheid. In the
British masculinities, pomophobia, and the post-nation
allegedly superior needs, Jimmy’s
leadership would crumble and his claim to heroic status evaporate. As
Osborne’s stage directions indicate, Jimmy’s frantic last-minute attempts
at consolidating his position cannot pre-empt his imminent dematerialisation: ‘He has lost [Alison and Cliff], and he knows it, but he won’t
leave it’ (10).
It seems tempting to read Jimmy’s angry young male struggle for an
anachronistic kind of masculine dominance, already lost to devolutionary processes of ever greater societal diversification, as symptomatic of
the break-up of the British
immigration from Europe and the BritishEmpire, Scotland has
historically and presently an overtly diverse cultural identity. Regardless
of what language or languages are spoken at present, most Scots are
aware of the linguistic diversity of their own backgrounds. A workingclass woman from a post-industrial Ayrshire steel town whose first
language is Scots may share with a middle-class man born in Edinburgh
whose first language is English the fact that each has a great-grandparent who was a native Gaelic speaker. This shows the degree of threat
: Oxford University Press, 2002).
16 Edward Said, Orientalism (London: Pantheon, 1978).
17 Johannes Fabian, Time and the Other: How Anthropology Makes Its Object , foreword Matti Bunzl (New York: Columbia University Press, 2002).
18 Eric Hayot, On Literary Worlds (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2012).
19 Dipesh Chakrabarty, Provincializing Europe (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2000).
20 See Antoinette Burton and Isabel Hofmeyr, ‘Introduction’, in Antoinette Burton and Isabel Hofmeyr (eds), Ten Books That Shaped the BritishEmpire