Innovations and Reproductions in Cultures and Societies
(IRICS) Vienna, 9 - 11 december 2005

<< Die inter- und transdisziplinären Verhältnisse kultureller Vermittlung

Culture and Transgression in Late Colonial British Fiction - A Passage to the Other

Ferenc Zsélyi (Szeged, Kaposvár)



E. M. Forster published his last novel in 1924. His book, A Passage to India has always been considered a "classic” - university curricula have canonized it and there are more than twenty collections of papers that comment solely on this single novel. The problem with this is simply that Forster’s Passage is a strongly anti-British discourse which maps the challenges - and the impossibility - of the meeting of different cultures. An the culture that loses the battle of national discourses is the nationalistic discourse of Great Britain - the novel puts Great into quotation marks: the collision of cultures and nationalisms reveal that political discourses are as much fictional as fiction itself is and "Great” Britain is actually Mean Britain. Political deed - which is usually a speech act - is rhetorical and, consequently, political reality has no reality but rhetoricity. But, then, the reading of fiction is not simply the reception of fiction either, but, rather, a political deed. To read (and to write) is political - fiction reveals its potential of rhetoricizing or recognizing politics. This makes hermeneutics a part of cultural studies. I will also consider some problems of cultural communication in early 20 th century Hungarian fiction.

Innovationen und Reproduktionen in Kulturen und Gesellschaften (IRICS) Wien, 9. bis 11. Dezember 2005

WEBDESIGN: Peter R. Horn 2005-10-11