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Sunday, August 05, 2007

1001 Book Challenge - King Solomon's Mines by Henry Rider Haggard

This is the first book I'm reviewing so far in the challenge I continue to have ambivalent feelings about. I read it years ago for university, and although I daresay I owe the text a re-reading to see if my opinion has altered, I just wasn't in the mood for British White Male Takes on Africa and the Natives.

Here's a sample on what I've had to say on it before:

'Not unlike Foucault's theory of power, critic Peter Hollindale believed an author's ideology was a constant and pervading factor in their writing. In my opinion, no matter how Henry Rider Haggard may try to hide it, his British Imperialist mentality triumphs...In times such as ours, the racist and sexist parts of the novel may seem distasteful, but it is essential to put them in some sort of perspective; it's like what Hollindale says, “Any individual is free to like and admire a great work of literature, even if its ideology is repellent.” ‘Repellent’ is perhaps too strong a word to use in the case of King Solomon's Mines, because broadly speaking it is an enjoyable novel that deserves to be looked at closely, if only to understand it a little bit more.'

You try it and tell me what you think. At least, do read the book; not see the appalling movie with Sharon Stone before she was famous.


Comments on "1001 Book Challenge - King Solomon's Mines by Henry Rider Haggard"


Blogger Jean-Luc Picard said ... (9:59 pm) : 

I must admit, this novel wouldn't have been one to appeal to me, so it would have been quite a challenge.


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