England: a Country of the Mind
We all live in actual places, but we all equally inhabit, imaginatively, countries of the mind. I was born in a small town called Portadown, in County Armagh, and lived there until I was 21. I want to talk about the various ways in which I have been possessed by imaginative senses of England, a country which in some ways seemed more real to me than the Northern Ireland I grew up in. Inevitably, I will be talking about the effects of cultural imperialism on me, as an Irishman, but I hope to avoid the Hibernian tone so deftly characterised by Evelyn Waugh, when he spoke of the Irishman as ‘carrying everywhere with him his ancient rancour and the melancholy of the bogs’. Perhaps, too, what I say may be of interest for the light it throws on the complexities of cultural arrangements and accommodations within the tiny archipelago which is called the British Isles.
KeywordsCultural Imperialism News Bulletin Cultural Nationalism Home Rule Irish Language
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