Empire, the National, and the Postcolonial, 1890-1920: Resistance in Interaction
This book explores the political co-operations and textual connections which linked anti-colonial, nationalist, and modernist groups and individuals in the empire in the years 1890-1920. By developing the key motifs of lateral interaction and colonial interdiscursivity, this book builds a picture of the imperial world as an intricate network of surprising contacts and margin-to-margin interrelationships, and of modernism as a far more constellated cultural phenomenon than previously understood. Individual case studies consider Irish support for the Boers in 1899-1902, the path-breaking radical partnership of the Englishwoman Sister Nivedita and the Bengali extremist Aurobindo Ghose, Sol Plaatje's conflicted South African nationalism, and the cross-border, cosmopolitan involvements of W. B. Yeats, Rabindranath Tagore, and Leonard Woolf. Underlining Frantz Fanon's perception that ‘a colonized people is not alone’, the book significantly questions prevailing postcolonial paradigms of the self-defining nation, syncretism and mimicry, and dismantles still-dominant binary definitions of the colonial relationship.