Sudesh Mishra. Diaspora Criticism. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2006.

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Sudesh Mishra. Diaspora Criticism. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2006.
  The E uropean Engli sh Messenger 16.2 2007) account of Ma nsfield 's significance to the mode rnist movement (and h er co ntribution to the development of a femi ni st aesthetic) would s urely be be tter inform ed by a discu ssion of her significant later stories, such as " Bliss or "Man'iage a la M ode. The or ga nising principles of the book mean that the s hort storiL~s of S om erville and Ross - not n orma lly thought of as leading modernists -- are awarded as much attention as Mansfie ld's. Mare curio us choi ces are evident in the chapter on the novel. Since this chapte r is the 1920-1929 decade, one might expect some discussion of Joycc s U/Y\  S I S, arguably the s in gle mo st important artefact of mode rnist lit eratu rc, and perhaps Woolf. who, as the c hr o nology reminds us, publi sh ed ja cob s Room, Mrs Dol/ow a\', To the Li ghr house and Orlando dming this period. Instead, after a bri ef account of the impact of Ulysses and a r efe rence to Woolf's Mod ern Fiction, the c hapter examin es in detail I'Orster's Passage to I nd ia and Eli 7.ab et h B owen's The La sr September. Clearly, these novels are worth y of attcntion, and are significant doc uments of the m ode rnist ca non -- but in a volume which purports to be an int roduction to mod ernist literature, it w ould be rea so n ab le to expect more att en t ion to be devoted to th ose writer s whose w ork s are indelibly associated with the c oncept of modernism. This is n ot to suggest that this volum e does not have it: : value. It cl ea rl y do es: the writing is lu cid, and the discussion illuminating, and wel l-informed by recent criticism. TI 1e thiIties chapte r, in particular. which examin es Auden and Isherwood's 011 rhe Fronrier and Orwell' s Homage to Catalonia, is an excellent exa mple of sha rply observed insightful writing. There can n eve r be a complet ely compr ehensive account of moderni sm : it is too various and n eb ul ous for that, but th ere is a place for an intro ductory account . Here, d esp it e the occasional oddit y, the ba sics ar e co vered, and there is also the bonus of u review of recent sc holars hip on the topic . This vo lume, perhaps consciou sly not comp etini with Childs's brief overv iew in Ro utledge's Crit ical Idiom se ri es, or the Blackwell Shorr IllIrodllction by David yer s, lays it self ope n to charges of ecce ntricity. It d oes, however, have a cert ain quirk y c harm , and will ce rtainly complement tho se other volum es , and may even su gge st s om c alterna ti ve I ines of inves ti gation for the stud ent keen to ta ke the road l ess travelle d. Sudesh Mishra Diaspora Criticism Edinburgh: Ed in bu rgh U ni versily Pr e, s. 2006. KOl1stal7lil/(l Geol"[ ,([I1IC1 l {s ~ ow Sco tland , UK ) Diaspora Criricisnl m ark s it s unexpected difference from rel evan t cri ticism ill this palticular fie ld when from the very beginning Sudesh Mishra debates the 'dynamic procession of statem ents' (vi) which ma de up a genre. We arc confronted with a clearing up of term s and interrelated fields whi ch should prevent us from compar ing app les and orange s. In 'Prol og ue to a Gen e ri c Event' ( Ch apter I) M is hr a starts from base one to di ff er entiate the media t ed eve nt witnessed from the pW  i ly of the vouch ed-fo r event that can never be reached. To this purpose, he ju ggles Michel Fo u ca ult, kiln-Fr an <;o is L yotard and Gilles Deleuze to show ho w a chain of stat em ents crea