This verse-essay takes the form of a dramatic monologue imagined as spoken by a political refugee from a country torn by civil strife since its deliverance from British colonial rule. His reflections range over history, politics, his family’s sufferings during that enforced flight, and their hostile reception in Britain. He also talks about his highly ambivalent, or drastically polarized, attitude to British culture, especially the university education in English Literature and cultural theory that the speaker has received and that fills him, now, with a mixture of pride, shame, and a resolve to turn it back against his literary mentors. Most prominent of them is T.S. Eliot who stands for everything he finds most repulsive in that culture along with everything most subtly alluring. Eliot’s popular ‘Journey of the Magi’ comes in here as a prominent intertext and a source of numerous ironic contrasts with the speaker’s current situation.
Copyright (c) 2020 Christopher Norris
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