Filling a blank space in the literary map
Posted on August 17th, 2011

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ Kaleidoscope: An Anthology of Sri Lankan English Literature, Volume IIƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ Ed. with an introduction by D.C.R.A. Goonetilleke,ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ (Colombo: Vijitha Yapa, 2010) Pb: 978-955-665-107-2 $ 6.00 Available online

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ Just as Sri Lanka, an island with an area of 65,610 sq km offers infinite variety from hailstones and conifers in Nuwara Eliya to palms and blazing beaches in Negombo and Bentota, this anthology offers as wide a range of genres, styles, materials and moods to stimulate and entertain the reader.

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  There is stark contrast between the restrained yet poignant ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”¹…”Sisters in DignityƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢ and the bizarre hilarious satire of ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”¹…”MaleeshyaƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢. We have the touching fantasy of a lonely child and the harsh tragedy of a man who is an amalgam of two warring races. ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”¹…”The VisitorƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢ has something of the chill of Henry JamesƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢ ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”¹…”The Turn of the ScrewƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢ where the focus is on the narrator of a supernatural tale. We see multiple aspects of the war ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢¢”š¬…” the terror, tension, hope and endurance of the relationships between places and people.

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  The section devoted to poetry has the virtue of accessibility and offers wit as well as profundity and sensuous pleasure, while the drama of ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”¹…”A Somewhat Mad and Grotesque ComedyƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢ with its black humour based on fratricide and socio-economic aspirations is perhaps a precognition of the later conflict.

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  The anthology offers the reader many-sided enjoyment as well as imparts a fresh awareness of Sri Lanka and its Literature in English.

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ Also available:

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ D.C.R.A. Goonetilleke, Sri Lankan English Literature and the Sri Lankan People 1917-2003

(Colombo: Vijitha Yapa Publications, 2005; 2nd edn. 2007 with new appendix: ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”¹…”Leonard WoolfƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s Divided Mind: the Case of The Village in the JungleƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢). Hb:978-955-8095-90-4 $ 7.50 Available online

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ The only complete one-volume history of Sri LankaƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s English literature from its beginnings to the present. It is also a social, political and cultural history of the period.

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ D.C.R.A. Goonetilleke (ed.), Kaleidoscope: An Anthology of Sri LankanƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ English Literature (Colombo: Vijitha Yapa, 2007) Pb: 978-955-1266-70-7 $ 5.00 Available online

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ D.C.R.A. Goonetilleke, Emeritus Professor of English, University of Kelaniya, Sri Lanka, was International Chairperson of the Association for Commonwealth Literature and Language Studies (1993-97); Vice-President ofƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  the FƒÆ’†’ƒ”š‚©dƒÆ’†’ƒ”š‚©ration Internationale des Languages et LitƒÆ’†’ƒ”š‚©ratures Modernes (1993-99); Fellow Commoner, Churchill College, University of Cambridge; Foundation Visiting Fellow, Clare Hall, University of Cambridge; Henry Charles Chapman Visiting Fellow at the Institute of Commonwealth Studies, University of London; and Guest Professor of English at the University of Tubingen, Germany. A well-established critic of twentieth-century and postcolonial literature, and the leading authority on Sri Lankan English literature, his books include Developing Countries in British Fiction (1977), Images of the Raj: South Asia in the Literature of Empire (1988), Joseph Conrad: Beyond Culture and Background (1990), Salman Rushdie (1998), all published by Macmillan (London); Joseph ConradƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s Heart of Darkness (London: Routledge, 2007) and Sri Lankan English Literature and the Sri Lankan People 1917-2003 (2005, 2nd edn. 2007). He has edited Joseph Conrad: Heart of Darkness (Canada: Broadview Press, 1995, 2nd edn. 1999, reprinted 2007), The Penguin New Writing in Sri Lanka (1992), The Penguin Book of Modern Sri Lankan Stories (1996) and Kaleidoscope: An Anthology of Sri Lankan English Literature (2007). The 2nd edition of Salman Rushdie (London & New York: Palgrave Macmillan) appeared in 2009.


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