tes the 'eve ntfuln ess of an event' 3), proceed s with Aljun Appadurai and Jacqu es Dc rrida to talk abou t the graphic over dete rmination of a statement that leads to it being perceiv ed as a ~ p t ac   e in a mem ory marked by dijjerance, a nd us er · Fri ed rich ietLsche, M. M. Bakhtill and Alain Badiou to reach the concl us ion t ha t an ov erbearin g amount of different contex ts and witnesses to an even t based on s tructur es of repetition and re. embl ance make the pure event ' ,1n untam eabJe exc reta of si gn senses' (5). Fr om then onward s, an impressive amlY of names appe ar, suc h as Tzvetan T odorov on origins and ge nres, and M aur ice Blaneh ot on rules and their exception s, with whom the wr it er gets invo lv ed in a cons tru ct ive dialogue to purp ort h ow a dur ab le even l with its 'restorative st rain ' ( 12 ) becomes a genre and ca ll s 'diasp oe ti cs' the ,ee/me of his own wi tne ssing of uiaspora and its theorists 14 . ' The Sc ene of Dual T err itor iality' ( Ch a pter 2) addres s es the first in a se ri es of stal e men ts that generate, for Mis hra, the ex emp l ar s of dias pora criticism from the 1980s and I 990s on wa rds. n this sc ene of exe mplifi ca ti on we s ee how 'exe mp la rs seek to acc ount for diasporic subje cts, cult ur es and aest h etic effe cts in term s 01 the s ub j ec tive 'plit betw e en the geo-physica J entities of he re and there, of host land and homeland' 16) L arti n g rrom Gabr iel Sh erre r 's Moderll iJ;as[ ol"Os ;n Illtemotional Politics (J 986) , leading to Robin Cohen's Global Diasporas: Anlllrroducrion (1997). In this Lime span, Mi hra maps the creation of mod ern diaspo re • a new ty pe of socia l speci es, which includ es volunt ar y and involuntary diasporas within Sh cffer 's 'triad ic netw o rk ' of homel and, diaspo ra, and host country, 90  an intluential relatio ll s ;,c hema till even 200 I . The wr it er critici 7 es th e limitations and confus ion s when juxtapos in g eth ni c diasporas on the grounds of issues including language, re li gion, emotional homeland vs. pol iti c al state, th e my th of return and imm ig ra nt soc ie ty , and concluLl es that by 1997 'the :; ce ne of du al territoriality' had playc Ll it se lf ou t, si nce di aspora remain ed ' th e h os til e other of th e homeland' 36). 'The Scene of Situa ti onal Laterality' (Chapter 3 deals with 'the idea of bounded terra in s and the constitutive role play ed by th e tension al split between homeland u nd hosr lan ci in d ia spo rie subject constitution' (1 6 , with Pa ul Gilr oy s T   e lac k Alla nti c: Mo dernit v l d DOl/hlc Con s ciousll css 1 993) as an excmplar. As ea rl y as 1')87, Gilroy had I r g ue d for the repre ss ed non-linear rendering of w es tern modernity refus in g: to equal nation with culture hLIt sugges tin g alternatives in eultun:, rnce, and nation outside absolutist categ or ics. Mishra di sc llsses the wa ys in w hi eh Gilroy's position, then an d in 1993, revealed th e inauel{lJa ci c:, of th e first scene und created a diaspora fralllewurk fur th er supported by th e relevant wo rk of Kobena Mercer on films, Stuart Hall on id entity politics, w hi ch lr av elicd the Atlantic to serve as ' an anti-alllncsiac accu un t oj i.h c complex dirncnsions of power kn owledge thilt shaped what is co mm on ly r . .. ] understood as weste rn mudernity (7 J). The wr it er r e v l ~ als ilim se lfto be loyal to hi :; ' diaspoetic s when he criticizes Gilro y s u topian ethie di ty ' and emphasis on double cO J1  >c io Ll sness (76-77) and moves on te James ~ Iifford s 'history o fr o ur cs /illIs roo ts ' 8 0 to reach th eo ri es of th e hyphen < wei the bord cr. 