Eastern Figures: Orient and Empire in British Writing by Douglas Kerr

By Douglas Kerr

Japanese Figures is a literary background with a distinction. It examines British writing concerning the East – targeted on India yet radiating so far as Egypt and the Pacific – within the colonial and postcolonial interval. It takes as its topic "the East" that was once genuine to the British mind's eye, principally the construction of writers who defined and instructed tales approximately it, descriptions and tales colored via the event of empire and its aftermath.

It is daring in its scope, with a centre of gravity within the paintings of writers like Stevenson, Kipling, Conrad, and Orwell, but additionally masking much less famous literary authors, and together with Anglo-Indian romance writing, the reviews and memoirs of directors, and go back and forth writing from Auden and Isherwood in China to Redmond O'Hanlon in Borneo. jap Figures produces a background of this writing via taking a look at a chain of "figures" or tropes of illustration wherein successive writers sought to symbolize the East and the British adventure of it – tropes corresponding to exploring the hinterland, going local, and the determine of rule itself.

Eastern Figures is offered to someone drawn to the literary and cultural historical past of empire and its aftermath. it will likely be of especial curiosity to scholars and students of colonial and postcolonial writing, because it increases problems with identification and illustration, energy and information, and centrally the query of ways to symbolize other folks. It has unique rules and ways to provide experts in literary background of the 19th and 20th centuries, cultural historians, and researchers in colonial discourse research, postcolonial reports, and Asian sector experiences and heritage. it's also aimed toward scholars in classes in literature and empire, tradition and imperialism, and cross-cultural experiences.

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Eastern Figures: Orient and Empire in British Writing

Jap Figures is a literary heritage with a distinction. It examines British writing concerning the East – targeted on India yet radiating so far as Egypt and the Pacific – within the colonial and postcolonial interval. It takes as its topic "the East" that was once genuine to the British mind's eye, principally the production of writers who defined and instructed tales approximately it, descriptions and tales colored through the event of empire and its aftermath.

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Extra resources for Eastern Figures: Orient and Empire in British Writing

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35 36 Eastern Figures Indians from ultimately regaining their independence. The only question was whether this would come through revolution or through reform. ’20 Rather than struggle to maintain a precarious power, Trevelyan argued, the British should act as a trustee, preparing Indians to assume management of their own affairs; and English education was the main instrument of this preparation. The nineteenth-century idea that the Anglo-Saxon race stood in a relation of trusteeship to the less developed peoples of the earth — a doctrine with strong naturalizing and legitimizing undertones — was most influentially argued by the liberal imperialist Charles Wentworth Dilke.

In 1838 he published an essay On the Education of the People of India, giving his thoughts on the long-term consequences of that decision, which he saw unambiguously as shaping an eventual Indian independence. 19 The corollary to this was Macaulay’s persuasion that English would be the medium through which Indians could gain access to modern scientific learning and advanced ideas. Trevelyan in his essay dismisses the argument that, in giving Indians full access rights to modern knowledge and the means to possess it, the British were harming their own national interest.

Humphrey Trevelyan, The India We Left, 98. 32 The British prohibition of suttee under Lord Bentinck in 1829, which ushered in a great liberal-Evangelical phase of reforms including the campaigns against ‘female infanticide, thuggee, human sacrifice, slavery and all forms of indigenous barbarity,’ earns Thompson’s unqualified approval. But he also argues that ‘such things as suttee kept back Indian political progress by many years’, since ‘even a beginning in selfgovernment was impossible’ so long as they continued.

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