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Reverse imperialism: invasion narratives in English turn-of-the-century fiction


Frank, Michael C (2009). Reverse imperialism: invasion narratives in English turn-of-the-century fiction. In: Knellwolf King, Christa; Rubik, Margarete. Stories of Empire: narrative strategies for the legitimation of an imperial world order. Trier: Wissenschaftlicher Verlag Trier, 69-91.

Abstract

Towards the end of the nineteenth century, various literary texts presented scenarios of "reverse imperialism", envisioning England as the target of foreign incursion and domination by foes as diverse as the German army, an undead Transylvanian count, or extraterrestrial beings. As fantastic as they may appear, these invasion narratives bring to light uncertainties, doubts, and anxieties that were usually suppressed by imperial discourse. In doing so, they indicate that the narrativization of Empire was more discontinuous, ambivalent, and polyphonic than a widespread post-Saidian conception of "discourse" (as a monolithic force encompassing all Western literature, regardless of genre or other factors) would seem to suggest. The novels investigated here counter the dominant narrative of the Briton as conqueror with scenarios of invasion from without and/or subversion from within, thus illustrating how strongly imperial discourse is shaped by literary genres and their characteristic structures.

Abstract

Towards the end of the nineteenth century, various literary texts presented scenarios of "reverse imperialism", envisioning England as the target of foreign incursion and domination by foes as diverse as the German army, an undead Transylvanian count, or extraterrestrial beings. As fantastic as they may appear, these invasion narratives bring to light uncertainties, doubts, and anxieties that were usually suppressed by imperial discourse. In doing so, they indicate that the narrativization of Empire was more discontinuous, ambivalent, and polyphonic than a widespread post-Saidian conception of "discourse" (as a monolithic force encompassing all Western literature, regardless of genre or other factors) would seem to suggest. The novels investigated here counter the dominant narrative of the Briton as conqueror with scenarios of invasion from without and/or subversion from within, thus illustrating how strongly imperial discourse is shaped by literary genres and their characteristic structures.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Book Section, not_refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:06 Faculty of Arts > English Department
Dewey Decimal Classification:820 English & Old English literatures
Language:English
Date:17 March 2009
Deposited On:12 Nov 2019 16:01
Last Modified:10 Jul 2020 07:37
Publisher:Wissenschaftlicher Verlag Trier
Series Name:Studien zur Englischen Literatur- und Kulturwissenschaft
Number:33
ISBN:978-3-86821-074-3
OA Status:Green
Related URLs:http://www.wvttrier.de/top/Beschreibungen/ID1028.html (Publisher)
https://www.recherche-portal.ch/primo-explore/fulldisplay?docid=ebi01_prod005823802&context=L&vid=ZAD&search_scope=default_scope&tab=default_tab&lang=de_DE (Library Catalogue)

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