Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Hostname: page-component-77c89778f8-fv566 Total loading time: 0 Render date: 2024-07-21T16:36:13.305Z Has data issue: false hasContentIssue false

Chapter 4 - On Time

How Fiction Writes History in Wilkie Collins’s The Moonstone

from Part II - Temporality

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  02 April 2021

Leila Neti
Affiliation:
Occidental College, Los Angeles
Get access

Summary

“On Time: How Fiction Writes History in Wilkie Collins’s The Moonstone,” shows how the novel subtly reinforces the principles put forth in the judicial opinion. Written just five years after Ramaswamy Aiyan v. Venkata Achari was decided by the Privy Council, The Moonstone reflects many similar concerns with centering English modernity, especially by way of comparison with colonies such as India. I show how the novel invokes oppositional teleologies for India and Britain, often playing up sectarian tensions and Brahminism in the Indian context. As the narrative of the mystery moves steadily forward, reflecting the teleology of British progress, the temporality of India remains stubbornly stagnant. Finally, folding the present into the past, the gem, the deity, and the devotees end up exactly where they began, oblivious to the linear narrative of history and impervious to the forward movement of time. More specifically, the novel’s mystery genre works to naturalize a teleological narrative of history that solidifies the relationship between the restorative British present and the stalled Indian past. As the mystery unfolds, it becomes increasingly clear that the temporality of the novel is intimately related to the teleology of a colonialist vision of history.

Type
Chapter
Information
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2021

Access options

Get access to the full version of this content by using one of the access options below. (Log in options will check for institutional or personal access. Content may require purchase if you do not have access.)

Save book to Kindle

To save this book to your Kindle, first ensure coreplatform@cambridge.org is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about saving to your Kindle.

Note you can select to save to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be saved to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

  • On Time
  • Leila Neti, Occidental College, Los Angeles
  • Book: Colonial Law in India and the Victorian Imagination
  • Online publication: 02 April 2021
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781108938280.007
Available formats
×

Save book to Dropbox

To save content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about saving content to Dropbox.

  • On Time
  • Leila Neti, Occidental College, Los Angeles
  • Book: Colonial Law in India and the Victorian Imagination
  • Online publication: 02 April 2021
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781108938280.007
Available formats
×

Save book to Google Drive

To save content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about saving content to Google Drive.

  • On Time
  • Leila Neti, Occidental College, Los Angeles
  • Book: Colonial Law in India and the Victorian Imagination
  • Online publication: 02 April 2021
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781108938280.007
Available formats
×