From New National to World Literature

Essays and Reviews

Bruce King

ibidem Press

From New National to World Literature

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Pub Date: August 2016

ISBN: 9783838208763

660 Pages

Format: Hardcover

List Price: $110.00

From New National to World Literature

Essays and Reviews

Bruce King

ibidem Press

From New National to World English Literature offers a personal perspective on the evolution of a major cultural movement that began with decolonization, continued with the assertion of African, West Indian, Commonwealth, and other literatures, and has evolved through postcolonial to world or international English literature. Bruce King, one of the pioneers in the study of the new national literatures and still an active literary critic, discusses the personalities, writers, issues, and contexts of what he considers the most important change in culture since modernism. In this selection of forty-five essays and reviews, King discusses issues such as the emergence and aesthetics of African literature, the question of the existence of a "Nigerian literature", the place of the new universities in decolonizing culture, the contrasting models of American and Irish literatures, and the changing nature of exile and diasporas. He emphasizes themes such as traditionalism versus modernism, the dangers of cultural assertion, and the relationships between nationalism and internationalism. Special attention is given to Nigerian, West Indian, Australian, Indian, and Pakistani literature.
[Bruce King's] critical gaze, never fashionable, always up close and engaged, can be so penetrating of the text and illuminating of context that all writers wish that gaze were turned more often on their works. His collection of essays, wide ranging and present at the inception of all the important currents in post-colonial thought, is a cause for celebration. Fred D'Aguiar, University of California
Impressive in range, scope and insight, these articles are still on the cutting edge of criticism… This collection of essays is a must-read for anyone interested in World English literatures. By mapping the genealogy of a developing body of literature and of its corresponding critical field in the making, it also represents an invaluable contribution to literary history. Laetitia Zecchini, Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, Sciences Humaines, Paris
This is a pioneering book of essays. Dr. King could well be the Dr. Livingstone of World English Literature. Arvind Krishna Mehrotra

About the Author

Bruce King, an American, lives in Paris. He has held positions, including distinguished professorships, at universities in Canada, England, France, Germany, Israel, New Zealand, Nigeria, Scotland, and the United States. His many publications include New English Literatures: Cultural Nationalism in a Changing World (1980), Modern Indian Poetry in English (1987, revised 2001), Three Indian Poets (1991, revised 2005), V S Naipaul (1993, revised 2003), Derek Walcott and West Indian Drama (1995), Derek Walcott: A Caribbean Life (2000), The Internationalization of English Literature (2004), and ReWriting India (2014).