[KS] Margaret Drabble + Hermits

Keith Howard kh at soas.ac.uk
Wed Aug 3 05:33:41 EDT 2005


Thanks, Aidan, for alerting us all to Margaret Drabble's article. 
There have been a number of postings on the 'Hermit Kingdom' and 
'orientalist' issue, but it would be interesting to hear  from others 
whether her comments about political correctness -- or more 
precisely, about what she seems to regard as unnecessarily pedantic 
concerns for 'accuracy' expressed by her anonymous critic -- are 
reasonable (and if her appeal to literary licence is acceptable). As 
I read the article, I felt I was engaging with an enlightened and 
imaginative mind, and had considerable sympathy for some of her 
concerns, since in a number of current research projects I am 
exploring ways to bring different perspectives (not just west/north 
but east/south) together in co-authored publications. One accepts 
that to do so is never easy, and requires negotiation and 
understanding on both sides. Her comments indicate she initially 
compromised and was then prepared to negotiate on matters of fact, 
but found she was offered little space in which to do so. Is this a 
reasonable reading of her article?

Dr Keith Howard
Reader in Music, SOAS,
Director, AHRC Research Centre for Cross-Cultural Music and Dance
Thornhaugh Street, Russell Square, London WC1H 0XG
Tel: 020 7898 4687; Mobile: 07815 812144; Fax: 020 7898 4519
Website: http://mercury.soas.ac.uk/users/kh/

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