Nation shall speak ...
- "Nations, like narrative, lose their origins in the myths of time and only fully realize their horizons in
the mind's eye", Homi K. Bhabha
- "Nationalism has been a powerful source of inspiration in the arts; it
formed one of the dynamic elements of
Romanticism in 18th century Europe",
Bullock et al, "The Fontana Dictionary of Modern Thought".
- Heritage, language and
economics help characterise a
The web weakens all these bonds
(passwords becoming as important as passports), though
technological developments like satellite TV and cheap transnational
transportation have eroded
nationhood at least as much. When historical nationhood
weakens it can be replaced by tribalism, city-states
or transnational identification with others of one's generation.
- "The nation, according to the new ideology of nationism ... is not
defined mainly by what its citizens want it to be but by reference to
the Other", Denis MacShane, Critical Quarterly V40.4, p.119.
- Where a nation or culture has not acquired its own state, or the boundaries of
distinct cultures fail to coincide with state boundaries, the WWW
can help to define allegiances, disassociating culture from location.
In times of war, independence or cultural renewal, nationhood can have a
effect on writers, providing if nothing else energy and an environment
conducive to change. Those from postcolonial nations are more likely to be
emerging from a struggle that has established conflicting identities -
the individual/familial versus the state-imposed, tradition versus
technology. Neil Corcoron in "English Poetry since 1940" points out that
in the immediate post-war period, English poetry became affected by issues
surrounding national identity.
- "what happens in poetry of the 1980s is ... that a view of England
as a nation seems impossible",
- "We are still the inheritors of [the] style by which one is defined by the
nation, which in turn derives its authority from a supposedly unbroken
... the battle within [American identity] is between advocates of a unitary
identity and those who see the whole as a complex but not reductively
unified one. This opposition implies two different perspectives, two
histiographies, one linear and subsuming, the other contrapuntal and
nomadic." (Edward Said, Culture and Imperialism, xxviii,xxix)
- "Nationalism with the exception of anti-colonial movements, is based
around a conservative and sometimes romantic political philosophy that
emphasizes the nation's past", Cambridge Encyclopedia (2nd edition),
- Paper-based literature already mirrors these
re-negotiations of local
allegiance. Rather than looking back into a state's past art, the WWW is
expanding to become the state of the art method of cementing alliances.