Christopher Ondaatje Goes in Search of Leonard Woolf by Christopher Ondaatje

Christopher Ondaatje

Christopher Ondaatje Goes in Search of Leonard Woolf

 

'IT WAS A strange world, a world of bare and brutal facts, of superstition, of grotesque imagination; a world of trees and the perpetual twilight of their shade; a world of hunger and fear and devils, where a man was helpless before the unseen and unintelligible powers surrounding him.' (Leonard Woolf, The Village in the jungle.)

It is a swelteringly hot, humid afiernoon. There is not much wind. I am sitting here writing in a bungalow on the western perimeter of the Yala National Park over- looking Banduwewa - a small reservoir only twenty- eight miles from Beddagama (literally 'jungle village'), the subject of Leonard Woolf's

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