Friday, July 22, 2016

Monsooned Reading - Rider Haggard - Adventure, Fantasy And Romance Through Colonial Eyes


Monsooning was a process to which coffee was subjected in the olden days. Coffee was transported from colonised countries to the Empire on ships and were at the mercy of the elements during that transit.

I wonder if that is what defines how instant coffee tastes...And why it is nothing like Filter Coffee.

And would it be thus that the White man's vision, of these lands over which he thought he had overlordship, weathered what he beheld?

It does no one any good to ban or criticise things, especially writings. Each form and its content brings to life a unique and wonderful vision.


It is true, though, that these perceptions have long governed us, whether we're from the ex-colonised world or from the countries which exercised this right to plunder. For example, how Indians continue to perceive Africans or the Chinese is largely shaped by this kind of output. Yet, time passes. The young from all over the world are busy interacting and discovering each other, thanks to the Internet and travel and study.

Removing or hiding things selectively is not at all a good idea! 

Haggard's King Solomon's Mines is a book that suits rainy weather well, full of rugged adventure, narrated in what would now be a quaint and charming style! 

What a charming tale this is and I assure you that, even today, few would be able to resist getting sucked into Haggard's world of greed, "exotic" places, magic, mystery, beautiful women, love and betrayal!

I'll admit that I'm not sure whether I've seen any version of the movie but I'll bet they would be entertaining! 



“It is a hard thing when one has shot sixty-five lions or more, as I have in the course of my life, that the sixty-sixth should chew your leg like a quid of tobacco. It breaks the routine of the thing, and putting other considerations aside, I am an orderly man and don't like that. This is by the way.”
H. Rider Haggard, King Solomon's Mines

Rider Haggard also wrote the marvellous and chilling and gripping She.

She


"She" seems to have given academics and psychologists a run for their money! And this is surely at least one more good reason why you should rush to get yourself a copy. Freud and Jung appear, both, to have had something to say about the character.


Freud's fascination with H. Rider Haggard, and in particular with She, seems to have been of long duration.
 She, or Ayesha, was a powerful image of a woman. C.G. Jung saw her as the personification of his Anima theory.  

For both stories there seem to be many film versions! Enjoy the sultry Ursula Andress in the clip below!



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