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Book Reviews, 32:2, 1988 that she plays, is not intended by Scott to affect historical events, nor does she: "The Daphne-Hari Kumar case intensifies the public disturbances in Mayapore, but these disturbances are part of nation-wide unrest which has nothing to do with them and, certainly, has not been originated by their case" (139). From someone on the scene, these words amount to an admirable caution: too much historical significance should not be read into the Quartet. The rape does have symbolic significance, however. It dramatizes the "impossibility of inter-racial sex relations and the inappositeness of naive liberalism, in a colonial context" (143). The other chapters are less satisfying, perhaps because Goonetilleke is content to organize and present middle-of-the-road sketches of Kipling, Forster, and Orwell. I regret, however, that the chapter on Orwell concedes that "Shooting an Elephant" treats at length an incident that may never have happened (an artist's privilege, surely), and then continues as if Orwell's interpretation of the significance of the event is trustworthy because it is factually based. Goonetilleke repeats, in various contexts, Orwell's savage remark that he thought "that the greatest joy in the world would be to drive a bayonet into a Buddhist priest's guts" as a clarification of the role of "a liberal colonial employee " and the ambiguities of his duties as a colonizer. Other readers (my guess is the vast majority of readers) would interpret Orwell's remark as reflecting the near-hysteria of an Englishman far from home who is on the verge of a nervous breakdown. Goonetilleke's basic assumption is that the Raj produced little or nothing of permanent value in South Asia, and the novels he treats are (despite artistic merits) his witnesses for the prosecution. If one can discount the emotionalism of this approach, and admit the existence of weighty extra-literary forces impinging on all the aesthetic judgments, the poignance of Goonetilleke 's remark-"A British critic has to face the problem of liberating himself from the imperial culture to which he belongs, while an Asian critic has to face the problem of freeing himself from his colonial heritage" (3)-will strike us all the more forcibly. Harold Orel _______________________________University of Kansas________________ H. RIDER HAGGARD Wendy R. Katz. Rider Haggard and the Fiction of Empire: A Critical Study of British Imperial Fiction. New York: Cambridge University Press, 1987. $29.95 217 Book Reviews, 32:2, 1988 With Haggard time stalled and tried to march backward. In his daydream "romances," he expressed an adolescent, authoritarian mindset about adventure, masculinity, empire, and the "dark places" of the world that continues to influence popular culture. Thus Raiders of the Lost Ark owed much to Haggard, and it was soon followed by Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, Romancing the Stone, a new film version of King Solomon's Mines, and others in a nostalgic, quasiimperialist vein. For Haggard, the nostalgia about adventure and empire was already there, visceral, part of his late-Victorian conservatism . More clearly than in most writers of this era, in Haggard the voice of romance and of empire was simultaneously "the voice of the moribund gentry" (52). He seems today an archetypal reactionary whose stories consist of reactionary archetypes: myths of power, magic, the discovery and conquest of "lost civilizations," and the mastery of nature, women, and the "darker races" by white male adventurers. His literary-or subliterary-power derived largely from the directness and simplicity with which he rendered these reactionary archetypes in narrative form. Wendy Katz effectively demolishes Alan Sandison's apologetic reading, according to which Haggard somehow transcended both racism and jingoism (3-4, 102-103). To arrive at such a skewed interpretation, Sandison himself miraculously transcended Haggard's obvious drumbeating for empire and white supremacy. Perhaps a similar transcendence caused D. S. Higgins to skew the record; as Katz points out, his edition of Haggard's Private Diaries omits "the worst" political embarrassments -expressions of race-hatred against Jews, the Irish, Indians, and of political animosity against "Bolsheviks" and trade unionists (149). Ironically, especially after World War I, "Jewish profiteers" and "Bolshevik" conspirators were for Haggard virtually identical menaces...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1559-2715
Print ISSN
0013-8339
Pages
pp. 217-220
Launched on MUSE
2010-05-21
Open Access
No
Archive Status
Archived
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