Out of Place

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Out of Place

1999 | 259 Pages | ISBN: 0691016666 | PDF | 1 MB

Mr Baucom likes the falsely scientific vocabulary of theory so much that he both occasionally says the obvious in a way that sounds precious and also sometimes follows the logic of a wrongly framed argument far away from the primary text he purports to discuss. For example, instead of writing the obvious fact that maps were important to the Raj, the reader finds this: “Within that archive, the map occupies a position of privilege.” A few paragraphs later, the reader learns that Kim’s becoming a British intelligence agent somehow erases Kim’s identity as the little friend of all the world. Kim is then resurrected as “the zombielike R17.” Nothing can be further from the actual depiction of Kim in the novel. Kim’s identity as a British agent remains as vivid as it was before he takes service with the Raj and his devotion to the lama as intense. And even at the book’s opening Kim unwittingly enforces British dominance in bullying an Indian child.

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