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By Imre Szeman

Attempts through writers and intellectuals in former colonies to create detailed nationwide cultures are usually thwarted by way of a context of world modernity, which discourages particularity and strong point. In describing volatile social and political cultures, such ''third-world intellectuals'' frequently locate themselves torn among the competing literary specifications of the ''local'' tradition of the colony and the cosmopolitan, ''world'' tradition brought by way of Western civilization.

In Zones of Instability, Imre Szeman examines the complicated courting among literature and politics via exploring the creation of nationalist literature within the former British empire. Taking as his case reviews the areas of the British Caribbean, Nigeria, and Canada, Szeman analyzes the paintings of authors for whom the assumption of the''nation'' and literature are inexorably entwined, resembling Chinua Achebe, Wole Soyinka, C.L.R. James, Frantz Fanon, and V.S. Naipaul. Szeman specializes in literature created within the twenty years after global conflict II, many years within which the long run clients for plenty of colonies went from severe political optimism to severe political sadness. He reveals that the ''nation'' may be learn as that house during which literature is assumed on the way to conjoin issues that background has separated -- the author and the people.

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Additional info for Zones of Instability: Literature, Postcolonialism, and the Nation

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The physical proximity and cultural similarities of the United States and Canada made the threat appear even greater: the encroachment of Americanization cum modernity had to be resisted at all costs to preserve what was specifically Canadian, even if what this might be was only to be decided in the very process of resistance. Given the extent to which this process of Americanization was felt to be a threat, and, perhaps more important, given Canada’s far greater economic resources, it is perhaps no surprise that while in Nigeria and the Caribbean the task of producing a national culture fell to intellectuals and writers, in Canada the state itself was actively involved in the production of the Canadian nation during the period from 1945 to 1970.

Originally delivered to the Second Congress of Black Artists in Rome in 1959, which was attended by such internationally prominent intellectuals as Langston Hughes, Pablo Neruda, and Nicolás Guillen, and later published as a chapter of The Wretched of the Earth (1963), it has been an influential and formative text in establishing the framework for the study of postimperial and postcolonial culture and cultural production. As is perhaps most clearly visible in Black Skin, White Masks,≥Ω Fanon emphasizes throughout his work the ways in which colonialism and imperialism operate through a form of cultural exploitation and degradation just as much as through the political and economic control of the colonies by their colonial masters.

This process reaches its apotheosis in Canada, which in 1971, after decades of intensive debate about Canadian nationalism and Canadian identity, became the first country in the world to declare itself to be ‘‘officially’’ a multicultural state, that is, to proclaim an identity of nonidentity, at least insofar as identity is normally configured within the nation. While Canada did not undergo a process of political decolonization in the same way as Nigeria or the Caribbean states did in the 1960s (indeed, it could be argued that Canada experienced intensified cultural and economic imperialism), and while the issue of space in Canadian politics and literature has a much longer tradition than in either of my other two cases (being a theme taken up by both Harold Innis and Marshall McLuhan), it is significant that anxiety over the tenuous existence of the Canadian nation also reached a peak in the decades following World War II.

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