Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Alan HollinghurstWriting Under the Influence$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Michèle Mendelssohn and Denis Flannery

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780719097171

Published to Manchester Scholarship Online: January 2017

DOI: 10.7228/manchester/9780719097171.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM MANCHESTER SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.manchester.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Manchester University Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in MSO for personal use.date: 23 May 2022

Race, empire and The Swimming-Pool Library

Race, empire and The Swimming-Pool Library

(p.60) 4 Race, empire and The Swimming-Pool Library
Alan Hollinghurst

John McLeod

Manchester University Press

This essay explores the vexed matters of race and Empire in Alan Hollinghurst's The Swimming-Pool Library, tracing the lines of connection between colonial and contemporary constructions of otherness upon which the novel dwells.  In presenting the protagonist's libidinous pursuit of black sexual partners in 1980s' London as recycling some of the exploitative behaviours of colonial desire, the novel probes the possibility of opening up a critical space where an alternative rendering of race might be sourced amidst the cross-racial sexual encounters that seem driven by older, illiberal attitudes. Rather than support the view that the novel is fully complicit with familiar forms of racialisation, this essay suggests that a different, more liberal view of race relations can be glimpsed and is empowered by Hollinghurst's engagement with a counter-hegemonic tradition of gay writing that includes figures such as E. M. Forster and especially Ronald Firbank.

Keywords:   Race, Empire, Counter-Hegemonic Tradition, E. M. Forster, Ronald Firbank, Alan Hollinghurst

Manchester Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.