Article

Nationalism, Transnationalism, and the Poetry of Mourning

Jahan Ramazani

in The Oxford Handbook of the Elegy

Published in print April 2010 | ISBN: 9780199228133
Published online September 2012 | | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/oxfordhb/9780199228133.013.0035

Series: Oxford Handbooks of Literature

 Nationalism, Transnationalism, and the Poetry of Mourning

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This article is about elegy and transnationalism that similarly charts the rich tensions that arise between and within culturally diverse kinds. Elegy's affective content has transnational bearings: wherever there are bonds of family and friendship, death produces grief, mourning, and melancholia. It then distinguishes among varieties of, and develops a taxonomy for, elegiac transnationalism. But first, it dialectically investigates the nationalist and antinationalist strands of elegy. Death is seen not as national but as post-political and post-national. Elegy can be put in the service of nationalism, equivocal nationalism, anti-nationalism, transnationalism, and many combinations of these positions. Elegiac transnationalism can be tracked intrinsically and extrinsically. Its intrinsic factors are assessed. While nations erect hierarchies of grievability, transnational elegy's cross-cultural influences, solidarities, and migrations, its border-crossing influences, forms, and ontologies suggest other ways of mourning death than within physical barriers and conceptual lines patrolled by militaries and enforced by violence.

Keywords: elegy; elegiac transnationalism; nationalism; death; anti-nationalism; mourning; grief; melancholia

Article.  8768 words. 

Subjects: Literature ; Literary Theory and Cultural Studies ; Literary Studies (Poetry and Poets)

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