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Martin Amis, neo-Orientalism, and hubris

Seeger, SA (2017) 'Martin Amis, neo-Orientalism, and hubris.' Postcolonial Studies, 20 (4). pp. 494-509. ISSN 1368-8790

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This article puts forward a reading of Martin Amis’s 2008 book The Second Plane with an emphasis on its cultural politics. It reconsiders Amis’s book from a distance of almost a decade in light of recent global developments, including the rise of ISIS in the Middle East, the resurgence of acute Islamophobia in Europe and the US, and Tony Blair’s public acknowledgement of the shortcomings of the 2003 invasion of Iraq. With these factors in mind, the essay argues that it is possible to detect in Amis’s book early warning signs of how the West’s relationship with both Islamism and Islam would develop in the period following its publication. Drawing on William Connolly’s work on tragedy and Edward Said’s work on Orientalism, the essay argues that The Second Plane ought to be read as advancing a hubristic ‘neo-Orientalist’ cultural and political agenda which today threatens to lock much of the world into an ongoing cycle of recrimination and revenge. Against this, a case is made for an appreciation of the complex circumstances which give rise to suicide terrorism and for a sense of history largely absent from Amis’s writing on the subject.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Amis, Islamism, Orientalism, tragedy, terrorism
Subjects: P Language and Literature > PN Literature (General)
Divisions: Faculty of Humanities
Faculty of Humanities > Literature, Film, and Theatre Studies, Department of
SWORD Depositor: Elements
Depositing User: Elements
Date Deposited: 26 Mar 2019 10:36
Last Modified: 06 Jan 2022 13:47

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