Margery Sabin's work marks a new stage in our attempts to deal with the history of writing about India in English--and new precisely because it might, to some readers, seem old-fashioned in its concern with questions of individuation and idiosyncrasy. Oxford University Press is a department of the University of Oxford. It furthers the University's objective of excellence in research, scholarship, and education by publishing worldwide.
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Review "Sabin's engagement with her unusual subject is always meticulous and intelligent; and welcome, too, given that it focuses on a nation and a class whose intelligentsia takes itself so seriously. It would be an opportunity lost if postcolonial critics did not take up the challenge that Sabin's ceaselessly responsive readings cumulatively pose.
The chapters on Naipaul, Sleeman, and Burke are enormously suggestive, and all of the book will reorient the thoughts of readers who had glimpsed only episodes where Sabin discovers continuity. The book is a splendid achievement--original in conception and steadily rewarding in the detail of its judgments. Margery Sabin's work marks a new stage in our attempts to deal with the history of writing about India in English--and new precisely because it might, to some readers, seem old-fashioned in its concern with questions of individuation and idiosyncrasy.
Oxford University Press; 1 edition October 24, Language: What I earlier called hubris can now be understood as the response of confounded students who come upon a historical record insensitive to the easy but comforting Manicheanisms of ruler-ruled, colonizer-colonized, victimizer-victim. Indeed, one could argue that empire—so evident in the literature, history, cuisine, material culture, fashion, property, and probate of Britain—was largely excluded from its curricula because it could never be easily fixed for study.
As the literary scholar Margery Sabin writes, "my own American education in British literature and history managed to leave my ignorance of the British empire almost entirely undisturbed through both undergraduate and graduate study" 5. Edward Said's Orientalism and Culture and Imperialism were revelatory works for Sabin, and she attempts in this collection of essays to fix her understanding of empire on a grid organized around a quest for exceptional figures the "dissenters and mavericks" of the title in order to challenge some of the largely unspecified orthodoxies of postcolonial studies.
An important aspect of Sabin's "dissent," she writes, is her own practice of reading. Not content with what she calls "[t]he overfamiliar syllabus of canonical colonial and post-colonial texts [that tend] to perpetuate fixed lines of interpretation and debate with scant regard for historical particularity," Sabin is here "on the lookout for something special, something qualitatively better than the norm" so she might exercise her gifts of "evaluative literary distinctions" on a field she finds enervated by jargon and rigid, self-serving pieties 4, 5.
With this goal in mind, Sabin's essays range across British and Indian writing and ruminate on some hitherto unlikely "dissenters" of the imperial project: Naipaul's Indian travelogues, and the essayist, novelist, and self-declared critic, Pankaj Mishra.
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Warmly allied with Sabin's commitment to expanding a historical understanding of empire through sensitive readings of its textual record, this If you would like to authenticate using a different subscribed institution that supports Shibboleth authentication or have your own login and password to Project MUSE, click 'Authenticate'.
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