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Empire of Analogies: Kipling, India and Ireland
Empire of Analogies: Kipling, India and Ireland

Our Price:39.00
Authors: Kaori Nagai
Affiliation: University of Kent UK
Publication Year: Hardback 2006
Pages: 192
Size: 234 x 156mm

ISBN: 9781859184080


"Who is Kim? And "Why is he Irish?"-This book sheds light on this post-colonial riddle by placing it within a web of colonial analogies which existed to create the British Empire as a 'reality'. It characterises 'Empire' as a discursive battleground in which conflicting and changing models of British hegemony coexisted and were constantly contested.

Starting from the analysis of the Irish characters in Kipling's Indian stories, this book shows that the representation of the British Empire was greatly indebted to analogies and comparisons made between colonies, and as such became the very site where the image of Empire was contested. It contrasts two different ways of making colonial analogies: 'imperialist' and 'nationalist'. Kipling, as a young journalist, was keenly aware of the fact that Indian and Irish nationalists drew analogies between each other's colonial situation to make the case for self-government and British misrule, and his repeated emphasis on Irish participation inthe Raj can be seen as a powerful 'imperialist' counter-representation to these subversive analogies. With this framework in mind, this book traces how Kipling's representation of Empire changed over time as he moved away from India and also has thehegemony of British imperialism faltered toward the end of the nineteenth century.

Kaori Nagai lectures in the School of English at the University of Kent. She is the editor of Kipling's Plain Tales from the Hills and The Jungle Books for Penguin Classics, and has also co-edited Kipling and Beyond: Patriotism, Globalisation and Postcolonialism.

Average Rating: Average Rating: 4.5 of 5 4.5 of 5 Total Reviews: 3 Write a review »

  0 of 0 people found the following review helpful:
5 of 5 Empire of Analogies: Kipling, India and Ireland September 3, 2013
Reviewer: John M. MacKenzie, The Roundtable from UK  
Given the extensive literature on these Irish - Indian connections, it is brave of Kaori Nagai to contribute another volume to the canon. But, though short, this is a very useful book. In addition to summarizing and critiquing the work of predecessors, the author adds some significant new material. She attempts to position Kipling's work in environmental and climatic contexts; to analyse his use of dialect in the construction of ethnicity and his characters' identities and class affiliations; and, particularly usefully, she connects Kipling's Kim and other Irish characters to his experience of South Africa during and after the Anglo-Boer War.
Her survey creates a sort of quadripartite relationship of England, Ireland, India and South Africa, with side glances at Canada and the other dominions of white settlement. Her examination of Queen Victoria's final visit to Ireland in 1900 (so illustrative of the combination of 'loyalty' and opposition-Maud Gonne labelled her the 'famine Queen') is also stimulating. In brief, this book offers an excellent introduction to this whole question as well as adding a number of genuinely fresh insights.

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  0 of 0 people found the following review helpful:
4 of 5 Empire of Analogies: Kipling, India and Ireland September 3, 2013
Reviewer: Thomas McLean, Australasian J of Victorian Studies from New Zealand  
I learned much from Empire of Analogies, and I hope it inspires further research into the analogies that shaped nineteenth- and twentieth-century debates around empire and sovereignty. Nagai's chapters on South Africa, and her occasional references to Canada, Australia, and New Zealand, suggest this is a topic where more work is needed. Nagai shows that there is much to say about Kipling beyond Kim, though her regular return to Kim suggests that there isn’t much to say without it.

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  0 of 0 people found the following review helpful:
5 of 5 Empire of Analogies August 30, 2013
Reviewer: Don Randall, Interventions from Bilkent University, Turkey  
Within the field of Kipling studies, Empire of Analogies affirms its value by elucidating the logic and method that informs Kipling's  insistent use of Irish elements, especially in the work of his earlier career. Through its numerous excursions into duly historicized colonial cultural studies, the book also enables a more subtle understanding of Kipling's representativeness, a sense that his work, which does articulate imperial dogma and dream, also registers with appreciable sensitivity the changing conditions of his world and his times. Although Nagai's study seems to strain in certain moments to maintain its commitment to its Irish component   Cork University Press exclusively publishes work in the field of Irish studies Ireland and Irishness emerge convincingly as the key elements in the analogical representation of empire, by Kipling and by his contemporaries.

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