Diana Brydon


It is a commonplace of criticism in the new literatures in English that colonial writers experienced difficulty in adapting the English language and English literary forms to the very different natural environments they experienced in all parts of the Commonwealth. Anglocentric attitudes dictated the belief that Australia was the antipodes, the reverse of the true and Northern hemisphere, that North America was a wilderness that must be turned into a garden, that India and Africa were heathen to be converted or savage to be tamed. The native inhabitants of these countries were viewed as part of their barbaric landscapes, equally in need of change to meet English standards. Finally, an imported and in the colonial context an ossifying, Romantic tradition prevented immigrants and the native-born alike from seeing their natural environments with native eyes. As the chief representative of this Romantic tradition, Wordsworth looms large.



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