Ken Goodwin


Although imperial and colonial discourse has existed in English since at least the sixteenth century, reaching extensive proportions in the United States both before and after Independence and in India during the nineteenth century,2 the forms of twentieth-century debate, often called postcolonialism (or, less plausibly, postcolonial theory) have altered in the direction of trying to displace the imperial power, perfidious Albion, from the centre of the discussion and to treat it contumeliously while concentrating on supposed similarities of culture among the colonies and former colonies. An early text for the first of these twentiethcentury trends might be found in the half-hoping, half-despairing lines of W.B. Yeats in ‘Easter, 1916’:



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