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The arts of empire : the poetics of colonialism from Raleigh to Milton /
Walter S.H. Lim.
Newark : University of Delaware Press ; London : Associated University Presses, c1998.
275 p. ; 24 cm.
0874136415 (alk. paper)
More Details
Newark : University of Delaware Press ; London : Associated University Presses, c1998.
0874136415 (alk. paper)
catalogue key
Includes bibliographical references (p. 261-270) and index.
A Look Inside
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Choice on 1998-12:
Postcolonial discourse theory has spawned a rash of books seeking to explain and discredit British imperialism. For example, scholars in many fields examine the formation (or manipulation) of public sentiment that fostered Britain's global power: in education, J.A. Mangan (editor of Making Imperial Mentalities, 1990); in travel writing, Mary Louise Pratt (Imperial Eyes, CH, Oct'92); and in photography, James Ryan (Picturing Empire, CH, Oct'98). "Power" is the watchword. Lim (National Univ., Singapore) examines "nascent imperialist discourse." He evaluates Ralegh, Donne, Shakespeare, Spenser, and Milton as spokesmen of their "culture's latent colonial desire." The Tempest is a veritable imperialist tract. Milton endorsed imperialist policy in Ireland but then rejected English expansionism because the nation repudiated God's own Commonwealth. Postcolonial discourse analysis (even when, as in Lim's book, the documentation is exemplary) operates with generalizations that invite stereotyping and make historical detail seem arbitrary. The dubious logic: If England developed the world's biggest empire, then Englishmen (and Englishwomen?) must have had peculiarly imperialistic aptitudes, and English poets must inevitably have encouraged these aptitudes by underwriting the nation's colonial ambitions. Maybe so. But for the purpose of literary criticism, such sociological determinism is no more (or less) valid than Freudian determinism earlier in the 20th century. Not for undergraduates. D. H. Stewart; emeritus, Texas A&M University
This item was reviewed in:
Choice, December 1998
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Unpaid Annotation
Focusing on Ireland and the New World -- the two central colonial projects of Elizabethan and Stuart England -- this book explores the emergings of a colonialist consciousness in the writing and political workings of the English Renaissance. The literary production of the period engaged England's settlement of colonies in the New World and its colonial designs in Ireland by offering multiple perspectives in constant collision and negotiation.
Table of Contents
Acknowledgmentsp. 9
Introductionp. 13
"To Seeke New Worlds": Ralegh's The Discoverie of Guiana, Subjectivity, and the Politics of Colonial Expansionp. 31
"Let Us Possess One World": John Donne, Rationalizing Theology, and the Discourse of Virginiap. 64
"More Faire Than Black": Othello and the Discourse of Race Relations in Elizabethan Englandp. 104
Figuring Justice: Imperial Ideology and the Discourse of Colonialism in Book 5 of The Faerie Queene and A View of the Present State of Irelandp. 142
"Space May Produce New Worlds": Theological Imperialism and the Poetics of Colonialism in Paradise Lost, Paradise Regained, and Samson Agonistesp. 194
Notesp. 242
Works Citedp. 261
Indexp. 271
Table of Contents provided by Blackwell. All Rights Reserved.

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