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Hindoo Holiday (New York Review Books Classics) (英語) ペーパーバック – 2000/1/31

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J.R Ackerley (1896-1967) was for many years the literary editor of the BBC magazine The Listener. A respected mentor to such younger writers as Christopher Isherwood and W.H. Auden, he was also a longtime friend and literary associate of E.M. Forster. His works include three memoirs, Hindoo Holiday, My Dog Tulip, and My Father and Myself, and a novel, We Think the World of You.



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Amazon.com: 17 件のカスタマーレビュー
17 人中、17人の方が、「このレビューが参考になった」と投票しています。
Droll, often disquieting, observations of the British Raj 2005/3/15
投稿者 D. Cloyce Smith - (Amazon.com)
形式: ペーパーバック Amazonで購入
A journal of Ackerley's stay in the Indian province of Chhatarpur during the 1920s, "Hindoo Holiday" records and mocks the muddled morality and intellectual immaturity of both slothful Indian rulers and equally pampered British colonialists. After Ackerley returned from India, he spent several years touching up his diary for publication; he changed the names, toned down the sexual content, and removed passages that might be considered libelous. This recently published version is the first unexpurgated American edition, with all the cuts restored.

Ackerley's intent was to be mischievous and outrageous and comic; and his book became both a critical hit and, to everyone's surprise, his most commercially successful work. The book is at its best in its humorous depictions of the Maharajah, his private secretary Babaji Rao, and the contingent of valets, including the endearingly sweet Sharma and Narayan. For the most part, Ackerley's portraits are nonjudgmental and fond; he reserves his venom for the British guests and, to a lesser extent, for his sycophantic tutor, Abdul, and clumsy servant-child, Habib.

Throughout "Hindoo Holiday" there is a disconcerting, even creepy, undercurrent that revolves around the sexual despotism of the Maharajah, whose predatory advances are directed towards the "Gods"--his name for the boys in his employ. "Boys" is Ackerley's term; at least one is identified as being twenty and several are married, so it's possibly more accurate to call most of them young men. But, whatever their age, these youngsters are compelled to have sexual relations with the Maharajah--and with his wife while he's watching. Complicating this issue is the subtly hinted possibility that the ruler is suffering from the advanced stages of syphilis. (The paternity of the palace's heirs is a great mystery, as well.) Only a few of the youths seem able to withstand his advances, and Ackerley often must come to the defense of Narayan, one of the "Gods" who refuses to comply.

Ackerley reports these incidents with disquieting aplomb. His own role in these matters is rather innocent; according to biographer Peter Parker, he limited his affections to kissing and holding hands: "If he had sexual relations whilst in India, he left no record of the fact." (And Ackerley was not known for being shy about such matters in either his journals or correspondence.) Nevertheless, intentionally or not, the goings-on in the palace are emblematic of the corruption, indolence, and decadence of the British Raj.

