Ideologies of Epic: Nation, Empire and Victorian Epic Poetry

Ideologies of Epic: Nation, Empire and Victorian Epic Poetry

by Colin Graham, Graham


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Ideologies of Epic examines the cultural and national politics of the epic poem in the imperial context of the Victorian period. Taking Bakhtin's previously overlooked theory of epic as a national and monologic form, the author tests and adapts Bakhtin's ideas through a discussion of the meeting of colonial discourses in epic poems originating from England, Ireland and India. Through analysis of the work of three poets, Tennyson, Samuel Ferguson and Edwin Arnold, this book shows how epic as a form attaches itself to and constructs ideas of nationality and argues that when these national forms are placed in the heterogeneous contexts of empire, the "nationality" of epic is called into question. The result is a series of texts which strive for formal and cultural authority but which can be read instead as revealing moments of doubt, weakness and instability in the cultures and the politics they seek to represent.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780719052859
Publisher: Manchester University Press
Publication date: 06/28/1998
Pages: 304
Product dimensions: 5.59(w) x 8.73(h) x 0.77(d)

Table of Contents

2Tennyson, empire and epic25
3Idylls of the King47
4Samuel Ferguson: negotiating a place for Irish epic73
6Edwin Arnold: imperialism and Indian epic123
7Indian Idylls, The Song Celestial148

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