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Book reviews quest narrative" uniting his works is embodied in the blend of the exotic, the tragic, and a romantic heroism that, in its turn, "helped legitimate middle-class claims to respectability by demonstrating that it was middle -class virtues that would ensure the survival of the British Empire." This refreshingly wide-ranging collection, coherent in scope, offers arresting insights into diverse texts. Collectively the essays demonstrate that the nineteenth-century press was simultaneously the agency of empire, in which imperial reporting amounted to constructing the Other, and, toward the century's close, provided the point of intersection between métropole and colony, a site where such reporting coexists with resistance and cultural hybridity to allow for the production of co-histories that unravel and subvert imperialism's fabric. Allan H. Simmons ________________ St Mary's College, Twickenham Wanting the Other Philip Holden and Richard J. Ruppel, eds. Imperial Desire: Dissident Sexualities and Colonial Literature. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2003. xxvi + 335 pp. Cloth $60.95 Paper $21.95 THIS BAKER'S DOZEN of essays, featuring a brief introduction signed by both editors and topped up by Philip Holden's long and useful coda, "Rethinking Colonial Discourse Analysis and Queer Studies," has a remarkably varied chronological compass. Grouped into four clusters, beginning with early eighteenth-century fiction and moving to a cut-off point in 1962, the essays concentrate on presentations, either overt or otherwise, of homosociality and homosexuality in mainly British imperialist contexts—Africa, Canada, India—with a couple of branchings out to consider Lady Mary Wortley Montagu's travel writing about Turkey and a novel by the Russian Mikhail Kuzmin. More specifically, the first chronological grouping features studies of Robinson Crusoe, Lady Mary's Turkish Embassy Letters, and Canadian novelist John Richardson's 1832 novel Wacousta. The next gathering focuses on selected Rudyard Kipling short stories, Mary Kingsley's travel writing, and the Trollope short story "The Banks of the Jordan" (1861). Three essays on Conrad's The Nigger of the "Narcissus," "Heart of Darkness ," and Romance follow, and the final clutch targets E. M. Forster's Howards End, John Buchan's adventure book Préster John (1910), Mikhail Kuzmin's Wings (1906), and Doris Lessing's The Golden Notebook . (Well written and convincing in its scholarly protocols, the article 339 ELT 47 : 3 2004 on Kuzmin nonetheless sits oddly in a gathering mainly devoted to the discussion of British fiction and travel writing by mostly canonical writers .) Drawing extensively on colonial discourse analysis and queer theory, this is a gathering together of what-we-are-working-on-now pieces rather than a tightly disciplined, rigorously coordinated effort to explore the topic in depth and in historical perspective. The introduction and coda attempt to focus and justify this highly heterogeneous collection, with Philip Holden's closing discussion, in masterly fashion, extending and usefully contextualizing several of the volume's (and the field's) scattered themes. Holden's signally deft summary traces the rise and development of what might be called homocolonial criticism, derived from several cultural theorists including Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick, Edward Said, Homi Bhabha, and Gayatri Spivak among others, as well as the ineluctable Foucault. This collection's very disparateness suggests the wide range of current scholarly interests, although it also reveals a wavering, even unclear , sense of audience. Few readers are likely to have the plots of Richardson's Wacousta, Kuzmin's Wings, or a minor Trollope short story at their fingertips, and the specialist or advanced student is likely to dip into this volume to read a given essay or group of essays before returning the book to the shelf. That said, the scholar of the late-nineteenth and early twentieth-century, with notable exceptions, is relatively well served. Further comment here treats only the studies focused on writers or works falling into this period. The editorial hand is light in several respects. The conversational breeziness, critical bluntness, and overly bloated footnotes of Lois Cucullu's "Only Cathect: Queer Heirs and Narrative Desires in Howards End" provide a textbook example of the loose, baggy, article that is clearly enjoying a vogue in some scholarly circles. If references to Lord Jim's "Dolomain" (sic) and...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1559-2715
Print ISSN
0013-8339
Pages
pp. 339-342
Launched on MUSE
2010-05-21
Open Access
No
Archive Status
Will Be Archived 2021
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