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The Victorian Geopolitical AestheticRealism, Sovereignty, and Transnational Experience$
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Lauren M. E. Goodlad

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780198728276

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198728276.001.0001

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“India is ‘a Bore’”

“India is ‘a Bore’”

Imperial Governmentality in The Eustace Diamonds

(p.87) 4 “India is ‘a Bore’”
The Victorian Geopolitical Aesthetic

Lauren M. E. Goodlad

Oxford University Press

This chapter looks at Anthony Trollope’s most sustained fictional meditation on India as well as a key example of the naturalistic narrative of capitalist globalization. Famously influenced by Collins’s The Moonstone, The Eustace Diamonds channels the author’s growing disdain for the New Imperialism. Through a triangulation of realpolitik (marital, political, and geopolitical), this fourth Palliser novel elucidates the imperial governmentality consolidating behind an affect of technocratic boredom and a show of imperial aesthetics. Trollope regarded Disraeli as a kind of “secret Jew” whose simulated Christianity was more pernicious than avowed Jewishness—an aversion that recurs in a wide variety of writings. But in The Eustace Diamonds, it is Lizzie rather than the Jewish Emilius who most piquantly embodies imperial theatricality. A Disraeliesque schemer, Lizzie introduces a stylistic referentiality that is alien to Trollope’s customary sociological register, the sign of a Trollopian power to stretch form beyond the crude anti-Semitic scapegoat.

Keywords:   Anthony Trollope, Palliser novels, Disraeli, anti-Semitism, naturalism, New Imperialism, imperial sovereignty, geopolitical aesthetic, secret Jew

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