Mental Nations: The Identity of Meaning in Iain Sinclair's Lights out for the Territory

Translated Titles





黃寶儀(Pao-I Hwang)

Key Words

精神地理學 ; 想像共同體 ; 民族認同 ; 獨立個體 ; 情境論 ; 全球化 ; Psychogeography ; imagined community ; national identity ; individuality ; situationism ; globalization


Hwa Kang Journal of English Language & Literature

Volume or Term/Year and Month of Publication

14期(2008 / 07 / 01)

Page #

191 - 206

Content Language


Chinese Abstract


English Abstract

The concept of nationhood is heavily reliant on the understanding of fraternity, power and time. And, according to Benedict Anderson, there used to be three centers on which the forces could converge: the script or language that offered the truth; the priest or monarch, figures related to the divine who were different from other human beings, around which loyalties could be centralized; and a history or belief in a golden age, which reminded the people of a common beginning. These centers were very useful in the formation and development of national awareness and nationhood, but with time they have proved to be challengeable. The reinforcing of an ”authentic” vernacular culture, identifying a sacred territory and a particular community to associate with it, can bind a community together or, unsurprisingly, bring them into competition and conflict. This paper looks at how calls of freedom and individuality have affected modern concepts of nationhood; it looks at the treatment of national identity by the Situationist advocate Iain Sinclair, and attempts to show that in searching for identities imbued with symbolism and personal significance, the nation remains a central idea and the new world that is formed simply consists of ”mental” nations.

Topic Category 人文學 > 語言學
人文學 > 外國文學
社會科學 > 教育學
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