“These dogs will do as we say”: African nationalism in the era of decolonization in David Caute’s At Fever Pitch and Frantz Fanon’s The Wretched of the Earth

Whittle, Matthew (2014) “These dogs will do as we say”: African nationalism in the era of decolonization in David Caute’s At Fever Pitch and Frantz Fanon’s The Wretched of the Earth. Journal of Postcolonial Writing, 51 (3). pp. 269-282. ISSN 1744-9855. E-ISSN 1744-9863. (doi:10.1080/17449855.2014.968289)

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Abstract

This article examines responses to the impact of colonialism on post-independence national unity in Africa from the perspective of the colonizer and the colonized. Written out of experience of decolonization in Ghana, At Fever Pitch, published in 1959 by the British novelist David Caute, depicts western models of economic development and nationhood as derailing the emancipatory possibilities of colonial self-determination. It is a preoccupation that was also central to anti-colonial political thought during the era of decolonization, most notably in Frantz Fanon’s The Wretched of the Earth (1965), and would become highly contested in the field of postcolonial studies. Rather than viewing the perspectives of the colonizer as fundamentally antithetical to postcolonial politics, this article analyses the way in which Caute and Fanon mount two distinct but not oppositional critical responses to the transfer of power from European imperial elites to a self-interested national middle class. By attending to the form of At Fever Pitch, moreover, this paper will register the extent to which Caute’s intervention into debates about the rise of nationalism in the colonies disrupts prevailing interpretations of British “end of Empire” fiction as mourning the end to British colonial dominance.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.1080/17449855.2014.968289
Uncontrolled keywords: African decolonization, David Caute, Frantz Fanon, nationalism, the end of empire
Subjects: P Language and Literature
P Language and Literature > PR English literature
Divisions: Faculties > Humanities > School of English
Faculties > Humanities > School of English > Centre for Colonial and Postcolonial Research
Depositing User: Matthew Whittle
Date Deposited: 03 Oct 2017 14:36 UTC
Last Modified: 29 May 2019 19:36 UTC
Resource URI: https://kar.kent.ac.uk/id/eprint/63713 (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
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