The study of Assamese literature has so far been in terms of the history of the Assamese language. This book is a history of the narratives written in Assamese language and its relation to the process of region formation. The literature dealt with ranges from pre-colonial chronicles, ballads and drama to modern genres of fiction and critical writing in Assamese language. Taking the Brahmaputra valley and Assamese literature as case studies, the author attempts to link literature, its nature and use, to processes of region formation, arguing that such a study needs to take the context of historical geography into consideration.
The book views region formation in north-east India as a dialectical process, that is, the dialectic between the shared and the distinct in inter-group and community relations. It borrows an anthropological approach to study written narratives and cultures so as to locate such narratives in specific processes of region formation.
Table of Contents
Preface. Acknowledgements Part I. Situating the Problem. Introduction 1. The Valley, 'Border' and the Question of Order 2. Buranjis and Sankari Culture: Language and Narrative in Pre-colonial Textual Traditions 3. Language Shift and Narrative: Pre-colonial Continental Crossroad to Colonial Frontier. Conclusion Part II. Literature and Socio-spatial Relations. Introduction 4. Language and Narrative: Negotiating between Difference and Contradiction 5. Narrative and Social Base: The Irony of Breakdown 6. Reinventing Frontier Narrative. Conclusion. Appendix: (a) An Account of Text and Social Origin of Author (b) Translations of Essays and Letters in Bahni. Bibliography. About the Author. Index
Manjeet Baruah is Assistant Professor, School of Translation Studies and Training, Indira Gandhi National Open University, New Delhi.