ABSTRACT

Bhabha, in his preface, writes 'Nations, like narratives, lose their origins in the myths of time and only fully encounter their horizons in the mind's eye'.

From this seemingly impossibly metaphorical beginning, this volume confronts the realities of the concept of nationhood as it is lived and the profound ambivalence of language as it is written. From Gillian Beer's reading of Virginia Woolf, Rachel Bowlby's cultural history of Uncle Tom's Cabin and Francis Mulhern's study of Leaviste's 'English ethics'; to Doris Sommer's study of the 'magical realism' of Latin American fiction and Sneja Gunew's analysis of Australian writing, Nation and Narration is a celebration of the fact that English is no longer an English national consciousness, which is not nationalist, but is the only thing that will give us an international dimension.

chapter 1|7 pages

Introduction: narrating the nation

chapter 2|15 pages

What is a nation?

chapter 4|27 pages

The national longing for form

chapter 14|15 pages

English reading