Romanticism and Aesthetic Life in Postcolonial Writing

  • Philip Dickinson

Table of contents

About this book


This book explores Romanticism as a force that exerts an insistent but critically-neglected pressure on the postcolonial imagination. From the decolonizing poetics of the Caribbean to the white writing of South Africa, from the aesthetics of post-imperial disappointment to postcolonial theory itself, it develops an account of the textual and philosophical interpenetration of postcolonial aesthetics with Romantic ideas about sense, history and world.

What emerges is a reading of Romantic/postcolonial co-involvement that moves beyond well-worn models of intercanonical antagonism and the historicizing biases of conventional literary history. Caught somewhere between the effects of reanimation and estrangement, Romanticism appears here not as a stable textual repository prior to the postcolonial, but as echo, spectre, self-interruption, or vital force, that can yet only emerge in the guise of the afterlife, its agency mediated — but never exhausted — by postcolonial writing.


J. M. Coetzee Gayatri Spivak Jamaica Kincaid Derek Walcott George Lamming V. S. Naipaul Anita Desai

Authors and affiliations

  • Philip Dickinson
    • 1
  1. 1.Lancaster UniversityLancasterUnited Kingdom

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