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sologdin

sologdin

Currently reading

Middlemarch: An Authoritative Text, Backgrounds, Reviews and Criticism (A Norton Critical Edition)
Bert G. Hornback, George Eliot
The Magic Mountain
Thomas Mann, John E. Woods
Love in the Time of Cholera
Gabriel García Márquez

Woman and Her Master

Woman and Her Master - Jean Villiot Early 20th century French porn, set in the Sudan during the Mahdi insurrection. Protagonist is British virgin caught in Khartoum during the sack. Her rape and enslavement are presented as a fait accompli.

Extremely unflattering portrait drawn of persons native to the Sudan, with multiple instances describing, for instance, malodorous, shiftless "negroes" and crazed, perfumed Arabs. That the Europeans tend to be express & intentional racists, classists, misogynists, and so on makes it hard to sympathize. Definitely not in accord with current progressive conceptions, to say the least.

Tries to do something interesting with a quasi-historical preface, quoting numerous alleged texts on the practice and theory of torture, drawn from purported European sources. The tortures presented in the narrative are entirely performed by Africans and Arabs--though they are substantially identical to what is described in the historical preface regarding the Europeans. Not sure I'm getting it, though.

Becomes quickly a chore to read, though the ending does not disappoint our residual appreciation for gallows humor here, insofar as Kitchener's rescue of the surviving Europeans results in our British heiress refusing to be rescued, having developed a fondness for the harem.