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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There then occurs in the manuscript an entirely unexpected shift from the past to
the present tense, and Woolf writes: // stands at the door of the houses, always
ready to press in upon the compounds and open spaces, to break through the
The manuscript yields evidence that substantial cuts were made in the text of the
novel before publication, presumably at proof stage since many passages uncut
in the manuscript have been omitted from the published text. Some of these ...
drafts of part of Chapter I (on the back of page 9 of the manuscript), later rejected,
Woolf had written 'Punchi Arachchi' as 'Punchi Opiser' ('Little Officer'), 'compound'
as 'hut', and had even used the Sinhala term 'wi goyitena', glossing the ...
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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