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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'Aiya, aiya, is this a true tale?' (p. 92) It is possible that this passage was
considered too frank in its description of sexual license among Colombo's British
community and in the city's police department, to be published during the days of
'Who can say, aiya, who can say? Only a fool measures his grain before it is on
the threshing-floor.' 'Then all these villagers do that, for they are all fools. Aiyo!
What cattle! What trouble they give a man! ' 'We are poor men, aiya, and ignorant.
jewels. You will bring good fortune to your husband, for I will cancel his debts and
give him the share of the other chenas which I promised him.' 'I cannot do it, aiya.'
'What folly! There is nothing to fear. The houses are near with the same fence.
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