A Ghostly Memory of a Master RacePosted by ZoeWare - 19/07/09 at 08:07 pm
Read Australian Richard Flanagan, winner of the Commonwealth Writer’s Prize 2002, talk about his impressions of the Commonwealth.
The Guardian, Friday 19 July 2002
“I was born too late and missed the dream of empire. Its shadow, the Commonwealth, coincides with my life, but rarely connected with it. Perhaps if I had grown up only a few years earlier, as my elder brothers and sister had, in the 1950s, then I might be able to regale you with memories of Empire Day races, of standing up for God Save the Queen in cinemas, and teachers pointing to the world map on the wall and showing those countries around the world that were British – the pink bits, as everyone seems to remember them?
What supposedly bound that Commonwealth together was a mysterious shared identity – Britishness. To be fair, Britishness was, in the parlance of today, a difficult concept to market in postwar Australia. Over time it became almost impossible?.
These days we are left with little that can be called Commonwealth: a Noh theatre of organisations and ceremonies whose origins and meanings seem long lost in a history too distant. The very name CHOGM (Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting) sounds like a consumptive’s dying scallop?”
Click here to read the rest of Richard Flanagan’s article on The Guardian website.
And then let us know what you think below. . .