ASHA S. KANWAR*
An Interview with Arnold Kettle
THE PREAMBLE is a brief review of Arnold Kettle's life, work and achievement and is both an obituary and a tribute at one level. At another, it is an attempt to bring to light the achievements of people who have been marginalized on account of the ideologies that operate within institutions to maintain the hierarchical systems based on wider distinctions of class, race, gender and politcal persuasion.
Arnold Kettle was born in London on 17 March 1916, and received his education at Merchant Taylors School and at Pembroke College, Cambridge, where he graduated with a First Class Honours in English in 1937. He was then Commonwealth Fellow at Yale University from 1939 to 1941 and was awarded a Ph.D. at Cambridge in 1942. For the next four years. Kettle served as a captain in H.M.Forces which included a posting in India. He was appointed Lecturer and subsequently Senior Lecturer in the School of English, University of Leeds where he taught from 1947 to 1967. Kettle then joined the University College of Dares Salaam as Professor and stayed in Africa until 1970. Upon his return to England he was appointed Professor of Literature at the Open University, where he remained until his retirement in 1981. He lived at Milton Keynes with his wife Margot until his death on 24 December 1986.1
Roughly speaking. Kettle's writing career can be said to span a period of forty-three years, if one takes as a starting point his article "Marxism and Literature', written as a student at Cambridge and published in University Forward in 1939, to its culmination in the Course Units on the nineteenth century novel written for the Open University in 1982, when he retired after a long career as a teacher. His publications include a range of subjects from literature to education, politics, book and film reviews. Kettle's major book, however, is An Introduction to the English Novel, Vols. I & II (1951, 53) though he has also written Karl Marx, Founder of Modem Communism (1963, second edition 1968) which has been translated into Norwegian, Italian and Swedish. Another book that is not so well known is Kettle's Communism and the Intellectuals (1965). He has edited
*Punjab University, Chandigarh.