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BOOK REVIEWS Russia, might easily recognize the relation between Pound's early anti-Semitism and the development of his cleansing aesthetic of visual "mastery." In other words, the conjunctions of aesthetics with politics are often all too visible when they're working directly against you. It's notable, then, that Sherry's political investigations pay so little attention to actual anti-Semitism. Indeed, a book devoted to Lewis' and Pound's aesthetics that uses the word "anti-Semitism" only once—in the casual comment that Pound never "really exorcise[d] the demon of anti-Semitism" (188)—may ultimately appear to be an attempt to exorcise anti-Semitism (and its history) from the study of Pound's aesthetic. To notice these conjunctions of aesthetics with politics is not to "read history backwards" (7), as Sherry claims, but to bring us closer to an understanding of the questions with which he frames the book. The grammar of "May we admire the art?" deserves attention, since "may we?" (as opposed to "can we?") inquires after permission and critical consensus, rather than readerly ability or historical possibility. In light of Sherry's desire to distinguish aesthetic strategies from their historical implications, the question may now appear to take as its audience a fairly narrow circle of Pound scholars. But outside that circle, anyone involved in Modern Studies would be inclined to answer the question with a question: what is the intellectual and ethical cost of "detaching" Pound's and Lewis's art from its "social value?" Moreover, where might we locate the inviolable line along which such a detachment could occur? Since Sherry's closing argument traces Pound's replacement of "aesthetic embellishment" with mere "record[s] of factual deeds" (189) in the Cantos of the late 30s, it would appear that at crucial points in Pound's corpus (i.e., in the most declamatory of the Cantos), there is little "art" to be admired in any case. If Sherry is right about Pound's work, as I believe he is here, then the line between an art and its social value—and, for that matter, between aesthetics and history—must be an ephemeral one indeed. Janet Lyon University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Kipling and Empire Zohreh T. Sullivan. Narratives of Empire: The Fictions of Rudyard Kipling. New York: Cambridge University Press, 1993. xiv + 199pp. $49.95 THIS BOOK is a cogent and sustained indictment of Kipling's imperialist message in his Indian fictions. It confirms the importance of 581 ELT 37 :4 1994 literary theory as a facilitator of criticism. Just as Northrop Frye's myth-theory precipitated countless dissertations and books a generation ago, so post-modernism generates an even greater volume of commentary because it incorporates a variety of "isms," each with its own emerging agenda or "armature" (to use George Steiner's label). Postmodernist theory produces offspring of many classes, colors and genders all bearing a strong resemblance to their grand-sires, Freud and Marx, for whom "power drives" determine not only human behavior but human cognition and imagination. Sullivan's index bespeaks her pedigree by citing virtually every fashionable name in the business: Bakhtin, Eagleton , Fanon, Foucault, Gramsci, Jameson, Kristeva, Lacan, Macherey and Said illuminate her way. Even Lenin receives favorable mention, but two books by less famous authors govern her inquiry: Daniel Bivona's Desire and Contradiction: Imperial Visions and Domestic Debates in Victorian Literature (1990) and especially Ashis Nandus The Intimate Enemy: Loss and Recovery of Self under Colonialism (1983). Combining "psychohistory" with socio-ideological history, Sullivan finds a pattern in Kipling's childhood. Rejection, fear and compensatory retreat into a private dreamworld must be suppressed to comply with the harsh dayworld of pragmatic Victorianism based on boy scout masculinity, marginalized femininity and the work ethic. The inner tensions caused by the collision between these polarized value systems are then magnified in an imperial setting: "Kipling displaced into India what he feared in his dreams and displaced onto his dreams what he most feared in India." A destructive reciprocity occurs when Kipling and the individual writer and the ideology of the Raj try to confront the contradictions and failures of their "journeys into psychic interiors or...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1559-2715
Print ISSN
0013-8339
Pages
pp. 581-584
Launched on MUSE
2010-05-21
Open Access
No
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