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BOOK REVIEWS aspects of "home." Mason writes lovingly about the countryside of Garhwal , and elsewhere he wrote lovingly about the countryside of places like Dorset. Indeed, Anglo-Indian literature can bring together two different countries and show the similarities and the differences between them. So Cowasjee says of Raj fiction that "in one way or another it reflects the British presence in India"—that presence includes people and rules, but also memories, literature, and English flowers. GUY CUTHBERTSON The Queen's College, Oxford University Ford Madox Ford As Postmodernist Joseph Wiesenfarth, ed. History and Representation in Ford Madox Ford's Writings. International Ford Madox Ford Studies 3. New York: Editions Rodopi , 2004. xi + 232 pp. Paper $63.00 IF FORD really is, as Robert McDonough states in an essay included here, "perhaps best known for not being as well known as he deserves to be," how might this volume suggest ways in which Ford could be, if not better known, at least not well known for better reasons? The title itself gives the answer—a more pointed one than in the first two volumes of the series (under the general editorship of the distinguished Ford biographer and critic Max Saunders). Not only is Ford best considered an historical novelist. His writing of history extends through fictional narrative into historical study, literary history, impressions or reminiscences of people and places, and even outright propaganda. With good reason does Saunders claim in his preface that "the representation of history is for [Ford] also a matter of the history of representation ." Saunders actually uses the almost obligatory term in this connection , "postmodern." Alas, hardly anyone else does. But the best essays in this uneven collection (the product of a conference held at the University of Wisconsin) demonstrate how theorization can give Ford's remarkably diverse writing renewed vigor. A number cite Ford's early essay, "Creative History and the Historic Sense" (posthumously published ), not only as a apologia to his subsequent The Fifth Queen trilogy but as an expression of an abiding conviction that "History & Fiction are one." This conviction, in turn, enabled Ford to release the full range of his creative energies by writing history as biography, biography as autobiography, or autobiography as fiction—all the while maintaining a peculiar, distinctive tone, by turns mischievous, chatty, impersonal, ironic, oblique, and above all personal. 79 ELT 49 : 1 2006 Hence, Andrew Delbanco salutes Ford's The March of Literature for its distinctive, not to say "idiosyncratic," nature (Spanish picaresque tales quoted, but no Shakespeare plays) as well as the undisguised personal presence of the author. No matter the suppression of the author as an official tenet of impressionism. Ford's personality and conviction saturate every page of this March (as does Delbanco's own presence in his charming description of the circumstances of the great cosmopolitan 's last published book, written in, of all places, Olivet College in Michigan). Just so, as Elena Lamberti elsewhere remarks, "it is tempting to retrieve Ford's voice as an impressionist writer and relate it to the epistemological debate that, today, opposes 'modernist' and 'postmodernist ' historians." Viewed in these terms, Parade's End becomes a "new form" for the twentieth-century historical novel, The Fifth Queen a species of "historiographie metafiction," and the posthumously published A History of Our Own Times "meta-historiographic," according to tenets given by such diverse critics as Hayden White and Linda Hutcheon. Ford's deployment of anecdotes, his foregrounding of selectiveness as a principle , and above all his open acknowledgment of personal participation in his historical narrative become almost textbook examples of how the writing of history need be no less historiographie for its refusal to offer ultimate truth or no less truthful for its promotion of imagination or impressions in the very substance of historical experience. Of course not everyone in this collection is informed by its most aggressive overall theoretical agenda. Anthony Manta has a fine essay, "Parade's End in the Context of National Efficiency," that could have been produced if the word "postmodernism" had never been uttered. Just so, Vita Fortunati's interesting comparison of Ford with Hemingway and Remarque demonstrates that it is possible to speak of...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1559-2715
Print ISSN
0013-8339
Pages
pp. 79-81
Launched on MUSE
2010-05-21
Open Access
No
Archive Status
Will Be Archived 2021
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