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ELT 37:2 1994 That Coleridge should have alluded so clearly to Whitman with his remark about poetry that 'did not rhyme or scan or construe' and that he should have suspected Hopkins of Whitmanizing in The Wreck of the Deutschland without having seen the poem is somewhat surprising." In other words, the connections between Hopkins and Whitman may have begun earlier and been more obvious than we have thought. Other scholars have explored the importance of the Hopkins-Whitman relationship in articles in the Yale Review, the Walt Whitman Review, and the Victorian Newsletter in the last three years. Further research may demonstrate that even Hopkins's extraordinarily isolated, highly idiosyncratic literary creativity was deeply affected by his collaboration with various groups of contemporaries, most obviously his family; his teachers (especially Dixon and Pater); his peers at Oxford; and especially the "school" of Pre-Raphaelite painters and poets, including Millais, the Rossettis, and Swinburne. Though often ignored in literary criticism, these literary interactions, along with Hopkins's work as a priest, were his counterpoises to the tendency to the isolating "madness" that was demanded of him as of so many other poets. Jerome Bump ____________ University of Texas at Austin Eurocentric Representations of India Sara Suleri. The Rhetoric of English India. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1992. ix + 230 pp. Paper $10.95 SULERTS INTRODUCTION suggests that post-colonial discourse about India (V-S. Naipaul and Salman Rushdie are her examples) provides a perspective enabling us to avoid the "binarism" or "schizophrenia " "that seeks to represent domination and subordination as though the two were mutually exclusive terms." "Binary rigidity" is "an inherently Eurocentric strategy" which we may nullify by demonstrating the reciprocal relationships between colonizer and colonized. Both are "victims of traumatic change." The same problems of race or gender that agitated English people describing the Raj recur after 1947 especially when writers use the English language that threatens to determine the very terms and forms of discourse. Insofar as Suleri presents a thesis (rather than a series of Europhobic impressions about various texts), it seems to be that Rushdie's tempestuous prose or Naipaul's relentless ambiguities result from contradic260 BOOK REVIEWS tions and incomprehensions previously established within British discourses about India. Quests for individual or national identity in the wake of empire become manic because they try to combine impossible contradictions. Naipaul's troubled respect for English literature and Rushdie's reluctant respect for Islam become acts of "archaic devotion to the cultural system that [they] must both desecrate and renew." Paradox reigns and finds expression again and again in the chapters that Suleri writes on Edmund Burke and the trial of Warren Hastings, on Kipling's Kim and on Forster's A Passage to India. There is also an anomalous chapter on Anglo-Indian women who published their journals . In a striking application of Edward Said's "orientalism," she claims that India became "the age's leading moral example of [Burke's] sublime " which not only aestheticizes India but empowers Englishmen to reconstruct Indian history on a European model. This denigrates Indian culture. It also generates feelings of guilt and insecurity. Burke's bombastic attacks on Hastings are the first admissions of "colonial guilt" for imperialism's atrocities. His "hysteric discourse" discloses the phantasmagoric horrors that colonization of the subcontinent entailed, and it entered the collective subconscious of British imperialism producing bad dreams and psychic disruptions that burst forth ever after in fictive representations of India. For example, Anglo-Indian women were relegated to "the peripheries of colonization" where they were permitted to make picturesque sketches of India "as long as they remained immune to the sociological conclusions of their own data, entering the political domain in order to aestheticize rather than to analyze." Not only are women's descriptions superficial and dishonest, even the government-authorized photo series in eight volumes entitled The People of India (1868-1875) is static, stereotyped and "ideologically retrograde." "With Kipling, the story of empire learns how to atrophy in ite own prematurity." Suleri bases this interpretation on Burke's observation that "young men (boys almost) govern [India], without . . . sympathy with natives. . . . Animated with all the avarice of age and...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1559-2715
Print ISSN
0013-8339
Pages
pp. 260-264
Launched on MUSE
2010-05-21
Open Access
No
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