Analysis of "Commonwealth Literature Does Not Exist"

People from what two countries are specifically not included as commonwealth writers?
Britian & US

What is Rushdie’s tone at the start of Commonwealth Lit DNE?

What story does Rushdie open Commonwealth Lit DNE with?
his experience at a seminar where he was assured that “English studies are taken to include Commonwealth Literature”

What does Rushdie compare the separation of English and Commonwealth literature to? (3 things)
squabbling children, sexually incompatible pandas, unstable materials whose union might cause explosions

What is one specific example Rushdie uses to emphasize the absurdity of “Commonwealth writers”?
“it is a school of literature whose supposed members deny vehemently that they belong to it.

What does Rushdie realize at the Commonwealth literature conference?
the differences between Commonwealth writers are more significant than their similarities

What did Rushdie originally think was the definition of English literature?
all the literature of the English language

How does Rushdie describe the current condition of English literature?
“something topographical, nationalistic, possibly even racially segregationist.

What does the classification of “Commonwealth writers” create?
a ghetto

What is one advantage of English as a language in India (specifically South India)?
it can “permit two Indians to talk to each other in a tongue which neither party hates” & does not show preference for any specific group or region of India.

Which “cult” has plagued the Indian English novel?
“The Cult of Authenticity”

Who echoes Rushdie’s laments about “authenticity” in English Indian writing?
Vikram Chandra

What does Rushdie call the “essence of Indian culture”
Eclecticism (the ability to take from the world what seems fitting and leave the rest)

What does Rushdie consider a “real” theory?
the commonality of literature emerging from less powerful (or powerless) regions of the world

What makes this theory real to Rushdie?
it is bounded by imaginative frontiers rather than political or linguistic ones

What is Rushdie’s central point?
the categorization of writers should be based on “imaginative affinities” rather than being guided by linguistic or national boundaries

What is the advantage of these imaginative boundaries and groupings?
they more accurately reflect the realities of our modern interconnected world and avoid oversimplification

Why would studying all English literatures together put Eng.

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Lit in a better shape than ever before?

the world language would posses a world literature (proliferating in every conceivable direction…)

What poem by whom does Rushdie reference at the end of Commonwealth Lit DNE?
“The Second Coming” by William Butler Yeats

When did William Butler Yeats write “The Second Coming”? (an era, not a date)
aftermath of the First World War

Why did William Butler Yeats write “The Second Coming”?
as a lament for the end of an era and a requiem for the downfall of Western/European civilization

What tone does Rushdie’s reference to Yeats have at the end of Commonwealth Lit DNE?
“tongue-in-cheek” or mocking

Why does Rushdie reference Yeats despite disagreeing with him?
to address those chauvinistic (patriotic, nationalistic, etc) enough to feel as though Eng lit should only include “works by white Anglo-Saxon British-born writers” by making fun of them

How does Rushdie view what Yeats would call the “end of an era”?
“the beginning of a new age” (where English literature is expansive and includes works by writers from various backgrounds)

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Analysis of "Commonwealth Literature Does Not Exist". (2018, Jan 26). Retrieved from

Analysis of "Commonwealth Literature Does Not Exist"
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