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The American Isherwood$
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James J. Berg and Chris Freeman

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780816683611

Published to Minnesota Scholarship Online: August 2015

DOI: 10.5749/minnesota/9780816683611.001.0001

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“Give Me Devotion … Even Against My Will”

“Give Me Devotion … Even Against My Will”

Christopher Isherwood and India

(p.171) 12 “Give Me Devotion … Even Against My Will”
The American Isherwood

Niladri R Chatterjee

University of Minnesota Press

This chapter explores Christopher Isherwood’s prejudice against India. Isherwood’s deep-seated prejudice toward India dates from at least the 1930s. In his short story “The Landauers,” published in the spring of 1938 in New Writing, Isherwood’s racism is evident in the character of Bernhard Landauer. His Indophobia persisted all his life. The question arises as to why Isherwood was so prejudiced against Indians. In order to attempt an answer to that question, it may be helpful to look at the life and interests of the person whom he admittedly most hated while he was growing up: his mother Kathleen Isherwood. But once Swami Prabhavananda, his Vedanta guru, entered his life, Isherwood recognized that his negative feelings toward India were a problem and he engaged with it as best he could.

Keywords:   prejudice, Christopher Isherwood, India, racism, Indophobia, Kathleen Isherwood, Swami Prabhavananda, Vedanta

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