Comedy, Fantasy and Colonialism provides a unique insight into the ways in which comedy and fantasy operate in colonial societies. For both the colonized and the colonizers, comic and fantastic modes of story-telling, cultural exchange and social activity are shown to form an essential part of dealing iwht national and personal identity, independence, imperial power and social order. Drawing together for the first time original work from international specialists, this book assesses the role and character of comedy and fantasy in colonial societies from India to Ireland, Australia to Cuba, Africa to North America, with cross-cultural comparisons and consideration of both imperial responses and colonised resistance. The book deals with oral and written traditions, the history of comic and fantastic discourse, visual, theatrical and literary representations, as well as historical and cultural accounts. Comedy, Fantasy and Colonialism answers such questions as 'What are the differing traditions of comic discourse in Western and non-Western societies?' 'How are comedy and fantasy culture-specific?' 'In what ways do local traditions of comedy and fantasy adapt to imperial invasion?' 'How have colonisers used comedy to deal with unfamiliar and sometimes hostile conditions?' and 'What is the relationship between the fantastic, the parodic and the satirical in the creation of a sense of national character?' Graeme Harper is Director of the Centre for the Creative and Performing Arts at the University of Wales, Bangor, and research leader for a number of international programmes on national and cultural identity.
What we are presented with here is a collection of essays that address various literary texts which might be understood, in some way or another, to fall under the banner of (post-) colonial writing. The thirteen essays presented here do, each in their own way, offer insights Each taken on their own, they are of interest and do raise important questions for the study of literature and its reception. That said, as a work of reference, to dip in and out of, depending on one s interest, there is a great deal of value on offer here. Calum Neill, Janus Head 7.1, 2004