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Special Relationships: British Higher Education and the Global Marketplace

Geiger, Jeffrey (2004) 'Special Relationships: British Higher Education and the Global Marketplace.' PMLA/Publications of the Modern Language Association of America, 119 (1). 58 - 68. ISSN 0030-8129

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Abstract

<jats:p>Americans living in England are sometimes inspired by a sense of belated recognition, a desire to claim the place as their own through an imagined return to an ancestral or a spiritual homeland. Nathaniel Hawthorne was hardly enamored of English life when he took up residence in Liverpool in 1853; nonetheless, after two years' stay he writes of a “latent” recognition: “I suppose there is still latent in us Americans (even of two centuries date, and more, like myself) an adaptation to the English climate, which makes it like native soil and air to us” (121-22). But even as Hawthorne became more at home in England, his contentment was disturbed by the political realities of living in the United Kingdom-an imperial entity created by an act of Parliament in 1801. Appearing at the edges of the detailed travel descriptions in the notebooks are lingering resentments over previous British-American conflicts and a dislike of the colonizer mentality. Writing in October 1854, during the CrimeanWar, Hawthorne adopts the tone of an expatriate's disdain: “Success makes an Englishman intolerable; and already, on the mistaken idea that the way was open to a prosperous conclusion to this war, the Times had begun to throw out menaces against America. I shall never love England till she sues to us for help” (91). Hawthorne's reference is to two <jats:italic>Times</jats:italic> articles that are worth citing here, in that they seem to prefigure our era of “precision warfare” and triumphalist national self-regard: “The incidents of this [Crimean] war have already immeasurably increased the mutual confidence and respect of two nations [France and Britain] which have just shown they are the most powerful states in the world,” declared the <jats:italic>Times</jats:italic> on 4 October. The following day it stated:</jats:p><jats:p><jats:disp-quote><jats:p>The lessons learned at Bomarsund and Sebastopol will not be forgotten, for they have introduced a new era in warfare by throwing doubt on places before deemed impregnable, and showing that the promptitude of an attack supported by the engines of modern warfare may supercede the more protracted operations of former sieges. The rapid triumphs which are wonderful now would have been impossible before.</jats:p><jats:p>(qtd. in Hawthorne 632)</jats:p></jats:disp-quote></jats:p>

Item Type: Article
Subjects: P Language and Literature > PN Literature (General)
P Language and Literature > PN Literature (General) > PN0441 Literary History
Divisions: Faculty of Humanities > Literature, Film, and Theatre Studies, Department of
Depositing User: Jeffrey Geiger
Date Deposited: 12 Oct 2013 18:13
Last Modified: 21 Sep 2021 07:15
URI: http://repository.essex.ac.uk/id/eprint/8137

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