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Scholarship and integrity: Matthew Arnold’s “The Scholar-Gipsy” and Anita Desai’s “Scholar and Gypsy”
journal contributionposted on 2023-07-26, 12:37 authored by Peter Cook
This article presents a comparative study of Matthew Arnold's 1854 poem "The Scholar-Gipsy" and Anita Desai's 1978 story "Scholm" and Gypsy". Arnold's poem contrasts the single-minded integrity of his central character's search lot redemption through the power of Romany culture, with the compromises and pressures that beset "modern" Western scholars, while Desai uses her readers' knowledge of Arnold's poem to reveal the shortcomings of Occidental scholarly and cultural aspirations, and the shallowness of her Western protagonists' understanding of modern India. Though from different centuries and different continents, both works embody passionate pleas for scholarly integrity.
Publication titleAlif: Journal of Comparative Poetics
PublisherAmerican University in Cairo