"Fictions of Empire and the (Un-)Making of Imperialist Mentalities:
This article explores some of the issues that are of crucial importance for any attempt to come to grips with the logic of the fictions which provided the ideological backbone of British imperialism. After briefly delineating the continuity of the imperial past in the present, section 2 provides a preliminary exploration of the meanings of the term “fictions of empire,” i.e. of the ambiguous title of this essay. Section 3 then provides an attempt to conceptualize the relationship between fiction and reality, and between culture and imperialism, emphasizing the creative or performative role that works of fiction can play in the construction and deconstruction of the ideological fictions of imperialism. Section 4 presents a narratologically informed revison of colonial discourse analysis and post-colonial criticism, which is the the approach that informs this article. Section 5 discusses six of the main functions that both literary and conceptual fictions can fulfill with regard to the making, and unmaking, of imperialist mentalities, while the last section provides a brief conclusion.