Desiring Postcolonial Britain: Genre Fiction since "The Satanic Verses".

Post, Sarah (2012) Desiring Postcolonial Britain: Genre Fiction since "The Satanic Verses". PhD thesis, UNSPECIFIED.

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This thesis argues that the disciplines of genre studies and postcolonial criticism can usefully be brought to bear upon one other in order to interrogate constructions of Britishness in contemporary fiction. I understand Britain as a postcolonial country and attempt to rectify the frequent sidelining of genre fiction from criticism of postcolonial literature by opening up discussion of a wider range of postcolonial authors and topics. Contrary to popular understandings of genre that tend to operate around rules and conventions, I define genres according to the sets of desires that they engage with, such as fear, lust or consumerism. The overarching questions that I ask of the texts and films regard the negotiation, repression and expression of desires related to hopes and fears about postcolonial Britain and variously expressed through the genres of Bildungsroman, Gothic, comedy, national romance and subcultural urban fiction. This thesis uniquely combines postcolonial theory, genre criticism, psychoanalytic and economic constructions of desire, and contemporary literature, in order to analyse contemporary constructions of Britishness. Each chapter begins with analysis of Salman Rushdie's The Satanic Verses (1988), the publication of which created a violent collision between ideas of Britishness, immigration, politics and fiction. By considering The Satanic Verses in relation to genres in which it participates - allowing the text to speak as a work of fiction, rather than polemic tract appropriated to suit the agendas of rival ideologies - I shift the parameters of critique and breathe new life into debates surrounding the text. This has the added benefit of illustrating how even the most prestigious postcolonial novels participate in genres, and in doing so concurrently raises the profile of postcolonial genre studies.

Item Type:
Thesis (PhD)
Additional Information:
Thesis (Ph.D.)--Lancaster University (United Kingdom), 2012.
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Deposited On:
02 May 2019 16:36
Last Modified:
12 Sep 2023 00:36