[lit-ideas] Re: England good at "incorporating" immigrants

  • From: Jlsperanza@xxxxxxx
  • To: lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Tue, 26 Apr 2011 13:56:33 EDT

In a message dated 4/26/2011 1:18:26 P.M. ,  lawrencehelm@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx  

For the record
L. K. Helm is quoting from B. King, "The Oxford English Literary  History", 
Section, 'The Internationalization of English Literature'. 
Page 1: 
“During the second half of the twentieth century the literature of England  
went through a major change... Unlike previous period changes this one had 
its  basis in a large influx of peoples from elsewhere. ... If the nation 
seemed to  be withdrawing into a "little England" [scare quotes mine. JLS] of 
post-imperial  dreariness and irritation, having a diminished relationship 
to Europe and the  United States, or fragmenting into micro-nationalisms, the 
new immigrants made  English literature international in other ways than it 
had been during the  Empire." --- interesting here to consider, then, 
"LITTLE England" versus "GREAT  Britain". I once read that "Great", in "Great 
Britain", and I actually believe  this, the sailor in me, is due to a sailor's 
chart: there are two Britains, or  two British Isles: Britannia Maiora -- 
("Great" or "Major" Britain) and  "Britannia Minora", or Minor England, or 
Hibernia, or Ireland. This survives in  the official name of the country (never 
"The Queen of Great Britain and Northern Ireland" -- this expression seems  
to ENTAIL, rather than 'implicate' that Northern Ireland is not part of 
"Great  Britain" -- since it's a bit of the OTHER island. Surely someone born 
in County  Antrim can call herself a "Brit", as she is, because it's part of 
"minor"  Britain. 
As student of history, and teacher of history, D. Ritchie, born north of  
the Tweed, etc., may perhaps expand on the very specific dating of the 
creation  of "Britain" qua Empire, when, the last "King" or Queen of England 
became King  or Queen of the "Union" of England-cum-Scotland. 
J. Evans, b. Bath, but with connections with Wales can even perhaps expand  
on a perhaps EARLIER 'assimilation' between the Dragon of St. Davis of 
Cymru  (which does not, alas, feature in the _flag_ of "Great Britain" as the 
Cross of  St. Andrew or the Cross of St. Patrick, do, along with England's St. 
George) and  England. Again, with monarchical matters, "You will have a 
king that does not  speak Welsh" -- Edward I and II -- Edward II being too 
young to speak either  Welsh or English for that matter. And so on.
So, I find the emergence of historical facts so rich and glorious in good  
Old England to just focus on what happened post the Coronation of Queen  
Elizabeth II --. But I agree with Burgess, in his "History of English  
Literature" that this is best seen as "Elizabethan Literature". "New 
era" of English literature.
Helm goes on to quote from King:
""England" [scare quotes mine -- not "Wales", or "Scotland", or "Ireland",  
which have, according to Bruce, their own 'literatures'] was once more at 
the  centre of significant developments, and as England became multiracial 
and  multicultural the claim that they do things better in France no longer  
I would need a listing. There was a recent prohibition in Paris to 'dress  
as a Muslim' for a woman. The reporter went: "In France you can strip your  
breast in Saint Tropez, but not hide your face in Notre Dame", or something. 
I  found it a good example of a zeugma. Or not.
"England was much better at incorporating people than most of  Europe.""
The present concern with refugees passing from Liguria to Menton (and  
Paris, in their six-month 'visas' to "visit relations") is causing problems 
 the "Union" itself, so perhaps King should not generalise, "England" vs 
the  "Continent", since there are shades of 'how good or bad at incorporating' 
stuff  people are. 
Assimilate is perhaps wrong -- since it presupposes 'similar'; incorporate  
is perhaps bad, too, in that 'corpus', in Latin, meant _dead body_? And so  
----- The Swimming-Pool Library, --- reading.
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