The Village in the Jungle
Sidelined by Leonard Woolf's involvement in politics after he left the Civil Service, overshadowed by Virginia Woolf's continuous and brilliant achievement as a novelist, The Village in the Jungle (1913) fell from notice in Britain until, by the time its author died in 1969, it was almost forgotten. In Sri Lanka and southeast Asia, however, scholars recognize this classic novel as part of a distinguished literary line extending from Kipling through Conrad and Forster, to Paul Scott and Ruth Jhabvala. The value to scholarship of Professor Yasmine Gooneratne's edition is enhanced by perceptive comparisons, now made for the first time, of the novel's various editions with Woolf's original manuscript. Highlighting substantial amendments made by the author prior to publication, she shows in detailed notes how they reflect his passion for accuracy, his wish to maintain objectivity while writing of another culture, and his humane sympathy for the people among whom he had worked for seven years as a civil servant in Sri Lanka. explained, Sinhala words glossed, the novel's themes related to the politics of colonialism, and the entire work brought within the ambit of the 21st century.
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The words ran thus: 'Sleep, child, sleep against my side, Aiyo! aiyo!35 the weary
way you've cried; Hush, child, hush, pressed close against my side. 'Aiyo! aiyo!
will the trees never end? Our women's feet are weary; 0 Great One,36 send Night
'Aiyo! aiyo! they take even my daughter from me. Is there money in the house? No
. Is there rice? No. Is there kurakkan, or chillies, or jaggery,10 or salt even? The
house is empty. But there is always something for the thief to find. They creep in ...
'Aiyo! how can I do this?' 'And the headman of Bogama, and the devil that still
dances beneath the trees.' Silindu's face worked with excitement. 'Ask anything
else of me, vederala. I cannot do this, I cannot do this.' Punchirala walked away.
What people are saying - Write a review
LibraryThing ReviewUser Review - kaitanya64 - LibraryThing
Set in colonial Ceylon, this novel is vivid and readable. While the author clearly illustrates a particular culture and time, that of a rural family in the "dry" forest area, where life is ... Read full review
LibraryThing ReviewUser Review - Steve38 - LibraryThing
Dear me but this is a depressing book. Everything that can go wrong does go wrong for the main characters. Written from the point of view of impoverished, uneducated jungle dwellers in Sri Lanka by ... Read full review