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‘The hollow shell of nationality’: Competing nationalisms and the emergence of dictatorship in David Caute’s At Fever Pitch

Whittle, Matthew (2014) ‘The hollow shell of nationality’: Competing nationalisms and the emergence of dictatorship in David Caute’s At Fever Pitch. In: Writing Difference: Nationalism, Literature and Identity. Atlantic Books, New Delhi, pp. 189-210. ISBN 978-81-269-1938-3.

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Abstract

In its depiction of the hijacking of the African nationalist movement by a self-serving African middle-class, David Caute’s At Fever Pitch (1959) disrupts unilinear conceptions of British literature of decolonisation and complicates contemporary postcolonial debates around nationalist ideology and practice. Synchronic and diachronic accounts of British literature and the end of Empire have tended to focus on a shared preoccupation with imperial retrenchment (Taylor 1993, Sinfield 1997: 2004, Esty 2004), while the re-emergence of regionalism and state control in developing countries since decolonisation has led many postcolonial critics to view nationalism, as Laura Chrisman holds, as ‘inherently dominatory, absolutist, essentialist and destructive’ (2004: 183). In At Fever Pitch, however, Caute foregrounds the complex transition to independence in Africa and depicts the emergence of a totalitarian form of nationalism as a legacy of British colonial rule.

Item Type: Book section
Uncontrolled keywords: African decolonisation, end of empire, Frantz Fanon, David Caute
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 14:51 UTC
Last Modified: 29 May 2019 19:37 UTC
Resource URI: https://kar.kent.ac.uk/id/eprint/63716 (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
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