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ELT 37:2 1994 over-heated rhetoric. Tytler did indeed escape the depression ("Sand in the Head") that afflicted many Anglo-Indian women by making picturesque sketches of India. She also bore ten children during twenty-five years of marriage, supervised road construction in the Andaman Islands while her husband was stationed there after the Mutiny and was responsible for building the Himalayan Christian Orphanage in Simla. No doubt new "readings" of history rectify earlier mistakes or broaden interpretive possibilities, but new "readings" not based on hitherto unknown facte but on evaluations of earlier writers' motivation and language (their metaphors and Freudian slips) seem purely speculative. Verbal adroitness too easily substitutes for well-marshalled evidence. Suleri asks, "How will we learn to reread the romance between Kim and his lama in the light of a colonial erotic, or turn again to the aborted love between Fielding and Aziz?" One answer may be, "Let's don't." We nxay turn instead to scholarship that has benefitted from Said's theory without becoming ite victim, for example B. J. Moore-Gilbert's Kipling and "Orientalism"(1986), which Suleri ignores, and the series of Studies in Imperialism edited by John M. MacKenzie for the Manchester University Press. Suleri dismisses Margaret MacMillan's Women of the Raj (1988) for ite "incipient Orientalism," but MacMillan examined a large cross-section of women in India while Suleri examines only two and converts them into "symbolic tokens" who "embody the veiled realities of colonial panic" or "emblematize the infantilism of Anglo-India." For MacMillan, women remain women. Suleri understands the dangers and duplicities of turning reality into an epistemological or rhetorical game, especially when threats to Rushdie 's very life seem to trivialize discourse-analysis of his work. She registers the "futility" and "shattering inefficacy of our own utterance" in an academic setting. Unfortunately she does not apply this awareness to Anglo-Indian writers. Instead she leaves us with vertiginous readings of the Raj that dramatize ite squalor and cruelty without noting that it was for a time the greatest show on earth, clothing, as all good empires do, shabbiness with grandeur. David StG1WaTt _____________ Texas A&M University Success in Circuit Lies Elizabeth Dodd. The Veiled Mirror and the Woman Poet: H.D., Louise Bogan, Elizabeth Bishop, and Louise Glück. Columbia: University of Missouri Press, 1992. xii + 215 pp. $34.95 264 BOOK REVIEWS "TELL ALL the Truth but tell it slant—/ Success in Circuit lies," so opens a short, but famous poem of Emily Dickinson's, and these lines accurately explain the veiled mirror of Elizabeth Dodd's title. Dickinson also declares that The Truth must dazzle gradually," which links her sense of metapoetics to Wallace Stevens's aphorism that "A poem must resist the intelligence almost successfully." One way of defining Dodd's theme is to say that it deals with strategies of resistance, another that it concerns circuitous revelation. Some might ask: "Isn't this what poetry has been for centuries—the personal given esthetic distance by form?" Others nxay suggest that such a strategy is typically Modernist, adding that the mental set for it was established by T. S. Eliot at the outset of his career, in those essays promulgating the theory which supported the manner and tone in which his own poetry was to be read. In any event, three of Dodd's four poets were Modernist, though only Hilda Doolittle (H.D., at one point H.D. Imagiste) is of the high Modernist period. Elizabeth Dodd presents the four poets of her title within the framework of her concept of "personal classicism," which she sees as a strategy identified by some women poets as indispensable in their gender situation . The concept behind her oxymoronic term is that the presentation of individual experience, as inherited from the Romantics, is contained by a variety of formal and tonal controls. The poetry is founded on emotion, but universality is achieved through the particular, and the language employed "generally has a natural, spoken quality," which is also intimate. The speaker is central, but expression is controlled by an extension of T. E. Hulme's "hard, dry and definite description": reticence, understatement, syntactical structuring, allusion, and...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1559-2715
Print ISSN
0013-8339
Pages
pp. 264-268
Launched on MUSE
2010-05-21
Open Access
No
Archive Status
Archived
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