The discourse of nationalism and internationalism in the nineteenth-century British novel
My major aim in this study will be to trace, by using the theory of hegemony, as ariticulated by Antonio Gramsci and further elaborated by Ernesto Laclou and Chantal Mouffe, the discourse of (inter)nationalism in four nineteenth-century British novels: Waverley (1814), Alton Locke (1850), Phineas Finn (1869), and Daniel Doronda (1876). I will intend to demonstrate how (inter)nationalism, as a form of consciousness generated hegemonically throughout the British society, was always present although not easily detected in the novelistic discourse of the nineteenth century During the nineteenth-century in Great Britain, the novel, as a dialogic discourse resistant to totalizing, played a crucial role in establishing the terms of liberal (inter)nationalism, that is, an uneasy negotiation between nationalism and internationalism. As the dominant textual form of the century, the novel was an interesting unity of contradictory ideologies that refused to be reduced to any particular dominant ideology. Thus, both Marxist and liberal political theories fail to represent themselves as the sole legitimate discourse of the British nation. Be it classified as a historical novel, such as Waverley, an industrial novel, such as Alton Locke , a political novel, such as Phineas Finn, or a realist novel of individual growth, such as Daniel Deronda, the British novel struggles both to construct and solidify British national identity and at the same time it broadens national divisions within. As a result, there becomes obvious a highly problematic and complex relationship between Englishness and Britishness in all the four novels My intention, however, is neither to claim the supremacy of the novel in the artificial creation of Britishness, nor the supremacy of any national identity within the British nation-state but to suggest that the nineteenth-century British novel just like the British nation itself both produced and was a product of a specific national climate of that century. I will attempt to analyze how the four novels, as they struggle to construct an international and multinational discourse, use the very nationalistic discourses that they attempt to escape Nationalism is practiced not only by the dominant nation, but also by the dominated ones. The nineteenth-century British novel, as the most 'national-popular' genre, reflects the contradictory process of nation-formation in which multiple national identities---English, Welsh, Scottish, Irish---were competing against each other while, at the same time, they were being more and more disseminated hegemonically into Englishness/Britishness I will explore the possibility that the British novel during the nineteenth century was in this sense determined by what I call an '(inter)national' consciousness. As the genre that provided a highly productive form of the 'national-popular' discourse that was introduced by Gramsci, the novel reflected this (inter)national consciousness. By discussing Gramsci and various theorists of ideology and nationalism such as Benedict Anderson, Anthony Birch, John Breuilly, Eric Hobsbawm, and Anthony D. Smith, I will demonstrate how hegemony, as a complex interplay of practical factors and discursive practices, turns into the major theoretical tool in the study of such a complex concept that I call '(inter)nationalism.'