Another candidate for the Cluebat


The Guardian reviews Keith Sagar’s book, Literature and the Crime Against Nature, which apparently contains the following gem of enlightenment.

The most successful chapter is a reading of Conrad’s Heart of Darkness entitled “The Case of the Missing Elephants”, which proceeds from the simple but powerful intuition that the story is focused on the ivory trade yet oddly silent about where ivory comes from. A larger argument about the intersection of ecological and postcolonial criticism could have been developed here, but Sagar shies away from it. Instead he offers a tart rebuke of Jane Austen for defining her art as a “little bit (two inches wide) of Ivory on which I work with so fine a brush” – the metaphor here is “a dead image, completely cut off from any awareness of what ivory is, where it comes from, and what must be paid for even two inches of it in terms of suffering and death”.

Keith, dear? See this? This is the Cluebat of Janeite Righteousness. It is made of wood. It can help you understand the point that missed you at least by the length of the Green Monster at Fenway Park.

Anyone care to step up to help poor Keith get a clue?