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 novel holds a central place in the English literature of Sri Lanka as the first
great (if not quite the first) work of creative art to emerge in modern times from the
experience of local living. Like other British civil servants who worked in the ...
Having read the novel, Waugh found this was true, and wrote to Woolf to say: '
You have done what I did not think it was possible for a Westerner to do - got
inside the mind and heart of the Far East. It is a unique achievement.' Alec
It is still more saddening to me, however, to find that some Sri Lankan critics and
readers err about the kind of novel that The Village in the Jungle is. It seems to
me solidly a novel of social realism, set in a specific place and time (which doesn'
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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