Cover

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Contents

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pp. ix-x

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Acknowledgments

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pp. xi-xii

This book was written with the assistance of fellowships from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, travel funding from the Ford Foundation, and, at the very end, a grant from the Arts Research Board at McMaster University. ...

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Introduction: The Politics of Postcolonial Nationalist Literature

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pp. 1-21

At the confluence of these quotations from the writer José Martí and the philosopher Paul Ricoeur it is possible to locate both the highest hopes for literature in the formerly colonized world, as well as the most serious challenge to the attainment of these hopes. For Martí, literature is an important sign of the existence of the nation; ...

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1. The Nation as Problem and Possibility

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pp. 22-64

The nation and literature have had a long history together. The intimate connection between land and community that is the foundation of the link between the geographical and cultural specificity of the nation is often traced back to Romanticism, and in particular, to the writings of Johann Gottfried Herder.1 ...

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2. Caribbean Space: Lamming, Naipaul, and Federation

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pp. 65-115

Any account of West Indian literature seems to have at its core the question of exile. This is in part because discussions of Caribbean literature have centered to a very large degree on the major writers of the ‘‘boom’’ period of the 1950s and 1960s, the majority of whom spent these decades in England in a condition of self-imposed exile. ...

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3. The Novel after the Nation: Nigeria after Biafra

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pp. 116-151

Basil Davidson, the preeminent contemporary historian of Africa, has described the nation as ‘‘the black man’s burden.’’1 His discussion of the development of nations and nationalisms in Africa in the twentieth century follows what has become an entirely familiar way of characterizing recent African history: ...

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4. The Persistence of the Nation: Literature and Criticism in Canada

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pp. 152-198

In the decades following World War II, the Canadian federal government began an ambitious series of programs whose intention was to identify, foster, protect, and develop Canadian culture in order to assert and maintain Canadian political sovereignty. The period from 1950 to 1970 witnessed the implementation and completion of a number of projects ...

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Conclusion: National Culture and Globalization

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pp. 199-208

In this book I have focused on the different ways in which the notion of the nation has been taken up as an issue for literary production in three postcolonial situations. I argued that the literature and criticism of the period most commonly associated with an explicit nationalism in the projects of political and literary decolonization ...

Notes

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pp. 209-236

Index

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pp. 237-245