Reading Colonialism
Susan Visvanathan
MEMORIES OF BELONGING: IMAGES FROM THE COLONY AND BEYOND by Malavika Karlekar Niyogi Books, New Delhi, 2015, 228 pp., 795
May 2015, volume 39, No 5

Malavika Karlekar has produced an¬other work for the ‘Common Reader’, as Virginia Woolf called the general reader, who would have special¬ized or lay interests in a multivocal world. Colonialism has been read for the last hun¬dred years from many vantage positions. What Karlekar attempts to do is to compress her erudition, while dispensing with foot¬notes and bibliography which is the arsenal of the officialese of academia. She jauntily sets out on a journey of discovery, with ar¬chival photographs and prose as her willing allies. This kind of writing requires a certain panache, an authorial wit, a certain bucca¬neer quality. Roland Barthes used to write a column for Paris Match.

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