Literary Cultures from the 18th to the 20th Century
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This volume studies the ways in which modernity has been conceived, practiced, and performed in Indian literatures from the 18th to 20th century. It brings together essays on writings in Hindi, Urdu, Punjabi, Bengali, Odia, Gujarati, Marathi, Tamil, Telugu, Kannada, Malayalam, and languages from Northeast India, which form a dialogical relationship with each other in this volume. The concurrence and contradictions emerging through these studies problematize the idea of modernity afresh.
The book challenges the dominance of colonial modernity through socio-historical and cultural analysis of how modernity surfaces as a multifaceted phenomenon when contextualized in the multilingual ethos of India. It further tracks the complex ways in which modernism in India is tied to the harvests of modernity. It argues for the need to shift focus on the specific conditions that gave shape to multiple modernities within literatures produced from India.
A versatile collection, the book incorporates engagements with not just long prose fiction but also lesser-known essays, research works, and short stories published in popular magazines. This unique work will be of interest to students and teachers of Indian writing in English, Indian literatures, and comparative literatures. It will be indispensable to scholars of South Asian studies, literary historians, linguists, and scholars of cultural studies across the globe.
Table of Contents
Introduction: Entanglements of Indian Modernities: Poetics, Praxis, Possibilities in Literary Cultures from 18th to 20th Century
Performing Modernity, Affecting Modernism
A: Intimations of Modernity
1. Registers of the New: Translating Modernity in 19th and 20th Century India
2. Tagore and the Modern
3. Provincializing Modernity: From Imagined Community to Communitarian Imaginaries in Malayalam Fiction
E. V. Ramakrishnan
4. Past Continuous: Munshi, Gujarat and the Patan trilogy
Rita and Abhijit Kothari
B: Trajectories of Modernism
5. B.S. Mardhekar’s Interliterary Poetics and the Emergence of avant-garde modernism in Marathi
Sachin C. Ketkar
6. M oody Modernism: Miraji becomes Sappho
7. Nayī Kahānī and the 1950s Hindi middlebrow magazine
8. Dark Dispatches of Modernity and Nation Making: A Rereading of Nirmal Verma’s Dark Dispatches
Modalities, Movements, Histories
9. Fashioning Readers: Canon, Criticism and Pedagogy in the Emergence of Modern Oriya Literature
10. Punjabi Kissa: Negotiating Modernities and Mediums
11. “A People’s Literature”: Reimagining Telugu Literary History
Rama Sundari Mantena
12. Progressivism and Tamil Modernity: Tracing the History of Progressive Literature in Tamil, 1940-1970
13. An/Other Modernity: The Politics of Literary Cultures in Northeast India”
14. Negotiating Modernity: Translation as a Critique of the Orientalist Agenda with Special Reference to Tamil
C T Indra
15. Translation and the Making of Modern Kannada Literature: English Geetagalu as a Canonical Text
Nishat Zaidi is Professor and former Head, Department of English, Jamia Millia Islamia, New Delhi, India.