'The Sce ne of Arc hi va l Spec ifi c it y' (Chapter 4) address s th e i ssue of iIistoriciz in g di asporas in th e mode rn wo rld by looking at th e wo rk of VI ay Mishra on the hreak be tween old exd usi vist a nd new horder Indian diasporas, at Donna R. Gabb ac ia on th e absence of a na ti onal co nsc io usness in Ilal y s diaspo ra s a nd the ir difT erenees on a synchron ic or ve rtic al h is torical plane, and at Blent H ay es Ed wa rd s on th e bl ac k diaspora in th e inter wa r period and dccal agp. This scene offers a break fr om previous comparati ve approaches and a dh eres to historic al contlnUUll1 S set ag ui nst idealist vie ws of diaspora criticis m, of which Mi shra i an insightful reade r. He relates this work to previou, criticism an d f oc u se ~ on th e corc of each part ic ul a ri st approach, th at is , Vi ja y Mish ra \ archaeolo g: y a nd archive, t.h e juridic; lI and em bodied citizen, and the proc ess of hyphenated interpellation, Gahhacia's rejection of the d e ~c ript ion 'Italian ' and h er d isc ont inuity r ra ill ewo rk , 'I nd El. h,van.h s appreciation of hi storic al events and differenc e- genera ti ng co nc epts. The intra-diaspllric analysis conli nul.:s with a sma ll sam pl e of work on ethno-na ti o ll al fr, lcturcs , ne g le cted reI ioious ide nti ties, po litical dime ns ion s, and weste rn \IS. no n- we stern queer pra ·tices in diasporels . 'The Three Pil l ar s of D ia spo ra Criticism' (Chapter 5) beg in s with two of th e basic orbital terills of diaspora, name ly transnationalis l1l and modernit y, and continue, with what Mishra c ull s the Achill s heel of diaspora c riti cL ll , that is, glohaliza ti o n. Th e w riter tri es to l oca te Khaehig o   o ly a n  ~ 't ra nsnational moment' ( Di  s (lom , 19 91) caughl as it is in t he vi c ioll s c ir cle ol na tion-geopolitieal rea lm  SlCIl c all d thus always doomed to upset bounded catego ri es, and challenged by Ill ll de rnity\ ,·patial perc p li on of time and it s c onst lflliy chang in g c pi ta   ~ t equ ili briulll. T he c xe cl l)t 0 11 globali za tion re ad s like a news pa p er column as Mishra be comes Ill ore personally in volve Ll in the criti qLl e of 'nhost globa iis<iti on' ( IS I w hi ch privileges th e powerf ul, an ele lll ent which makes hi s fo ll owing di s cLl ss ion on th e paradox of global economic practices n otic ed by only a few clia~ pur is s becO Il1 ' mure ani ma ted ( hi s champion be in g ppadurai and di sjullc ti ve theory). On th e whole, we cnu Id s ay that Mishr a s book cr it ica lly pre se nts a wealth of co nt l· asting th eorie: to show th e mul ti -functionaliry of cl iaspo ra criticism as we ll as it s in adequac ie s, th e ma in adva nt age of h is writin g: being the fluidity of th e w ri tl'r\ critique th aI s  l cceeds in presenting th e big nu mber of works c vo ted to the study o fd ias p o r a ~ as a chain of eve nts. Andrew McKeown and Charles Holdefe eds. Philip arkin lld the Poetics o Resistall ce Pal·is: L Ha rmattan, 200 6. Gre g Mufl/z( \1 \ ( Wa s hin g loll St{/fC Uni , e rsiry , f S ) The title uncler review consists of selected pap rs originally p rese nted at the first International Conference of Larkin Studies, he ld at th e U ll iv\:rs ity ofPoiti en ; in Se pt e mb e r, 2 004. Contributions include recent Larkin research p ro duced by thirt ee n scholars fm lll Be l gi um, France, Gre at Bri ta in, and Hungary. Overall, the essays reproduced in this volume c onvey a se nse of the r ob u ~ s t~   of Lark in schol, rsh ip , but th ey also represent the consistent ly high qu ality ofe lll crg in g Larkin crit ic ism. T hi s Ll ual 91
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