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He argues, in this light, that in postwar fiction nationalism has been replaced by the topos of exile, its opposite. ”2 Hence, the strategy of keeping exile historical (or collective) and imaginatively real (or dialectical) in the “national” sense—one of the main goals of the New World African trickster—has been weakened. S. discipline poised, paradoxically, against every nationalism other than its own, the origins of the figure clearly go back to the early period of decolonization in which the struggles for national liberation in the decolonizing world had reached a decisive stage.
16 Socialist Joy in the Writing of Langston Hughes jan writer George Lamming published in London his seminal book of essays, The Pleasures of Exile. , the experience of exile in the Caribbean inspired an antagonistic redefinition of nationalism itself and a celebration of exile’s possibilities for the future. ”3 As Perry Anderson has shown in his perspicacious and influential analysis of nation forming and emigration, “Components of the National Culture,” it was exactly this kind of opaque worldliness that the exiles of Europe were desperately trying to elude.
This same idea about the sundry political valences of exile was advanced by Lamming more than three decades ago in The Pleasures of Exile. ” The question for Lamming was how to avoid exile by becoming aware of its root causes and social effects, since the experience was both a product of colonialist oppression and part of what he termed “the old blackmail of Language”: empire’s “language gift” of parliamentary democracy to its former colonial possessions. In the closing paragraphs, he offers a solution: To be colonial is to be in a state of exile.