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ELT 38:4 1995 between the colonized and colonizer are attempted, and, lastly, India itself, which the novel represents as female. Mills points to problems inherent in Jardine's approach as a descriptive technology limited to locating evidences of patriarchal hegemony and is troubled by the association of the feniinine with instability. In suggesting both the limitations of as well as possibilities beyond her theoretical positioning, she offers the most open-ended and self-interrogating essay of this collection, a useful caution, should it still be needed, that any position involves blindspots. The essays commissioned by Davies and Wood are an extremely useful guide to the questions about race and gender now posed of and by A Passage to Indm. In the main the writing is remarkably free of the j argon and "playfulness" that afflicts some criticism of this kind, and the volume laudably meets its aim in making accessible a variety of current critical approaches. The theories brought to bear on the text nowhere seek to downplay their political engagements, and another strength is that the essays individually and as a group demonstrate a happy theoretical eclecticism. Frequent reference to Forster's letters, to his homosexuality, to his friendship with Masood, and experience of the subcontinent suggest exactly how exaggerated the death of the author was. As any good introduction should, this volume offers a number of challenging perspectives, an informed context for current critical debate , and a helpful if brief guide to other work about its concerns. It will doubtless help stimulate further investigation not only into A Passage to Imüa but into Forster generally. J. H. Stape Japan Women's University, Tokyo Henry James Roslyn Jolly. Henry James: History, Narrative, Fiction. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1993. xiii + 239 pp. $49.95 THIS IS ONE of those valuable studies that take as their starting -point a single word. Like "nature" or "imagination", "history" is familiar and seemingly innocent but in reality complex, multifaceted and reflective of major cultural upheavals. In some languages "history" and "story" (the latter in the sense that includes fiction) are the same word, and in English fictions were offered as history, or at any rate histories, by Fielding (The History of Tom Jones), Thackeray (The History of Henry Esmond), Wells (The History of Mr Polly) and others. 526 BOOK REVIEWS Wells's debate with James on the nature and value of fiction is well known, and near the end of her book Roslyn Jolly quotes the great sentence from a letter James wrote to Wells (the last he was ever to write to him) in the grim year of 1915, when an awareness of "history" in a sense quite other than "fiction"—as something being daily made, suffered and lived through—must have been inescapable and overpowering : "It is art that makes life, makes interest, makes importance, for our consideration and application of these things, and I know of no substitute whatever for the force and beauty of its process." (Neither the rigours of the English summer nor Jolly's own Australian residence, however, justify her in ascribing this letter to "the bleak winter of early 1915" when its date is July 10.) It was, at that moment of public history, as startling and courageous a declaration of faith as Forster's 1939 confession of his willingness, if necessary, to betray his country. One of the many meanings of "history" is the activity more precisely known as historiography, and Jolly's specific concern in this closely argued study is James's interest in the writing of history as a narrative model, and the ways in which his works reflect the radical changes that took place in his thinking about this subject. Whereas in 1884 he urged that the novel "must speak . . . with the tone of the historian," by 1915 he was ready to admit that The subject-matter of one's effort has become itself utterly treacherous and false—its relationship to reality utterly given away and smashed." As Jolly points out at the outset, what is at stake is nothing less than "the novelist's authority to speak about human experience." (It is, of course, an authority more or less taken for...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1559-2715
Print ISSN
0013-8339
Pages
pp. 526-528
Launched on MUSE
2010-05-21
Open Access
No
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