Most modern readers, then, will find much of the tone and material and humor in "Hindoo Holiday" a bit dated. Yet Ackerley's memoir is still an accurate portrait of the time--and there are moments of brilliant hilarity.
24 人中、22人の方が、「このレビューが参考になった」と投票しています。
A Must for Armchair Travelers 2000/1/28
投稿者 Allen Smalling - (Amazon.com)
形式: ペーパーバック
The cliche "He leads a charmed existence" ran constantly through my mind when I first read *Hindoo Holiday*. How else would a talented but eccentric young Englishman more or less tumble into a privileged position as secretary to an Indian maharajah and have the most glorious and exciting things happen to him?
But it's real--*Hindoo Holiday* may sound like the title of a Hollywood musical but the writer is J.R. Ackerley and the telling is his own. His scenic prose style is better than any Technicolor in sharing his joy at his newfound environment. This book deserves a treasured spot in any armchair traveler's bookshelf.
16 人中、15人の方が、「このレビューが参考になった」と投票しています。
Really About India 2001/1/18
投稿者 Hemant Sareen - (Amazon.com)
形式: ペーパーバック
The first thing I should carp about (and that will be the last time I do about this book)is that it has never been recommended to me by friends or at the university by my teachers. The reason could be the the rather candid and matter-of-fact approach of Ackerly to homosexuality (belonged to the circle of friends including Forster and Auden):I should have guessed immediately because the locale is 'Chokrapur' whose American counterpart would be 'Ladsville'! One is left wondering if there was no persecution of people with different sexual orientation, after all, as its widely believed and is true, the British Victorian attitude were responsible(the British enforced out-lawing of homosexuality still persists in the Indian penal code) for casting a pall of repression over an otherwise liberated and taboo-proof(especially in matters relating to sex)Indian social order? Apparently not, for Ackerly carries on and there is nothing furtive about the advances:its all grown up and consent based.
The other point that should be brought up and very few readings have thrown up, is that India's cliched image about being a land of diversity(thats true here, for the Indians Ackerly comes across are of all types), colour, and paegent is totally ignored.No monuments are praised here, nor is the culture sung about:For a change here is a book about the Indian people and the Indian attitudes and psyche. Ackerly seems totally unaware of the cultural difference.He just faithfully logs the absurdities of a group of people without any prejudice and judgement. If one has read 'A Passage To India'(EM Forster), which incidentally is as empathatic towards the Indian people, tends to cast the characters into an heroic mould and makes them very rounded in the attempt to compensate(rather over-) for the contemporary British view of their subject people, one would find it refreshing and indeed intriguing that some one could empathize so deeply with another people and be so impervious to notions of difference and all the baggage British took along as luggage when they visited their colonial cousins. Ackerly carries no 'White Man's Burden' thus giving the book such a contemporary feel to it. like his pen and ink drawings, his portraits are laconic but truly convey the character of their subjects.
This is truly a book about real India, that is often missed out in glossy publications about the glorious monuments, or the patronising tomes about the Indian-way of life.This should be a must-read for anyone trying to understand India or pretends to be an Indophile.The patriots in India and the ultra-patriots in saffron policing the indian culture today should be ashamed for not having read the book and equally ashamed if they have, for then they have not understood much about their past.
10 人中、10人の方が、「このレビューが参考になった」と投票しています。
A British Wit at Work 2000/9/4
投稿者 Amazon Customer - (Amazon.com)
形式: ペーパーバック
Both of Amazon's reviewers to date seem to have missed the point of Ackerley's Hindoo Holiday. Anyone coming to this book for a historic, sensitive portrait of life in India under the Raj is in for a profound disappointment. Ackerley's stay in the state he called "Chhokrapur" was short--only five months--and although he was interested in the cultural differences he found between himself and his friends, this account (in diary form) doesn't probe deeply into the questions of religion, gender, sexuality, and cross-cultural discourse that Ackerley inevitably encounters.
Instead, the diary is meant to do one thing--make the reader laugh. Ackerley's sketches (literal and figurative--this edition comes with some pleasant pen-and-ink line drawings) of his Indian friends are memorable indeed: the shy Sharma, the affectionate Narayan, the wise Babaji Rao, the pompous but friendly Prime Minister, the irritating English Tutor Abdul, and most of all, the silly, simpering, loveable, intelligent, complicated, contradictory Maharajah himself. Ackerley is a brilliant writer whose eye for personal detail is unfailing; he's also a frequent misanthropist. The brilliance of Ackerley's writing, here and elsewhere, is that he doesn't ask you to like him, but leaves you unable to dislike the people (and canines--his My Dog Tulip is a must-read for any dog-lover) he encounters. Funny, entertaining and ultimately moving.
11 人中、10人の方が、「このレビューが参考になった」と投票しています。
An odd mix 2002/5/18
投稿者 Jay Dickson - (Amazon.com)
形式: ペーパーバック Amazonで購入
E. M. Forster, whom Ackerley emulated in going to India in the 20s to work as private secretary for a maharajah, has a character in A PASSAGE TO INDIA named Miss Derek, who is private secretary to a rani and who "regarded the entire peninsula as if it were a comic opera." That basically describes the attitude Ackerley adopts in HINDOO HOLIDAY, which treats an indian princely styate as if it were wildly wacky. No doubt that might have been true to Ackerley when he visited in the 20s, but this book's humor has worn somewhat over the years and seems at times a bit condescending. What has remained interesting and vital are Ackerley's observations about Indian (particularly Hindu) customs and manners, and his deft sensitivity and understatement in his portrayal of the maharajah's (and his own) homoerotic desires: Ackerley's keen observational intelligence, fortunately, outweighs the dated cross-cultural comic aspects of the narrative. While this isn;t nearly at the level of one of his later works like MY FATHER AND MYSELF, it's an intriguing read for anyone interested in India during the raj or early 20th-century homosexuality.
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